Twice Is Nice: Enjoy Your Holiday Leftovers Safely

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine….

familysoccerOne of the best parts of a big meal are the leftovers, and according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, there are some important safety tips to follow when storing leftovers this holiday season.

“Ideally, your refrigerator should be between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian with Baylor. “If your refrigerator temperature is higher than this, then food safety is compromised.”

She also offered the following tips for storing leftovers:

* Promptly refrigerate leftovers in shallow dishes. Do not left leftovers cool off before putting them in the fridge. The longer the food sits out, the more likely it is to harbor bacteria. Food should be refrigerated within two hours of serving.

* When storing leftover turkey, make sure to take the stuffing out before refrigerating.

* Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

* Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is correct. When heating up leftover gravy, bring it to a boil.

* Consider freezing leftovers to extend their food safety window

Keep A Closer Eye On Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine

grandparentsThe holidays are meant to bring joy, but for the elderly, they often cause emotional stress and may even bring health issues to light. An expert at Baylor College of Medicine gives tips on signs and symptoms to look for when traveling with or visiting an elder adult.

Safe travel advice

“Simply traveling long distance to visit relatives can become increasingly stressful as individuals age,” said Dr. Angela Catic, assistant professor in the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor.

During their travel it is important for family members to ensure that elders have their medications and assistive devices easily available. They should monitor loved ones for signs of increasing fatigue, difficulty walking or that they are too warm or cool. If traveling by plane, elders should be encouraged to walk about the plane one time per hour, if they are able, or at least pump their legs while sitting in their seat.

Health checks at the holidays

If family members do not see elders on a regular basis, getting together during the holidays is a practical time to check on their health and assess if their living conditions highlight any concerns. This may include increasing forgetfulness, difficulty taking medications appropriately, lack of balance or physical issues such as appearing more short of breath.

In addition, a home not being as clean or tidy as normal may indicate issues with cognition or a lack of physical ability to maintain a past level of cleanliness. If elders are not wearing clean clothing or grooming to past standards, children should investigate if it is because they are physically unable to do so or if cognitive issues are playing a role.

Loved ones should be aware of signs of anxiety or depression in elders including becoming withdrawn, seeming more anxious or agitated than baseline and tearfulness. If children notice these symptoms, they should discuss them with the elder and encourage evaluation by a medical provider.

“Elders with dementia are particularly vulnerable during the holiday season,” Catic said. “As dementia progresses, change in routine can be very difficult and may result in increased confusion and behavioral issues.”

Some good practices for families include:

* Maintain the elders’ routine as much as possible

* Minimize overly noisy or boisterous gatherings

* Simplify gift giving and elaborate meals

* Be sure that the elder has plenty of time to rest.

With permission from the elder, it is often helpful for family members to discuss concerns with the elder and their home health providers or physician. To make this holiday season less stressful, family members are encouraged to assist elders with house cleaning, car service for travel, cooking meals and help them with their shopping.

Keep Holiday Stress Under Control

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stressedwomanOverscheduling, expecting perfection and ignoring personal well-being all take their toll during the holidays and send stress levels skyrocketing. This season, come back to earth and get grounded with some simple advice.

Feeling stress during the holiday season is common among Americans. Some feel rushed and overscheduled, others are concerned about finances or feel pressure to buy that perfect gift.

Denise McGuire, PhD is a licensed psychologist and emotional fitness coach at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. McGuire pays special attention to “mindfulness” with her clients, utilizing biofeedback and other mind-body approaches for optimal health. “We have a tendency to go to extremes during the holiday season,” says McGuire. “Many of us over focus on doing and ignore our well-being which is a recipe for stress.”

In October, McGuire served as the mental and emotional fitness coach at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center’s first Extreme Weight Loss: Destination Boot Camp weight loss transformation program and will return in the same role next year. The first boot camps were a sell-out success and dates have just been announced for 2015.

Not surprisingly, McGuire’s first tip for surviving the pressures of holiday stress is exercising regularly.

Exercise: if you have a regular exercise routine, stick with it. If not, even a 15 to 20 minute walk each day will help keep you relaxed.

Keep it real: making the holidays perfect for yourself and for others is impossible. Manage your expectations and focus on the people in your life instead of the perfect gift.

