Wendy Battles-Plasse

1. Plan your holiday social calendar. There are often too many invitations and only so much time. Think about what festivities are most important to you that you don’t want to miss. We tend to get run down when we say yes to everything, so choose wisely and learn to say no.

2. Build in time to relax at home. We’re often on the go during the holidays but there’s ample joy in staying home and doing simple things with your family – decorating the tree, playing games, cooking together. How and when will you carve out time for the activities you enjoy most?

3. Eat something light before arriving at a holiday party. Have you ever arrived at a party, famished from hunger and ready to eat anything and everything in sight? Studies show that when you can eat something light before arriving, it takes the edge off your hunger and helps you make better choices once you’re there.

4. Choose food wisely when socializing. Once you arrive at a party and see the bounty before you, take some mental notes about what you’d like to sample and make a plan. Go for variety and sampling instead of huge portions. Take a break in between plates to digest your food and determine if you want and need more.

5. Drink up…water that is. Yes it’s true, many of us tend to imbibe more than usual during the holidays. It’s a fun and festive time when we’re together with family and friends. The key, however, is to balance your cocktails with plenty of water in between – it helps manage the calorie intake and ensures you stay hydrated.

6. Cook with your waistline in mind. There are simple ways to cook delicious dishes that are full of flavor but not calories and fat. Roast or steam holiday vegetable dishes for maximum flavor and health, then season with your favorite herbs. Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes or substitute natural sweeteners like agave nectar or pure maple syrup. Use low fat milk instead of heavy cream. Making small adjustments can make all the difference.

7. Exercise during the holidays. It doesn’t mean that you need to run a marathon or maintain your regular routine to the tee but it’s important to be in motion. It could be as simple as planning extra time at the mall to walk around…you’re there anyway, so why not? Doing an exercise DVD, taking a yoga class and using handheld weights are just a few examples of simple solutions when time is at a premium.

8. Be gentle with yourself and others. It’s easy to beat yourself up over all the things you said you were going to do during the holidays but didn’t get to. Let it go and give yourself a break. Appreciate yourself for all that you do for family and friends and trust that you’re doing a great job. Create a few simple affirmations to remind you such as, “I create a joyous and relaxing environment to celebrate the holidays,” or “I navigate the holiday season feeling relaxed and at ease.”

9. Get quiet. With the flurry of activity during the holidays, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Dealing with relatives, planning special events for the kids, cooking, cleaning, and decorating can leave you feeling flat out exhausted. Schedule time in for yourself and begin to figure out how you can get quiet and centered amidst the chaos.

10. Remember to breathe. Ever notice that you hold your breath when you’re nervous, anxious or stressed? It’s a natural reaction to be a shallow breather. Practice taking slow, gentle belly breaths to help you relax.

wendy battles plasse

Wendy is teaching two free teleclasses this week and next about prepping for the holidays and would like to extend a welcome to all of you, please see her teleclass schedule below.

Call #1: Thursday, December 11, 8-9 pm ET
Outwit Holiday Overeating and Overspending

Learn simple techniques and tools to navigate the holidays with both your waistline and bottom line intact. From how to eat less at parties and avoid temptation to how to emerge from the holidays debt free, you won’t want to miss this call! Who can’t use that during these challenging economic times?

Click here to register.

Call #2: Thursday, December 18, 8-9 pm ET
Healthy Holiday Meals on the Cheap: Happily Mind the Bottom Line

Have a budget for your holiday meal planning and parties? Now’s the time to devise it and plan delicious and healthy meals that won’t break the bank when friends and family come over. Learn a simple approach to healthy holiday meal planning that you can’t help but love.

Click here to register.

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