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The winter holiday parties are upon us… and in spite of following some good holiday tips to keep us on track with health and nutrition goals – a little eggnog here and some hors d’oeuvres there all seem to add up.  At this point some people just throw in the towel and give up. 2011 is another year – eat, drink and be merry now and January 2 will present an opportunity to get right back on track.

Just remember it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We are not perfect and one spicy-sugary drink, or a few bites of fatty food cannot bring you down unless you let it. It’s all about balance. And if you are trying to do well 90 percent of the time, you are doing well. Just remember to keep the 10 percent splurge rate to 10 percent. If it soars to 20 percent on any particular day – scale back to 10 and you won’t feel that you’ve thrown out all your good work for the past months. Your body will thank you for not making such a roller coaster out of what it has to process, and you will feel better about living a balanced life. No deprived feelings, just healthy choices.

Good luck! And for more support see my winter holiday season survival tips below. And in January, those in the Washington DC Metropolitan area can join me in a workshop on making resolutions called Make satisfaction in life the focus of your new year!

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  1. Keep up your exercise routines. Schedule exercise in your calendar. Make exercise a priority and hold yourself to it. It’s for you!
  2. No time to exercise? Try “occupational exercise! If you have a thousand things to do before house guests arrive, make cleaning your house your workout. Cleaning involves constant motion – bending, squatting, stretching, pushing and lifting. Does that sounding familiar? Aren’t these the same activities that we do when we go to the gym? What’s more, if you think about the physical benefits of cleaning, you might just make those bends and squats a bit deeper, and throw in a few more trips up and down stairs to retrieve cleaning supplies just for good measure. Try it; you’ll be breaking a bead (and breaking down fat cells) in no time!
  3. If you are entertaining, serve low-calorie favorites. Serve raw vegetables with a dip for an appetizer, a low-fat main course with one or two vegetables, and a fruit and low-fat cheese platter for dessert. Your guests will appreciate eating sensibly – remember they are being bombarded with the same holiday over-indulgence madness.
  4. Avoid skipping meals before a dinner party or big holiday meal. If you arrive starving, you are more likely to stuff yourself on unhealthy foods (including sweets).
  5. Strategically plan your arrival time at a party. Avoid the appetizers and before dinner high calorie drinks by arriving at mealtime for a dinner party.
  6. Prioritize – attend only the parties you really want to go to. You’ll save a lot of calories, time and stress.
  7. Be choosy about the foods available at holiday functions. There are usually a few acceptable healthy choices available to you. Concentrate on fresh vegetable or fruit plates, but don’t dabble too heavily in the sauces and dips. Mixed nuts can be good sources of protein, but be wary of candied nuts or extremely salty nut mixes.
  8. Do not deprive yourself, set realistic healthy eating goals. Do not restrict yourself so much that you crave every food offering you see. Allow yourself to indulge in some goodies at a holiday dinner or party by limiting yourself to smaller potions. Have only one glass of wine or Champagne, split a portion of dessert with a friend.
  9. Go for quality, not quantity. When you do indulge, pass up anything that doesn’t really excite and interest you. Take a small portion of what you love, and savor it by taking small bites and chewing completely. Slow way down, enjoy the moment.
  10. Avoid the hot chocolate. Many hot beverages are filled with sugar. There are plenty of herbal and fruit teas and infusions that are great alternatives. If you prefer your tea sweetened, use a little honey which helps build your immunity during cold and flu season.

Health & Nutrition Counseling

An integrative approach to health and nutrition which includes Earth consciousness.

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