Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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The 12 Days of a Healthier Holiday Season

Dec 13, 2012

Each day, try one of these ideas to help you de-stress during the holidays

DAY 1:  Buy a home workout DVD today such as Sit and Be Fit or Walk at Home. Working out at home requires minimal equipment and can help you lose weight; lower cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure; and gives you an overall sense of well-being.

DAY 2:
  Skip the high fat, high sugar dessert today. Eat a serving of fresh fruit, especially one you may have not tried before.

DAY 3:
  Say Good Morning (and mean it) to someone you do not know. You never know, your cheery greeting may change their day and yours for the better.

DAY 4:
  Plant some fresh herbs such as basil or parsley, which are pretty hardy and grow well with minimal care. You can start either from a seed or go to a quality nursery and buy plants to re-pot. Fresh herbs add great taste to your favorite foods and help you to reduce salt intake.

DAY 5:
  Sing in the shower.  Turn on the radio or tape player really loudly and sing along to help put you in a better mood and clear your head and lungs.

DAY 6:
 Eat slowly. Count to yourself and chew each bite 10 times, savoring the flavor. Think about why you enjoy that particular food. If you are not enjoying it, you might want to reconsider eating it.

DAY 7: Write a note (handwritten card or e-mail ) to an old friend. Share a favorite memory you have of them. It can brighten your day as well as theirs.

DAY 8: 
Buy an 8 inch plate. Studies have shown that eating off a smaller plate promotes eating smaller amounts. Either scout out a colorful plate at a local thrift shop or browse at an upscale store for a discount on a single plate.  Or buy 2 and share with your significant other.

DAY 9:
Take a walk after dinner – rather than plopping down on the couch or bed to watch a movie, explore a new area. 

DAY 10:
  Offer to bring a healthy dish to a holiday party.  Look for a new recipe that is lower in fat or overall calories. Use the low fat version of sour cream or cream cheese. Try using fresh veggies as a dipper.

DAY 11:
  Find fun in trivial things.  While sitting in traffic, rather than becoming annoyed by delays, try to make a sentence or rhyme using the first letters of the license plates around you.  For example, the other day I found a car with my sister’s initials and birthday month.  Crazy but it helps you keep you calm and can invoke good memories.

DAY 12:
  Make a realistic list of things you want to accomplish today.  Planning ahead can help to prevent last minute emergencies, which will only add to your stress.

Try these daily tips for yourself and be sure to share with your clients and friends.  Give YOURSELF a gift this holiday season and choose to be more healthy.  Remember, yesterday is over, tomorrow is yet to come – that is why they call today the PRESENT.

Wishing you a peaceful holiday season and prosperous New Year!!


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  1. Dec 16, 2012

    Barbara, Thank you so much for this great and simple tips on ways to stay healthy during the holidays! I'll be sure to share with my patients. Even I will use a couple of them myself. Happy Holidays!
  2. Dec 13, 2012

    Absolutely love this! Made me smile! Actually, I am about to do #4! Purchased a kit with 7 different types of herbs to grow (purchased it in June!!). It is on my "get done before the new year" list! Your blog has encouraged me to get it done. Thanks and Merry Christmas! Kellie

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