Stay on schedule: keeping your regular routine as much as possible will help you stay calm. This includes sleeping, eating, working, hobbies and exercising.

Pace the fun: too much of a good thing can be overwhelming. Avoid overscheduling.

Stay positive: dwelling on the negative adds to your stress level. Focus on all the good things going on in your life.

Be grateful: letting others know how much you appreciate them keeps them, and you, relaxed.

You’re not alone: plenty of others are experiencing the same holiday stress you are. Showing some compassion for them will help keep everyone a little more calm, including yourself.

Holiday Stress Tips To Private University And College Applicants

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universityAdding to holiday stress is the fact that many high school seniors throughout the country face a big deadline: completing their applications to private universities and colleges before the end of the year. Avoiding mistakes under such pressure will be key to their college admissions success, says Chelsea Watkins, founder and chief executive officer of College Application Training.

If students and their families avoid three big mistakes before the December 31, 2014 deadline for applications to many private universities and colleges, they’ll save money and improve their chances for success, says Chelsea Watkins, an authority on college admissions.

Founder and chief executive officer of College Application Training LLC, Watkins is an expert in understanding the academic, social, and financial needs of students and families she advises – and matching those needs to select colleges and universities.

“There’re three huge mistakes students and their families must avoid: procrastinating; unrealistic financial planning; and, forgetting to do a final review of the application. Taking great care throughout the application process will have a positive impact on a student’s future for years to come,” Watkins notes. “And, it’s predicted that competition for admissions and financial aid will be fiercer than eve, so every little detail counts.”

She estimates that thousands of college-bound high school seniors have not yet completed their personal statements and applications to private colleges and universities.

For students and families, she offers three additional tips for making the best of their applications and meeting the deadline with a minimum of last-minute chaos:

1. Create Authentic, Unique and Compelling Personal Statements: Most institutional merit scholarships are awarded based on the strength of a Common Application. There is no separate scholarship application for most private universities and colleges. The personal statement, as part of the Common Application, is the only way students can showcase their unique personalities and set themselves apart from all other applicants. The stronger the writing, the stronger the application, the more merit aid a student could potentially receive. Also, it is essential that students have met with their high school counselor before the winter break to complete the “Recommenders” section of the Common Application. High school teachers and counselors are usually not available over school vacations, and if there is a problem with that section (which only the counselor can fix), students will not be able to submit their application online.

2. Discover Each School’s Percentage of Need Met: Not all schools are created equal when it comes to awarding need-based financial aid. The higher the percentage of need met, the more need-based financial aid a school will award. Some students do not even apply to certain private universities or colleges because they think it will be too expensive. What they do not realize is that oftentimes, a more expensive school also has a higher percentage of need met, which means it will be less expensive than the cheaper school, which has a lower percentage of need met. For many families, it means that Northwestern University (meets 100% of need) could potentially be less expensive than University of Illinois (meets 66% of need).

3. Calculate Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), Analyze Current Positioning and Re-position to Lower EFC: The EFC is the amount the federal government decides a family should be able to pay for college. It is an algorithm that takes into account several variables, mainly income and assets and assesses them at specific percentages. Many parents unknowingly have positioned themselves so that they will overpay for college. For example, money in a student’s savings account can be assessed up to 20%. Money in a parent’s savings account is assessed at 5.6%. Another example, credit card debt is not counted on the forms, even though it is a significant burden on cash flow. Many families have credit card debt, and they also have money in unprotected assets. If they use some of the assets to pay down the debts, they increase their cash flow and lower their potential college costs.

Watkins adds that students and parents should finish their college applications before Tuesday, December 30, 2014. “In that way, they have time to review, review, and review……and, believe me, during that window of time, they will find ways to strengthen their personal statements and to identity opportunities to save college costs,” she says. “If they take to heart these three tips, along with doing everything else on time, I’m confident there’ll be less anxiety and more hope.”

Watkins, a certified advisor for the National Association of College Funding Advisors (NACFA) and the College Planning Network (CPN), the largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid servicing center has helped nearly 1,000 students prepare their college applications.

