Do you see what I see? List of tips everywhere offering ideas to stay out of trouble during the festive season.  Aren’t the holidays about getting into a bit of trouble? I hope so!  

I intend to enjoy my wine, Christmas stollen, and turkey dinner with gusto.  The season of celebration brings that out in me.

But I do want to keep you out of the ditch!  LOL! Here are my fun tips to survive this holiday season. 

I’m sending them with love, hugs and big fat holiday kisses.

Eat before you shop or party!  

That’s a rule in my house, and a pillar of true wellness.  When hunger or hydration levels drop you can get hangry – that miserable feeling of hunger mixed with stress, tiredness and crankiness. Your body is sending you a strong message that it needs something you forgot to give it – nutrition.  

The solution? Eat a small meal of greens, fat and protein 30 minutes to an hour before you hit the mall or attend a party.  Protein takes at least 2 ½ hours to break down during digestion, putting you fully into thermogenesis, or fat burning mode. Fat keeps you satiated for hours and the carbs from greens deliver energy.  The trifecta of nutrients work together to keep you balanced and happy. No more hangriness!

Forget about forgetting!  

You do need to eat regularly and I mean it! No forgetting to eat.  Skipping is for jump ropers not for Clean Eaters. Fuelling your body with regular meals helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels, keeping your body out of crisis and in balance.

Eat breakfast to start your day and fire up your metabolism.  Then have a meal every 3 hours afterwards. Not only will you stay calm, cool and collected in your LBD (little black dress) but you’ll be less likely to binge or gain weight.  

Water, water everywhere!  

Liquor, wine, fizzy drinks and coffee laced with peppermint syrup and whipped cream! These are the hallmarks of the festive season.  It’s how you celebrate but it pays to keep in mind that the minute you reach for any of these, you need to go double fisted.

Yes that’s right.  Fill your other hand with a tall glass of cool – water!!  Hydration offsets the dehydrating qualities of sweet, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.  Adequate hydration helps your body remain in a nourished state as well as maintaining your immune system, sustaining plump, healthy skin and helping your body take out toxins. 

Keep your glow glowing with plenty of water during the holidays. Three liters should do it.  Drink more if you consume those other beverages I mentioned.

Bring your own. 

Don’t want to eat what’s on the menu?  Bring the meal you know you’d eat. No host will ever say no to your offer to contribute to a festive meal.  The benefit of you preparing a dish yourself is that you know the ingredients that went into it, you know the nutritional quality and you can control what goes into the dish.  This way you can keep your dish in line with your own eating principles.

My favourite bring along dishes are a Toasted Pine Nut, Sweet Potato Salad and Turkey Meatballs.  Both are easy dishes to prepare and always clean! Your host will love your contribution too because maybe she’s stressed out too and needs to read this blog. Mwah!!  Pass it on please.

Squeeze, and I mean, squeeze in a workout even if you only have 15 minutes.  

Moving your body is magic for your mind, attitude and @$$.  Everybody knows how much I like to squeeze tightly toned glutes (all in fun people, all in fun) but don’t renege on getting your butt into gear. 

But seriously, working out improves your mood, even if the holidays depress you – which they do for many of us.  Exercise is the quickest way to elevate your mood at any time. Working out stimulates your brain to produce endorphins, neurotransmitters that make you feel kind of high.  Go for the high and move your body for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day.

Workouts totally saved my sanity during the dark years – you know what I mean here. That time spent in the gym helped me put much needed structure and meaning into my day. Every sweat session helped me come closer to myself, feel better about myself and my new reality.  

Expectations – less is more. 

The person who puts the most pressure on themselves over the holidays is you.  You’re the one who wants to make origami wrapping paper and winter scene decorations out of papier mache.  It’s the expectations that crush you.  

What would it feel like to release your tight grip on Holiday Hooplah and let the cheer of the season come to you?

This year my family and I are spending Christmas in Prince Edward County, away from the big city. Why? Because I just sold my home. I no longer have a 16’ dining table with elegant chairs. I don’t have 25 acres of forest in which to go for a nice long post Christmas dinner walk.  Everything is different now and instead of trying to make do and stress myself out of my mind, we, as a family decided to celebrate together in an AirBnB instead.  

Yes it will be different.  But Christmas is where the heart is.  Christmas, or any other celebration, for that matter, is where your hearts come together.  Where your family spends time in pj’s, sweats or dressed up, and enjoys sitting in that shared space together.

Allowing yourself to accept what is and let the rest go while staying truly present is the single most important gift you can give yourself.

Stay connected. 

It might sound silly to suggest you stay connected while your house is overrun with family members, small children, other people’s pets and relatives.  But this is the time to get real about who really matters in your life. Who are those people? Have you connected with them? Have you spent time with them, looked into their eyes, told them you love them? 

Making connections with people who matter to you by actually stopping your marathon holiday madness and being in the same quiet space with them, is powerful medicine for your heart.  Stop long enough to be fully present for that special time. Have coffee together. Go for a walk in nature. Share a special moment. Tell them what’s in your heart.

Then stay connected with yourself.  Do this through meditation, giving thanks and journaling.  This is what I so strongly advocate as one of the pillars of my powerful and revolutionary 3 E’s program.  Connection with yourself is one of the three pillars of wellness.  It makes you a whole, functioning person. Fully present and aware.

I am looking forward to a different Christmas this year, one I will spend not in our family home but somewhere with only big open arms to allow us to create new traditions for the holidays.

I wish you and yours joy and peace during the holidays.

Warmly and with great love,