Hello, my friends and Happy Holidays!
What a wonderful time it is with lights and magic even adults can’t miss it.
My family and I love this time of year. You know, eating, drinking, being merry, no school, less work, kids and toys, family and love, decorations, and I’ll be honest it saddens me to see the stress out there around such possibilities. There’s too much stress in the world to add to it on holidays. In our home, we generally don’t stress much. I know that’s odd to some and typical to others – but we are happy to exchange traditions and learn from each other.
So, our family has adopted a rather laid-back way of enjoying this festive season. We do something as big a most movie miracles. We spend three days with Dwayne Johnson, the Rock. Wow, does he put on a season! Okay! We don’t see the Rock, but don’t blame us; we invite ourselves every year. The good news is, we do not stress as we have no celebrities to mingle or buy gifts for! No large muscles to hang mistletoe.
Okay, kidding aside, we simply have learned to enjoy what we have even in the difficult years. But the saying “Happy Holidays, is an oxymoron. For many, there is little happy or much holi. Therefore, my brave holiday friends, it’s time to take your holidays back! Seize the season, sack the stress, regroup the holi to days, and just enjoy the cookies. It’s possible.
Our traditions are around Hannukkah, but this year we put up Christmas lights for our 6-year old neighbor. The whole idea was fun to join with others and make the holidays something to remember.
Try the list below. It’s our holiday family commandments. If all but one or two work, it will be enough to make this year that much better.
‘Tis the season to be generous. It’s old news that food is connected to more than our forks. We strive to feel good, be happy, satisfied, be a part of things. And sometimes, we overeat because of the imbalances surrounding our lives. Generosity is a strong house, built upon a rock – and it actually helps balance our lives. Anything positive we build upon is a defense against those annoying little weak moments that sometimes control us.
Being generous doesn’t mean spending tons of money. It can mean, writing a poem for someone, offering homemade treats, tell others how you feel about them with generous communication, offer to help with errands, cleaning, cooking, or whatever you’re able to do. The more fulfilled we are the less likely we are to eat for the wrong reasons.
Use the 1-2-3 System.
When reaching for sugar or any dangerous foods, use the 1- 2- 3 System:
1, name one healthy thing you could eat in its place.
2, name two reasons why you’ll love yourself if you don’t eat this item.
3, name three times in the near future, when you’ll be reaching for more of this item.
Then decide if you’ll eat more now or later. And maybe go for # 1.
Take the time to enjoy food before you eat it and eat slow.
I can’t tell you how many people are amazed how well this works.
Take a close look at the scrumptious food on your plate. How does it smell, feel, how gorgeous does it look, who made everything, then taste very slowly as you begin to eat, enjoy every bite, put your utensil down between some of the bites, or set your cookie down when you have eaten half of it while you sip tea. Conversate with someone, take deep breaths between bites, the kind no one will notice, or pause to enjoy the moment of appreciation between bites.
This practice results in eating much less and relaxing your stomach as you eat. Did you know, the more stressed you are the less likely you are to loose weight even when trying. Part of eating is enjoying, smelling, tasting, and thinking about what you’re eating. When you gobble up your food in the excitement, your body takes a few minutes to realize how much you’ve eaten and will desire more before it realizes you’re full. Taking your time gives your mind time to catch up with the stomach. We need emotional connection and physical experience to satisfy our minds as much as our stomachs.
Bundle up with someone.
It’s cold out. If you’re in a warm climate, well, remember it’s cold somewhere, so cuddle up, it’s healthy, relaxing, comforting, and fun!
Don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks, just be yourself. When you spend time worrying about what others think, you’re not focusing on you.
Take 10 minutes between second helpings.
Back to the eating slow so our brains can catch up with our stomachs; after finishing your first course or having appetizers, take a 10-minutes break. Conversate with others, look at the decorations, have a glass of water or cup of tea without tons of sugar, of course. Then recheck your hunger cravings. You’ll discover by the end of the event, you ate less, and felt better. Plus, just think, cutting back even twenty percent of your holiday binging is excellent.
Don’t eat before you go to a party!
It’s written all over the internet: “Eat before you go to a party.” Unless everything served is a block of Velveeta cheese, question the suggestions to eat before the party. Really *@!!
If you have to eat before, what kind of fun it that? It’s a party. How often do you have the chance to break bread with friends and family! If they are the right kind of friends and family, they will not want you to eat before you come.
Enjoy yourself, don’t imagine you will not overindulge, just set the bar to a goal that you can’t miss. (See the next tip for details.)
Build better relationships and enjoy your life! Being honest about your desire to take care of your body has become a fad now. Most people will appreciate your ability to be straightforward. It builds trust and a sense of worth between those you care about.
So, if you’re going to conquer the war, you must face the enemy, and food is going to be in your life always, plan, and give it less control over you.
Create that mini-goal lifestyle and don’t diet.
I absolutely despise Diets of any kind. There, I said it. I know I’m a health expert and I’m supposed to believe in eating all the right foods, but fuck it — I have never seen any diet work. I’ve never seen motivation, pressure or guilt create long-lasting results!