“The world of college admissions is so complicated for students and their families. It is anxiety-ridden and increasingly expensive, given all the tutors, test-prep companies, and psychologists competing for their time and money,” says Watkins. “Being practical, strategic, and wise is the only true solution during this major life-changing milestone in their lives.”

Added Sugar Could Contribute To Added Holiday Pounds

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– Submitted by The Baylor College of Medicine

partycelebrateThe holidays can be a tricky time for those with a sweet tooth, but according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, we should all be aware of the amount of added sugar we’re consuming year-round and especially during the holidays.

“The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day for women (about six teaspoons) and 150 calories of added sugar per day for men (about nine teaspoons). While you might not add this amount of sugar to your food, many foods come with the sugar already in the product,” said Roberta Anding, registered dietitian with Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Anding, who is also a sports dietitian, notes that the major sources of added sugars are sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit punch.

“You might not consume those types of beverages, but don’t forget your lattes, hot chocolate, egg nog and other holiday beverages,” she said.

The dangers of consuming too much sugar can be weight gain, accumulation of visceral or belly fat and an increased desire for more sugar. The visceral or belly fat can be viewed as an endocrine organ, meaning it could cause inflammation and contribute to the development of diabetes and heart disease.

She notes that artificial sweeteners should also be used with caution as recent studies suggest they may alter the natural balance of bacteria in the gut.

When reading nutrition labels, Anding says to look for words such as cane syrup, sucrose, maltose, rice syrup, coconut sugar, dextrose, palm sugar and agave. To reduce sugars, she recommends saving sugar for desserts and avoiding sugar in beverages of all kinds.

“Start to downsize your portions. Take half of a dessert or share one with a family member. You can still have the sweet treat – just less of it,” she said.

Easy Ways To Eat Smarter This Holiday Season

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healthysaladSubstituting foods that are lower in fat, salt, and sugar will keep holiday meals healthier.

Holiday dining is often full of meals and snacks high in calories, fat, and salt. But it’s possible to minimize unhealthy eating with a little planning, reports the December 2014 Harvard Health Letter.

“Particularly during the holidays, when we’re surrounded by foods that we do not eat the rest of the year, it is important to take a breath while deciding what to include,” says Debbie Krivitsky, a registered dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Substituting foods that are lower in fat, salt, and sugar is one way to stay healthier this holiday season. It will also lower calorie intake significantly, letting diners enjoy a larger portion for fewer calories. For example, one ounce of artichoke dip has 19 grams of fat and 312 calories, while four ounces of cocktail shrimp and one ounce of sauce delver just 130 calories and 2 grams of fat.

What are the best choices on a buffet? Krivitsky recommends going for salsa, hummus, and dips made with yogurt instead of sour cream, along with lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, or turkey. Don’t forget fruit and veggies. Think baked, not fried. And uses spices, yogurt, or lemon juice instead of calorie-laden sauces.

There’s no need to make the holidays a season of deprivation. Indulge in favorite foods, but when cooking try making healthier versions. That means using low-fat milk instead of cream in mashed potatoes and other foods. Applesauce is a great substitute for fat when baking.

And when temptation strikes, make sure “it’s the exception rather than the rule,” says Krivitsky, “and it is for a finite period of time.”

Read the full-length article: “Boost the health of your holiday buffet”

Also in the December 2014 Harvard Health Letter:

* A red flag for obstructive sleep apnea

* How electronic gadgets are changing doctors’ offices

* Surprising new ways to build knee strength

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $16 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Smart Shopping Tips To Help Maximize Holiday Spending

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newspaperDo you remember the gift you received for Christmas last year? Planning ahead is the key to staying ahead this season.

As consumers prepare for the holiday season, Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc. (“Springboard”) is encouraging individuals and families to be mindful of the financial goals they established at the beginning of the year. Failing to plan can lead to impulse shopping and overspending, especially during the gift-giving season. Considering that most adults do not recall the gifts they gave or received last year calls for some planning ahead this holiday season. In preplanning, consumers can avoid the pressure to make unnecessary purchases, and the possibility of derailing the financial progress they have worked so hard to achieve. Melinda Opperman, Springboard’s senior vice president, encourages consumers to make their memories different this year by being creative and resisting the urge to make purchases that exceed their budget.

