Healthy Merry Christmas, Sherry Johnston, NBC The Biggest Loser
Christmas holidays are here! I have always loved them - the tree, mantel, the cards, the stockings and lights inside and out along with all the goodies, parties, special time with family and friends… Every Christmas, I watch It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and White Christmas. I remember as a little girl every year Santa brought me other things but always, always a baby doll and a new set of dishes to go in the little cabinet my Daddy built. And making homemade ornaments, cookies, even wrapping paper with my girls when they were young. Such wonderful memories…and each year I try to make some of those happen again. Traditions….
One thing that was never in my holiday thoughts was the word “healthy” in any way. I don’t just mean the foods I made or consumed but in lots of areas. In the constant quest to live a healthy lifestyle, I am always looking for ways to improve. Christmas time is no different.
Here are some I think are important:
Healthy finances. Setting my budget and sticking to it! – Many years I’ve spent so much more than I could ever afford in an effort to…what? I did it for many reasons and most of them had some emotional attachment to it especially after my husband passed away. It didn’t help anything but did put additional stress on my finances. I don’t do that any longer but this year, I have downloaded a Christmas list app on my phone that helps with my list and budget!!! There are several, check them out if you haven’t finished or started.
Cooking tips. I’m continuing to change recipes to make them a little healthier – there are lots of ways to do it and still make them delicious! One of my friends has a great book to help – Be Your Own Chef by Karen Blake Peek. In her book , she helps you “Find Substitutions in Every Recipe to Cook to Your Own Tastes”. I think it is a great must have for every kitchen and I refer to it often. Check it out at www.inspiredartofcooking.com where Karen continues to share not only cooking tips and recipes but a healthy dose of inspiration since she herself has overcome major health issues and circumstances! She also encourages others to see YOU CAN overcome too!
Eating smart. It is such a temptation when I go to parties to overeat especially those 100 “special” treats that you only see or make once a year. While I don’t abstain totally from everything, I walk into the party a little better prepared. I’m not hungry. I “pre-eat” before going. I don’t starve all day so I can eat everything at the party – I eat a healthy light meal before going. It helps me make better choices and not overindulge. I also try not to linger too long around the food to avoid the “graze” factor!
Sleep Enough. You know I’m passionate about sleep. It’s because I didn’t have quality sleep for years so I’m loving the rest I’m really getting now since I’m treating my obstructive sleep apnea! With so much going on during the holidays, the thing I used to cut is sleep! Staying out later, more often, or just up late wrapping, decorating or finishing those cards…. One of the best gifts I give myself is to get my sleep-you should too! It restores your body and you can be more effective to get everything done and really enjoy the season! Sleep is a beautiful thing!
Exercise helps. Like sleep, I tend to have days that it seems I can’t get everything done so exercise can slide down on the list but by taking at least 30 minutes to do something, I have more energy and get more accomplished! Also it helps burn those extras from the party the night before! Haha Here is one I did while at the Biggest Loser Resort Fitness Ridge earlier this year – www.biggestloserresort.com/blog/entry/blr-featured-class-treading
Manage Expectations. As wonderful as I dream the holidays to be, in the past I have set all those bars so high that I set myself up for some disappointment. You know, something “stuck” while cooking and the whole meal is ruined or family or friends may not “behave” as you hoped, or that special gift didn’t seem that special to someone else…. It’s being able to enjoy the moments you have with the people you love and going with the flow at times! I have to remember, it’s not all up to me.
I know many who have lost loved ones and are really struggling this Christmas season… I’ve been there… Please be kind to yourself, do what you feel you can and let others help you. (Visit www.griefshare.org for tips, help or to find a grief support group. I used Grief Share in my grief support groups for years and know it is very helpful.)
Give to others (those who can give nothing in return). This year especially with so many impacted from Storm Sandy and other problems, finding a way to give to someone else will bring more joy and peace than the most expensive gifts you could receive. Giving is what Christmas is about – that baby in that manager… Jesus… check it out for yourself at www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%202:1-20&version=NIV.
The days until Christmas are few but still time to make a difference and make memories with those you love both family and friends continuing traditions, adjusting them, or making new ones. There is still time to make even small changes to make it a healthy Merry Christmas.
Tell me some ways you are making these days healthier!
Remember, YOU CAN!