Welcome to my Twelve Days of Healthy Christmas! Here are some gift ideas, tips and tricks to make your Christmas a little healthier.

On the First Day of Christmas…

Tip 1: Be the one who brings the super awesome looking & tasty healthy food to the party. Try fruit kabobs or veggies in a small cup with hummus in the bottom to give your dish a little pizzazz!

Gift Idea: The Kitchen Aid Mini Food Processor was something I received a few years ago as a gift. It is, hands down, one of the most hardworking items in my kitchen. Everything from making smooth guacamole to taking care of onions and garlic in a jiffy.

On the Second Day of Christmas…

Tip 2: Slow down your pace. Decide what really matters and focus on that. Politely say no to the invitations that add stress to your life.

Gift Idea: A warm cup of tea, a cozy fire and a good book – all the ingredients needed for a quiet night at home. One of my favourite teas is Epicure’s Turmeric & Ginger Tea. Settles the tummy, aids in digestion and tastes great!

On the Third Day of Christmas…

Tip 3: When going to a party, eat something healthy and drink a big glass of water before leaving home. This way, you won’t be ravenous when you get there and end up eating 5 too many cream puffs!

Gift idea: Glass water bottles are the best! No chemicals from plastic and no metal taste from stainless steel. Life Factory’s Water Bottle has a protective sleeve that has proven itself extremely durable on a few occasions around here!

 

On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

Day 4: Make memories with your family. Many of our holiday traditions revolve around food. Try something new like an outdoor activity that involves the whole family. What about a snowman making contest, tobogganing on Christmas Eve or an extended family wide game of hide and seek after the big feast? Tonight, our family will be attending an outdoor nativity production.

Gift Idea: As a family, write down ideas for family fun on a piece of paper and put into a jar. When you have a few moments to spare, take turns drawing something out of the jar to do as a family. Evening walks, charades, baking cookies or an evening parade are some suggestions… What are some of your favourite family activities?

 

On the Fifth Day of Christmas…

Day 5: Make sure you eat lots of veggies and fruit! We should be aiming for 8 to 10 servings. The reality is that we will tend to eat more unhealthy foods during the month of December than any other month. Treat yourself well and eat food that gives good nourishment.

Gift Idea: One of my favourite ways to eat veggies and fruits is in smoothies. I love loading the spinach in a morning smoothie. Add in 6-8 frozen chunks of mango, a small banana, 1 inch peeled fresh ginger, 1 tbsp chia seeds and a splash of orange juice. Add water as needed to get the right consistency. Use the Ninja Professional Blender to blend it up nice and smooth! This combo allows you to make smoothies for one or a bunch!

On the Sixth Day of Christmas….

Day 6: Don’t forget to take time to exercise during this busy season. Even a 20 minute walk on your lunch break will be good for your body and your soul!

Gift Idea: A pedometer! Pedometers do a great job of measuring your steps so you can make sure you are getting in plenty of steps during the day. I actually prefer this method over wireless trackers. I will share more on this in an upcoming blog.

On the Seventh Day of Christmas…

Day 7: Party planning is on my mind. While at a party, scan the food table for items that look the closest to real food – think veggie or fruit platters. Make the majority of your plate those things, leaving room for only a few hor d’oeuvres. Hor d’oeuvres (so not an easy word to spell) pack quite the calorie and trans fat punch!

See this recipe for a fun snack idea called Muffuletta Skewers. I would swap out the salami for nitrate free oven roasted chicken or turkey though.

Gift Idea: Small white snacking plates will give keep you from over indulging. The larger the plate, the more we pile on! I have these in my home and love the size and lipped edges…keeps those little olives from rolling away on me!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas…

Day 8: Share with others. Purchase items for the food bank as a family. Look for healthier options such as whole grain pasta and tomato sauce, natural peanut butter and whole grain crackers. We have a basket sitting under our tree. We are excited to see just how full we can get it before taking it to the food bank.

Gift Idea: Shop World Vision’s Catalog and give a gift on behalf of a loved one to a family in need in another home. Or, keep it local and purchase a gift for an angel tree. There is an angel tree at the Crossroad’s Family Restaurant here in Elmira!


On the Ninth Day of Christmas…

Tip 9: Get enough sleep! Good quality sleep is essential for feeling our best! Keep your bedroom slightly cool, dark and free from tempting technology. Take a hot bath with epsom salts before bed to help your muscles and mind relax.

Gift Idea: Bath Salts!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas…

Day 10: Don’t sweat the small stuff! We often add far too much to our to do list. Kick back with the family and watch or read a Christmas classic. One of our family favourites is, Elf!

Gift Idea: We love having popcorn on movie night. Sometimes plain popcorn can get a little boring though. We like to switch it up a bit by sprinkling on a little of Epicure’s White Cheddar or Creamy Dill seasoning. All the flavour without the artificial stuff! Order using this link and have it delivered right to your door in time for Christmas!

 

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas…

Tip 11: Shop local when you can. Purchasing gifts for loved ones locally helps support the our economy and encourages small business growth.

Gift idea: Explore your local area for crafters, soap makers and locally produced products. Some of my favourite skin care items come from Waterloo based Kalaya Naturals or Carina Organics from British Columbia. Both companies are dedicated to using the finest ingredients that promote health and well being. Stop by my office or message me to get some great stocking stuffers. We have a little something for everyone – men, women and baby!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas…

Day 12: Merry Christmas! Christmas is a special time where we as a family celebrate the birth of a precious babe from so long ago. It is also a time for connecting with loved ones from near and far. Enjoy this special time. Eat, drink and be merry…the first two in moderation.

Gift Idea: Give yourself the gift of good nutrition. Schedule in your New Year’s personalized nutrition assessment now to help you get on the right track after a holiday season filled with nutrition speed bumps and detours! January can get a little busy in a nutritionist’s office, so don’t delay! Email me at amy@designedforyounutrition.com or call me at 519-503-7926.

 

Wishing you and your loved ones much peace and joy this Christmas season!

Amy