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 end-of-year calendar – “red” as in “stressful” – but we all know that’s a miscalculation. It’s not just a couple of anxiety-making November and December holidays. People are coping with an extraordinarily stressful two-month-long holiday season.
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.
From the fattening egg nog and endless piles of treats to stressful family gatherings and strenuous outdoor chores — there are plenty of reasons why the holiday season can be tough on your ticker.
How can you be kind to your heart this holiday season? Here are a few tips to live by:
The winter holidays can seem like a fat trap for dieters. From Thanksgiving’s “eat all you can” celebration to the cookie exchanges to the mega-mall food court to the “try this” holiday party buffets, it’s one temptation after another. Think weight gain is inevitable? Not if you plan ahead!
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