“We’re hoping that consumers will connect with relatives and friends over Thanksgiving as that’s the perfect time to pull names for a holiday gift-exchange or choose other new holiday gift giving traditions that won’t break the family budget,” says Opperman. “Consumers should ask themselves if they remember the gifts they received last year.”

There are many variations to a holiday gift exchange. From a theme-based activity such as the white elephant game where participants bring their wrapped “gift” to the party. This can involve everyone in the family, and numbers are chosen and a gift is selected and opened, and the gift can be ‘stolen’ up to three times! This leads to some good natured laughter and fun memories. Rather than exchanging gifts with co-workers, consumers may want to consider pooling their funds to donate a toy or meals to individuals and families who are less fortunate. Selecting a charity-given focus provides a way to make gift-giving memorable without taxing the family budget.

“Make it fun by selecting a theme that’s meaningful to your family members,” says Opperman. “This will save you time and money. Rather than purchasing multiple gifts, you will only have to buy a gift for the person’s name you pulled over Thanksgiving,” says Opperman.

Springboard also offers the following additional wallet-friendly tips for consumers this holiday season:

Make a Plan

Create a holiday budget and set spending limits. Knowing how much one can truly afford to spend is a crucial first step in controlling costs. Be sure to include all anticipated holiday expenses, including decorations, holiday cards, postage, and gift-wrap.

Make a List

After the budget has been established, make a list of gifts, decorations, and food items that need to be purchased. Sticking with an established budget will help prevent overspending. If it has been a challenging year financially, it is a good idea to shrink the holiday gift list.

Plan a Time to Shop

Running around on lunch hours and evenings after work or shopping with young children is exhausting and not very productive. Arrange for a day or half-day off to do shopping. Consider trading babysitting with a friend in order to have more shopping time.

Be an Efficient Shopper

If looking for a specific gift, “let your fingers do the walking” and call stores to find out if they have that special item.

Use malls. Whether it’s the local retail mall or an outlet mall, go where there is a large selection of stores to shop.

Read the newspapers and sales flyers for deals and specials. Use the newspaper to comparison shop.

Separate shopping trips (when comparing prices, quality, value, etc.) from spending trips (when making a purchase), and resist taking cash, credit cards, or a checkbook on the shopping trips.

Pay with cash and avoid using credit cards. Charge cards tend to encourage indiscriminate spending. Credit card users often say they had no idea how much they spent on the holidays until the credit card bills arrive in January or February.

Plan ahead – shop year-round and make a “gift drawer” or box with pre-holiday presents inside. Don’t forget to make a list and keep track of gifts as they are purchased throughout the year. Be sure to keep all gift receipts in an envelope where they can be easily retrieved at gift-giving time.

Liquidators, buying clubs, and factory outlet stores usually offer lower prices. Bulk buying with other family members or friends can also yield savings. Shop during off-peak times such as early morning or mid-week to avoid crowds and pressure.

Do it online. Online auctions such as eBay are great places to find bargains, but be aware of how much similar items cost at retail. Many retailers have clearance sections on their shopping sites that offer big savings.

Make gifts at home. Handmade craft items, special desserts or breads and other “goodies” can help stretch a holiday budget.

Throughout the nation, Springboard offers assistance with money and credit management through educational programs and confidential credit and debt counseling. Springboard offers various financial literacy workshops, including Surviving the Holidays, where consumers learn how to prepare for costs associated with the holidays, manage holiday spending and begin the New Year without holiday debt. In addition to free educational seminars, Springboard offers interactive financial tools, online courses, and helpful resources that may be downloaded from its Financial Instructional Training (FIT) Academy.

About Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management

SPRINGBOARD® Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit personal financial education and counseling organization founded in 1974. Springboard is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a national organization of nonprofit credit counseling agencies, and a member of the Association of Independent Credit Counseling Agencies. The agency offers personal financial education and assistance with credit counseling, housing counseling, debt and money management through educational programs and confidential counseling. Springboard is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, signifying the highest standards for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies. The agency provides pre-bankruptcy counseling and debtor education as mandated by the bankruptcy reform law. The agency offers nationwide phone counseling services and has locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Florida and Maryland for in-person counseling sessions. Not all types of counseling are available in-person at all locations, please call for details. For more information on Springboard, call 800-449-9818 or visit their web site at http://www.Springboard.org.

