Monthly Archives: December 2012

WritersButt Wenesday – 5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Sabotage

Casa Calem Christmas Eve 2011

Casa Calem Christmas Eve 2011 — the whole crew gathered for the annual Tortilla Soup Fiesta! 

One of the most common things is for people to derail themselves from their healthy habits during the holiday season. It’s not just Christmas or Chanukah either. No, this veering off the tracks starts back in October with Halloween. The candy and treats, the colder weather and wearing more clothes. Then comes Thanksgiving, the holiday of eating indulgence. Before we know what’s happened, we’re into December, candy canes and sugar plums. Christmas cookies and eggnog. Avoiding the outdoors to snuggle in front of a warm fire with a hot toddy.

For the record, I’m all for the hot toddy in front of the fire. 

How can you get through all of these temptations and still enjoy the many traditional indulgences that come with the holiday festivities without feeling terribly sluggish and mushy come January? I have some ideas to help with that!

Here are my top 5 TIPS to help you avoid a complete self-sabotage of all the great WritersButt habits you’ve incorporated into your life the past year. (Can you believe WB is almost a year old?)

1. 1:1 ‘Drink’ to Water ratio

There are going to be parties where the libations will be free flowing. It’s easy to forget to drink your water and stay hydrated. Also, having enough water will keep you from having that hangover feeling come morning. Talk about a holiday hum-bug. So, for every drink, follow it with a large glass of water. Also, choose a small glass for your alcoholic beverage and ‘nurse’ it. Let yourself enjoy it without racking up the sugar-calories of the beverage. Finally and this is a biggie – designate a driver! It’s ok to have a few drinks now and again at a party. But, if the party is not at your place where all you have to do is crash into bed, don’t be the driver!

2. Choose Indulgences Wisely

Ok, there are going to be a ton of treats and goodies. You don’t have to go hog-wild and have ALL of them. I’m sure some are your favorites. Indulge in them and with some quantity restraint. Here’s a trick that I do. For our traditional Thanksgiving meal, I really love stuffing and mashed potatoes. I never eat this sort of thing and I know it’s going to taste wonderful the one or two times I have it a year. But, I dish it last! First I fill my plate with salad and veggies and meat. I only leave a little room for a small spoonful of stuffing and little dollop of potatoes. I also eat the salad, veggies and meat first. By the time I get to the ‘treats’, I’m already pretty full and just those few tastes are enough.  Same goes for cookies and cakes. Resist trying them all. Pick your very favorites, break the cookie in half, slice a very thin piece, whatever works so that you get a taste but it won’t amount to so much your pants won’t fit by New Years.  At a party, fill up on veggies and dip before moving on to the breads and sugary choices. Sweep the room and decide what is worth your indulgence, eat the healthy stuff first and then indulge away once you’re already a bit full.

3. Griswold Parking

If you’re like me, you’ll be out and about in the month of December whether it be Christmas shopping or what feels like daily trips to the grocery store. Don’t even try to get a spot up front. Do yourself and your behind a favor and park as far away from the entrance as you can. Not only will there likely be a spot back there, saving you the frustration of trying not to run over a little old lady shuffling down the lane with her cart, not getting out of the way at all, but you’ll likely get into the store faster. Bigger bonus, you can get in a little extra exercise. And don’t be meandering about it. Pick up the pace, get your feet moving. Trust me, the extra 100 feet of walking won’t kill you. I promise!

4. Walk it out / Talk it out

The holidays are about family, traditions and blessings. So often we all get crammed up in our houses, maybe watching TV/sports, or falling asleep on the couch from food overload. How about taking a family walk. We did just that this past Thanksgiving and it was awesome. After dinner, a large group of us went a long walk through the neighborhood. (Note: we are in TX and it was temperate but hey, you northerners do own parkas and boots, right? Bundle up!) Not only was the fresh air wonderful, the exercise helped digest our food and the best thing is that we had some great discussions on our walk because there weren’t any other distractions around like TV, computer, phones.  I know this will become a family tradition.

5. Gold Star List

You know I encourage you all to write down 3-5 daily gratitudes in a journal before bed. Well, another thing you can add to your journal are whatever healthy choices you made that day – your GOLD STAR items! I’m a sucker for a gold star. I want them. They make me feel good. You can even pick up some star stickers next time you’re out and put them in your journal and next to the star list your healthy choices. Example: *Ate fresh veggies with hummus instead of a block of cheese and ritz crackers. *Opted to be the designated driver – took photos of Aunt Edna drinking wine from the bottle with a straw for future blackmail needs. *Parked in next town over and walked to Target.  Think I’m ready for CrossFit.

The point is to enjoy the holiday season without waking up on January 1st 1-2 sizes larger and feeling regretful. To completely abandon your healthy habits and not reign in your indulgences will likely leave you sluggish, moody, with indigestion issues and skin breakout – yes, even adults!

You really can have fun –and have some treats- without completely abandoning healthy living.

Do any of you have any healthy tips to share? I’d love to hear them.

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