Planning a Healthy
Plan your self-care routine.
· Plan some “me-time” in your daily calendar. Maintaining your foundation of healthy habits is especially important over the next few weeks. Don’t look at these basic self-care habits as optional.
· Eat well and don’t skip the “good for you” stuff. Limit your caffeine, sugar, fat and alcohol, while indulging in lean protein, fruits, veggies and whole grains. Don’t forego the “good stuff” to indulge in the “all-the-extra-stuff.” Consider planning your menus and make things ahead to store in the freezer.
· Be active. Whether you do it all at once or in small increments, make physical activity part of your daily calendar. Doing less is better than doing nothing at all.
· Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep will help you maintain your weight, your emotional wellness and your health. If you have a difficult time getting to sleep, limit your caffeine intake after lunch and give yourself some down-time to relax before bedtime.
Plan your time.
· Create a master calendar of events and activities that you want to do this holiday season.
· Organize your time by ranking items as high, moderate and low priority. Focus first on the high priority items. Review your low priority items and remove them from your list, if possible. Reschedule commitments and appointments that can wait until after the holidays.
· Work to maintain your personal and time boundaries. Learn when to say “no”, if necessary. Don’t overextend your holiday commitments.
· Share household responsibilities with your family. Trying to be everything to everyone causes burnout.
Plan your finances.
· Create a financial budget for gifts, travel and activities…then stick to it.
· Communicate your plan to your family and friends.
· Start a holiday savings account for next year.
· Examine your current expenses to see what is absolutely necessary.
· Look for creative gift ideas that your friends and family will appreciate and value that don’t cost you anything, like an exchange-a-favor gift. For example, trade off babysitting duties with other families. Volunteer to do household chores for elderly family members, single friends or overworked couples. Offer your skills (like cooking, cleaning, construction work, trade labor, etc.) to a friend or family member.
Plan for simplicity.
· Shop for gifts online or by mail.
· Plan for holiday parties at a local restaurant, or organize a potluck dinner instead of doing all the food preparation.
· Take advantage of pre-cut produce and ready-prepared foods whenever possible.
· Remember that saying “no” is an option.
· Free yourself from technology for at least one hour each day (i.e. computers, pagers, cell phones, wireless handheld devices, pda’s, etc.)
Plan for health in the year ahead.
· Give a gift that supports good health in the year ahead (or give suggestions if friends and family are asking for ideas for you). Here are great ideas for giving wellness for the holidays:
Dumbbell or weight set
Exercise or walking music CD
Fitness ball with training DVD
Fitness center membership
Fruit-of-the-month club membership
Gift card from produce markets
Gift card from sporting goods stores
Indoor or outdoor bicycle
In-home walking DVD set
Pedometer or wireless activity monitor
Heart rate monitor
Personal trainer gift certificate
Resistance bands set
Other home exercise equipment
Subscription to health magazines
Subscription to healthy cooking magazines
Plan an easy recipe to take to parties.
Our Marinated Crudités recipe will add a little sophistication, variety and lots of flavor to your holiday parties. Preparation is super easy, and it’s a great make-and-take recipe. Explore the produce section of your favorite grocery store and look for less conventional fresh vegetables to use, like whole green beans, sugar snap peas, baby squash, yellow or red pepper strips, broccoflower and Daikon radish. Mix colors and textures for a winning recipe.
8 to 10 cups assorted fresh vegetables
1 large bottle low-fat Red Wine Vinaigrette or Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Wash and cut vegetables into bite size pieces or leave whole, if appropriate. Place vegetables in a non-metallic covered container or zip-lock bag, and pour dressing over vegetables. Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or up to 24 hours before serving. Drain vegetables thoroughly and place on a serving platter or vegetable tray. Makes one large vegetable tray.