Woodloch Pines Resort Exemplifies The Holiday Spirit- And Its Catching

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The Award-Winning Family Resort Kicks Off its Second Annual 12 Days of Giving

newsThe holiday season is always festive at Woodloch Resort, an award-winning family resort in the Pocono Mountains. Annual traditions like the Yule Log Hunts, carriage rides, light shows, festive decorations, and Winter Olympics are things that the guests have come to expect. A new tradition is the 12-Days of Giving, which kicks off the true spirit of the holidays and is often contagious.

For the second year in a row, the team at Woodloch Pines has developed an extensive list of ways that they can give back to the local, national, and even international community. “The goal of the 12 Days of Giving effort is to celebrate the true spirit of the holiday season with the hopes that others will catch the spirit and choose to participate alongside us or create their own ‘giving’ efforts to spread the spirit,” explains John Kiesendahl, owner and CEO of Woodloch Pines.

This year, the team at Woodloch Pines has developed an extensive list of ways they can help in the days leading up to the holidays:

1. Salvation Army Coffee Drop – The Woodloch Social Staff will be stationed outside the local Salvation Army location, handing out hot coffee and Woodloch Bakery sweets to workers, shoppers and donors.

2. Operation Christmas Child – Shoeboxes filled with shoes, toys, and school supplies that Woodloch staff has been collecting will be delivered to children around the world.

3. Adopt a Family – Woodloch Pines will provide a very happy holiday for a few local families.

4. Blanket the World – Woodloch Pines staff has set up a blanket drive at select retailers throughout Pike and Wayne counties to collect blankets for shelters in the area.

5. Angel Tree – Staff members can purchase holiday gifts for children in need by choosing an ornament from the tree, located in the staff lunchroom.

6. Show on the Road – The Woodloch Crew will perform a strolling Christmas show through a local senior center.

7. Random Tabbing – Woodloch Pines will pick up the tab of unsuspecting diners at The Boat House Restaurant every day for one week. Additionally, a portion of our net revenue from that week will be donated to the family of Cpl. Dickson #PSPSTRONG

8. Toys for Tots – Woodloch is collecting toys for military families from staff and guests.

9. Thank an Employee – The Woodloch Family will reward several randomly selected employees with a full tank of gas and a few extra dollars for the holidays.

10. PSPSTRONG – Woodloch staff will bring baked goods and coffee to the local state police stations in Hawley and Honesdale.

11. Fill up gas tanks – Woodloch Elves will swipe Mobile Gas Cards for unsuspecting drivers who pull into The Market at Woodloch to fill up.

familyvector12. Cooking Class– The culinary team at Woodloch Pines will be providing a cooking class to local senior centers from the Hawley, Hamlin, and Honesdale areas. Avery Bus will provide transportation to Woodloch Pines for all participants free of charge.

The family resort’s annual array of winter holiday offerings is always fun-filled and festive. Seasonal activities include:

* Yule Log Hunt available during December weekends

* Holiday Craft Fair featuring over 40 local crafters providing a one-stop, artisan, hand-made holiday shopping experience

* A picturesque wagon ride through an illuminated trail on their annual “Festival of Lights” tours

* “Gingerbread Wars” where guests assemble a task force and compete against other teams in a very unique culinary decorating contest involving elaborate gingerbread houses

* Winter Olympics where guests compete for the coveted Woodloch gold medal in six fun and frosty events in the snow

* Winter Archery featuring targets set amongst the resort’s beautiful Pocono backdrop

* Winter Paintball leads guests through three skirmishes and 250 paintballs

* Patrons can also expect walnut hunts for children, spirited caroling, and delicious holiday baked goods

Holiday packages are available every weekend during the month of December with all-inclusive adult rates starting at $199 per night/per person. More information can be found at woodloch.com.