It’s an awful feeling to diet, and I’m living proof that understanding yourself and your body is the only diet you need. I’ll be honest. When you understand why all the bullshit in life is just that, and that it’s not worth it to blow your mind on yet another goal that will fail. It becomes easier.
If you desire to be healthy, lose weight, or just get on board with eating food that tastes better. The first thing to do is stop! Stop thinking about food in such a complicated way. Create mini-goals or mini-habits that will take you through this coming year with success.
I just helped three people lose over 22 pounds without a diet, without trying, with a simple focus — STOP thinking about it and focus on what matters. And, what matters, is different for each person. If you tell me a little about you, I can help – and below is how mini-goals are structured. Try them.
A mini-goal is a no-pressure goal! It works!!! It’s habit change that builds your goals into a new life. It’s creating a life that kicks the ass of the diet without you thinking about it.
An example of a mini-goal would be that each time you approached the buffet and chose the items you want to eat, that you take one less. But, the item you gave up, it can be eaten the next time you’re at the buffet table.
That’s no pressure. Don’t laugh; you’ll be surprised how many times you won’t return for that item you gave up, and how your tiny effort will turn into better and better habits. Ones, you will feel no pain in creating for long-term change. The secret will rely upon never changing the original goal of no pressure. You won’t need to.
I have a mini-goal of five minutes of exercise three times a week. I never do under forty-five minutes and I usually work out more than three times a week, but it’s a fantastic feeling to know I’m only required to do five minutes. Yes, I’ve fooled myself – and hilariously, it works! Motivation doesn’t work, torture is out, punishing myself is never going to happen, I got tried bribing myself with my favorite show that I couldn’t see unless I was exercising, ha! That didn’t work either – and real talk about how if I don’t exercise, my arteries will explode made me want to eat cake! But that stupid mini-goal keeps me exercising, and now it’s a habit ingrained in me. I don’t even have to try! It’s like an alien inside of me putting me on that machine, and it’s even fun.
Don’t go in blind.
Know what items are worse than others. If eggnog is a favorite, then have half a glass or surprise your guests with the ingredients to make some fabulous drinks like Berry Holliday Cocktail bellow. The calories are much lower than typical mixed drinks loaded with sugar syrups.
Berry Holiday Cocktail
Berries, such as raspberry, strawberry or blackberry, blueberries, or cherries. (fruit must be sweet, or you’ll have to increase the honey syrup.)
8-12 small berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries. Or, 4-6 large berries (strawberries, cherries.)
2 teaspoon simple honey syrup or to taste
1 ½ ounces club soda
1 ounce citrus-flavored or plain vodka
½ ounce lemon juice
1 fresh mint leaf
In a shaker, smash the berries well to get the juice out of them. Stir in the honey syrup, lemon juice, and mint. Shake well. Add the vodka and club soda. Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with more berries and mint.
In a small pan over medium-high heat, combine equal parts honey and water. Whisk as the mixture completely dissolves over the heat. Transfer to a glass jar, cool, and seal tightly with lid. The more honey you use, the thicker the syrup and stronger in flavor it will be. (I sometimes use 1 cup of honey to 1/3 cup of water) Honey is blended with water to prevent it from sticking to the ice cubes and not melting in drinks. I use straight honey as well, but it’s annoying.
Make something different and create anchors.
If you want things to change in your life, create anchors. Anchors help remind us of our desires to improve our lives.
This year, I’m making dried fruit balls. I know, terrible name, if you have suggestions, let me know. It’s a fruit cake without the cake, but better. Here’s the recipe and you don’t need exact measurements. Golden raisins, dates, raw nuts (roasted if you really love them), shredded coconut, and lemon juice. Chop or grind the fruit, nuts, part of the coconut, and lemon juice, but not to a paste, just enough to stick together, and roll into balls, then dip them in dark chocolate and roll them in coconut, finely chopped nuts, powdered sugar, or cocoa. It’s still healthy and very yummy.
Tell yourself the fruit balls are your anchor to a healthy change. Not that you have to eat them over pie. They are what they are. As the holiday season progresses, eat them and smile, knowing they are a secret anchor of yours. A secret note to yourself that you are eating better. They will have a strangely positive effect without any further explanation. I don’t have to explain how they will keep you from eating one less slice of pie or ham, turkey and so on… or that they will make you smile.
Yeah, it’s cliché, but really be thankful.
Stay warm; it’s cold out! Careful driving! And Enjoy the holidays, my friends. Raise a glass and remember we only live once, so take care of your health, but take care of your spirit too.
And watch for my detox post. We all need a good detox regardless of how good we were over the holiday season.
I’ve got some great ones, here’s a preview of orange, ginger, and turmeric.
Happy Happy Holidays,
So much in life sucks - but it’s workable, especially when you join others! Join our subscribers and get a free eBook “Three Secrets To Waking Up Like New,” just fill in your email below.