Ready, set… find the perfect gift for your sister, mail cards to 30 relatives, frost cookies for the school bake sale, hang three jumbo-sized storage tubs-worth of decorations, make spinach dip for the neighborhood potluck party. Tired yet? The holidays are jam-packed with activity, leaving you little time to sit down for a breather let alone make it to the gym for an hour-long workout.
One evening at dinner, when my children were particularly whiny and ungrateful, as children have a tendency to do sometimes, I decided to have everyone in the family say what was their favorite part of the day. We went around the table, and if anyone slipped into a complaint or a comparison instead of putting forth a positive thought, they had to start over. And the favorite part of the day cannot involve something that could hurt another’s feelings, such as, “My favorite part of the day was when Sarah left,” because siblings are prone to this type of thing.
In an ideal world, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner would be a warm, festive experience, where everyone remains sober, no one brings up old family feuds, and children sit with their napkins in their laps and chew with their mouths closed. I wish this kind of Normal Rockwell holiday upon everyone and everyone I know…but I am betting that if you’re like most of us, Aunt Jane will drink too much wine, your kids will last all of 10 minutes before someone has a meltdown or breaks heirloom crystal, and your little sister will accuse you of ruining her life. (Again.)
You may have circled a couple of red-letter days on your calendar—days you know are going to be stressful. Maybe you’ve got a deadline approaching at work, a dental appointment or a wedding to attend. During these times, at least we’re able to plan ahead, implementing coping techniques and relying on support from family and friends.
With Thanksgiving in a few weeks, we’re getting into the full swing of the holiday season. You may already have party invitations in the mail and travel plans on the calendar. Do you feel a bit worried about getting it all done while managing to stay fit and still enjoying the special occasions that come only once a year?
It’s definitely possible to have a healthy holiday season without having to deprive yourself of goodies and special treats. Here are a few guidelines to help get you through:
Spring is in the air! What better way to celebrate the start of the season than to surprise your family with a fun, healthy treat? These moist and spicy carrot muffins are studded with plump raisins (or dried cranberries—your choice!) then topped with organic shredded coconut to create mini “birds’ nests.” Decorate them with organic jellybeans or use my recipe for raw macaroons to create your own candied “eggs.”
I’m going to be perfectly honest here, I LOVE SPRING. The sun is out earlier and longer, the weather warms up and my favorite plum trees out in front of my house blossom with incredible pink flowers that brighten every morning. My family celebrates Easter, which traditionally centered around candy-filled baskets and a big feast with ham as the centerpiece.
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