About Woodloch Pines Resort:

Creating a magical experience for families since 1958, Woodloch Pines Resort’s signature warm hospitality keeps guests returning year after year and offers a truly unique all-inclusive family vacation experience fitting for everyone’s taste. An award-winning family resort, championship golf course and sister property featuring a luxury destination spa are just 95 scenic and convenient miles from New York City nestled in the Pocono Mountains Lake Region. For additional information, call Woodloch Pines at 1.800.WOODLOCH or online at woodloch.com.

– Submitted by Erica Filstein

Ten Tips For An Easier, Happier Holiday Season

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By Lorne Holden

womanweightsThe holidays. The people, the parties, the food, the gifts, the wonder of it all…..and the stress. If past holiday seasons have brought you more discomfort than ease, consider adopting some small changes in your attitudes and habits. Here’s a list of suggestions that can shift your stress to joy in no time!

1. Breathe – There is scientific evidence that ten deep belly breaths actually changes the body chemistry. We are calmer, happier people when we breath fully. If you feel a stressy moment approaching, consider this simple action to help.

2. Get Enough Sleep – It’s easy to forget that simply getting enough sleep is a starting block for having a great day. You may be going to parties galore, but don’t forget to get enough shut eye.

3. Eat Something Green Every Day – Making healthy food choices has a wonderful knock on effect. Eating a salad with broccoli at lunch will prompt your body to make wiser choices at dinner too, not to mention at all the evening parties. Include a green vegetable somewhere in your day – it may help with the urge to overeat cookies and sweets. At the very least, it will help balance your system.

4. Rest Your Mind – You don’t have to think of it as meditation. Just think of it as rest. Sit in a chair for ten minutes and imagine you have a blue sky with gorgeous clouds filling the top of your head. Keep your awareness on that beauty.

5. Count to Ten – Sometimes the things that Granny advised are still really the best advice. If you can feel an eruption of feelings coming on that might be unpleasant, take even a few seconds to breathe before you speak.

happyteens6. Make Time for Your Own Fun – The holidays often bring a host of social obligations that can be more necessary than joyful. Balance these times by building in experiences of what works for you. Declare a fun event for every day and dive into it.

7. Take a Ten Minute Walk – If you are driving to a party or event, plan on getting there a little early, and hop out of the car. Walk five minutes out and five minutes back. The fresh air will boost both your attitude and your energy level. You’ll be a welcome asset to the party or event because you’ll show up beaming.

8. Give – Nothing compares to the great feeling you get when you make a true offering to another. Find a charity, shelter or any organization that moves you and brighten their holiday season. You will be brighter off for it!

9. Be Grateful – Wake up every day and think of one thing you feel grateful for. There is always something. Gratitude has a positive viral effect on the system. Once you notice something to be grateful for, you will find other things too.

10. Be Kind – It really is true that what goes around, comes around. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind.

Wishing you the happiest holiday season ever!

– Lorne Holden is an award winning artist and author of the bestselling book “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done,” which is available at makeithappenintenminutesaday.com and by request at any local bookstore.

5 Ways To Control Calorie Intake At Holiday Parties

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By Helen Agresti

salads1. Be a smarty before you party. When we go all day without eating or skip lunch prior to a party, this usually leads to unhealthy choices throughout the remainder of the day. Make time for a cup of soup, small salad with vegetables and black beans or a few whole grain pita slices with hummus.

2. Choose foods with power! Foods that contain a high content of protein, fiber and water (fish, lean meats, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables) have the highest satiating power. Simple carbohydrates and high fat foods (cookies, cakes, breads, and cheeses) have a lesser effect on our sense of “fullness.”

3. Give yourself 20. Practice good portion control by waiting 20 minutes in between visits to the buffet table. This gives our bodies time to recognize the satiating power of the food we just ingested.

4. Hydrate and deflate. Beer, wine, and sugar-laden drinks are high in calories and have zero nutritional value. Naturally, the more we drink the more we visit the restroom. For every alcoholic beverage, drink one glass of water. Staying hydrated will decrease the likelihood of headaches, fatigue, and feeling bloated the next day.

5. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the flavors. Socialize away from the food. Mindless eating often occurs when we’re engaged in conversion and food is close at hand. Always eat sitting down and enjoy your holiday meal.

~ Healthy and Happy Holiday Eating!

– Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children. For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web www.pronutritionconsulting.com