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Holiday Meal

Top 10 Holiday Stress Free Tips

Surviving the holidays with one’s waistline, bank account and sanity intact can be challenging for everyone, but the season affords specific pitfalls—and opportunities—for those who are mindful of staying  physically and mentally healthy throughout the season and beyond.—try these tips:

1. Protecting Big-Ticket Items: Big-ticket electronics, such as televisions, computers and gaming consoles, are at the top of many holiday wish lists but who can afford to break the bank?  How about a Discount Dental PPO/Vision Card for less than $10? With eroding benefits you would be amazed how many loved ones need coverage!

2. Never arrive to your social function feeling overly hungry. Avoid skipping meals or snacks to save up your calories- this will encourage over eating. Have a snack ahead of time to take off the edge such as goodness knows snack squares- a four-square serving has 150 calories and is made from slow-roasted whole almonds, fruits, toasted oats and extraordinary deep chocolate. They come in three delicious flavors: Nutty Apple, Very Cranberry and Peachy Cherry.

3. Take care of yourself. Be active and eat well – these help maintain a healthy body. Physical and mental health are closely linked; it’s easier to feel good about life if your body feels good. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise – gardening, vacuuming, dancing and bushwalking all count. Combine physical activity with a balanced diet to nourish your body and mind and keep you feeling good, inside and out.

4. Deal with stress. Be aware of what triggers your stress and how you react. You may be able to avoid some of the triggers and learn to prepare for or manage others. Stress is a part of life and affects people in different ways. It only becomes a problem when it makes you feel uncomfortable or distressed. A balanced lifestyle can help you manage stress better. If you have trouble winding down, you may find that relaxation breathing, yoga or meditation can help.

5. Incorporate daily, moderate, physical activity. Even doing 2 -15 minute walks each day can make a difference. This is especially easy to do when holiday shopping! If you can’t get to a gym, try wearing a pedometer and increase your steps each day- (10,000 steps/day = 5 miles)

6. Watch the Liquid Calories: A martini contains about 275 calories, and 1 glass of wine has about 130 calories. Also watch out for all of the calories you might consume while you drink. Try substituting with a glass of sparkling water in between alcoholic beverages. Moderation for men is no more than 2 drinks per day and no more than 1 drink per day for women (wine: 5 oz, beer: 12 oz, liquor: 1.5 oz)

7. Plan ahead! It’s no so much of a lack of will power but a lack of preplanning. A great quote related to this is “failure to plan is planning to fail.” Think ahead and set realistic daily goals for yourself. Start thinking about making healthy food choices before you even walk into the party.

8. Portions, Portions, Portions– practice portion control: enjoy your favorite holiday foods but be mindful of your portions. Try eating slower or using smaller plates. Fill up ½ your plate with lower calorie items such as raw veggies or shrimp cocktail.

9.  Office Parties, leave the work talk in the office This is a chance to let your hair down, to meet coworkers’ spouses and significant others and children. Make the rounds and mingle with as many different people as you can. And whatever you do, don’t be that guy who brings up work stuff. No matter how fun your light-up Frosty tie is, you will be hated for this. Sales numbers and conference calls and brainstorming sessions can wait. People have lives outside of the office. You should too. Or you should fake it.

10. Rest and refresh. Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed at a regular time each day and practice good habits to get better sleepSleep restores both your mind and body. However, feelings of fatigue can still set in if you feel constantly rushed and overwhelmed when you are awake. Allow yourself some unfocussed time each day to refresh; for example, let your mind wander, daydream orsimply watch the clouds go by for a while. It’s OK to add ‘do nothing’ to your to-do list!

Do you have another healthy holiday eating tip we haven’t talked about yet?  If so, leave us a comment or a question.

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