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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Wellness Tip #9

Make Sure Your Food is Safe

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f32/58888422/files/2014/12/img_3709.jpgEnjoying food with family and friends is one of the highlights of the holiday season and frequently everyone wants to join in to help, but too many cooks in the kitchen can result in an increased risk of foodborne illness.

Wash hands before, during and after food preparation. Proper hand washing may eliminate a large percentage of food poisoning cases. Also, remember to your wash hands when switching tasks.

Keep kitchen surfaces such as appliances, countertops, cutting boards and utensils clean throughout meal preparation with hot, soapy water.

Refrigerate perishable food within two hours of being served to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. This is especially important when serving buffets.

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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Wellness Tip #8

Here is today’s holidays wellness tip…During this busy holiday season, don’t forget to be in the present!

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8. Be in the Present

Is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season making your life feel like a blur lately? Maybe you’re putting up holiday decorations with your family but thinking about your to-do list or wishing you had handled a conflict differently.

I always want to be “present” for the month of December, but between the holiday preparation, the parties, and the To Do lists, I often feel like I rush and rush and suddenly find myself in January, scratching my head and wondering where the holiday season went.

As a result of all this commotion, it can be very easy to get distracted from what is supposed to be the true meaning of the holiday season. Learning how to be in the moment (mindfulness) can help lower stress.

Mindfulness training teaches you to observe what’s going on in your life, instead of worrying about the future or fretting about the past. Simply paying attention to the present moment can give you a sense of renewal. After all, it takes energy to feed all of that mental chatter.

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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Wellness Tip #7

The holiday season is upon us. While this season is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, the holiday season can also bring unwanted stress!

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7. Think Positive

The holiday season can be a time of joy, but it can also be hectic and stressful. Many times holiday stress can lead to fatigue, financial worries, treating others you love unkindly, burn out, and in some instances not even enjoying this season at all! That’s why it’s so important to be optimistic.

Unlike many other types of negative stress we encounter in life, holiday stress is predictable. We know when holiday stress will begin and end, which allows us to make plans to reduce the amount of stress we experience and the negative impact it has on us. Don’t let the holidays drive you to your breaking point. Focus on the good rather than the bad. Negative thinking can trigger your body’s stress response, just like a real threat does.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f32/58888422/files/2014/12/img_3665-0.jpgRemember, the holiday season is a time to celebrate with your family and friends (even if they do stress you out!). An optimistic outlook will help you cope with challenges that come your way. So, relax. Don’t let stress suck the joy out of your holiday season.

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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Wellness Tip #6

For many of us, the holidays are as stressful as they are fun. Starting with Thanksgiving and going all the way until New Year’s Day, these months are filled with special occasions, eating temptations and family obligations. When you add these things on top of time-consuming efforts to eat better and get more exercise, you can end up feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and defeated.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f32/58888422/files/2014/12/img_3657.jpgToday’s holiday wellness tip helps you stay healthy during this stressful time. Your immune system is very important part of your overall health and wellness. After all, your immune systems functions as your own personal army, it guards your body against attacks from invaders (like bacteria, fungi, and viruses), and defends you against infections!

6. Boost Your Immune System

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f32/58888422/files/2014/12/img_3656.jpgThere’s nothing more stressful during the holidays than coming down with a cold or the flu. To protect yourself during the winter months, make sure you’re getting ample fruit and vegetables in your diet, staying very well hydrated, getting enough sleep and washing your hands often. And get a flu shot to protect yourself from the most common strains of the flu virus.

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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Wellness Tip #5

Eat Before You Go
Another strategy to use during the holidays is to fill your stomach with good lean foods before going to a party where you know you’ll be tempted. Just like mom always told us, be sure to eat before you go to a social event or holiday party. If you fill your belly with healthy treats before you head out to your event, it can help reduce the amount of calories you would normally ingest with less desirable high calorie treats! This is one rule that I personally live by all year round.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f32/58888422/files/2014/12/img_3649.jpgOn the day of a party, be sure to eat regularly all day long. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before hand (just as you would on any other day). Once you are at the party, allow yourself that one drink or that one dessert (whatever you’ve decided you want) and then stop! You won’t be tempted to eat too much of those unplanned foods if you eat something healthy beforehand.

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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Wellness Tip #4

The holidays are here! The air is getting cooler, leaves are changing colors, and the weather is crisper. This is my absolute favorite time of year; time for enjoying the season, and all the food and festivities that go along with it! There are usually lots of parties and family gathering planned. With that being said, here is my 4th holiday wellness tip:

Plan Ahead:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f32/58888422/files/2014/12/img_3559.jpgWrite down all of your holiday parties on a calendar so you can see them at a glance. How are they spaced? Are they a few days apart, or two or three weeks apart from each other? This is important to see up front because you can use your fun holiday parties as days when you allow yourself a weekly cheat meal.

If your parties are clustered too closely together, then decide what you’ll allow yourself at each one and stick to it. For example, bite-sized appetizers tend to be around 60 calories each, so be selective about which ones you eat. And keep in mind the Rule of Thirds: allow yourself a protein that covers about one-third of your plate, add in about a fist-sized portion of vegetables (they contain fiber and will help to fill you up from eating too many calorie-rich, non-nutritious foods), and finally, allow another fist-sized portion of carbohydrates.

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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Wellness Tip #3

The holiday season can be enough to derail even the most dedicated exerciser. With that being said, here are some suggestions to keep you motivated and disciplined and to help you stay fit through New Year’s.

3. Make Fitness a Priority

IMG_3550.JPGYou’re busy, you’re stressed, it’s chilly out … so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year? Slacking off on your fitness program during the holidays will only leave you with more pounds (and more stress) in the new year.

It is important to take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out. It is important to keep fitness a priority in your schedule.

Increase your time management skills over the holiday season. Organize your day the evening before. Prioritizing your tasks beforehand will help you find time to exercise. Each week, make it a priority to fit in at least three exercise sessions. If you don’t have a gym membership, try bodyweight exercise routines.

Bodyweight routines are exercises that need no equipment and can be done in your own home. There are many types of bodyweight routines, such as yoga, pilates, and aerobics. So, pop in a fitness DVD or download a workout on your MP3 player to get you going.