How To Keep Your Food – And Your Insulin – Down During The Holidays

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

partycelebrateDon’t let holiday feasts come back to haunt you – planning meals can help those with acid reflux and diabetes enjoy the festive foods, said experts at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Advanced meal planning will ensure that people with stricter diets have items to enjoy,” said Dr. Mohamed Othman, assistant professor of medicine – gastroenterology at Baylor.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus, which can result in heartburn or belly discomfort. By standing upright after eating, gravity helps keep the contents of the stomach down.

“Do not lay down immediately after your meal,” Othman said. “It takes four hours for the stomach to empty solid contents and two hours for liquid content.”

Diabetes

For those with diabetes, overindulgence can lead to more serious health concerns, said Dr. Alan Garber, professor of medicine – diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism at Baylor.

“Holiday food tends to be rich in carbohydrates and fats, and both of these may increase insulin requirements,” he said. “You should be aware of the amount of sugar in holiday treats.”

What to do

Modifying eating habits can alleviate reflux symptoms. If suffering from acid reflux, Othman recommended avoiding the following foods and drinks:

* Chocolate
* Mint
* Fried foods
* Wine
* Coffee

Brief walks after meals and adopting a more active lifestyle in general can improve reflux symptoms, he said.

Garber offers these tips to help diabetics manage holiday eating:

* Look for sugar-free items at the grocery store

* Control your portions

* High-fat meals independently produce insulin resistance and raise insulin requirements, so be sure sugar-free items are not high in fat

* Avoid alcoholic drinks

While it is important to be aware and cautious of what you are eating and how it affects your health, Baylor experts advise focusing on the fun of the holidays rather than the restrictions.

Facing Grief And Loss during The Holidays

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By Bob Livingstone

stressI am currently surrounded by friends who have lost love ones recently. During the best of times, it is very challenging to have someone close to you die. It is totally overwhelming to find yourself grieving during the holiday season. My mother died in December eight years ago and I remember how trying that experience was. My usual methods for self-protection were not working and the natural guardian of my heart system decided to take a vacation.

The holiday season which unofficially begins somewhere in early November and ends after New Year’s Day can be devastating for those who are grieving. This is a time of year where there is lots of hustle and bustle, socializing with family and shopping. We are all supposed to be in a good mood and festive. If we are fortunate to have a job, some of us are on vacation during this time.

On Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, lots of normal activities shut down and you can find yourself alone with you thoughts and memories of your lost loved one. The pain that derives from this is unbearable and totally at odds with the celebratory spirit encompassing you. During the holidays there are many quiet moments that leave space for the raw power of your loss. It is felt in all parts of your being and result in deep, heaving sobs.

You may be reluctant to ask for help during usual times and feel that it would be selfish to ask for a shoulder to cry on during Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza. This only serves to increase your sense of isolation and the fear that you are all alone in your mourning. This may cause you to panic and momentarily feel like the grief you are feeling will last forever.

The grief experience is complex and without real stages despite what you have heard. We all go through our own individual process that may, but not necessarily include sadness, anger, resentment, longing, numbness, lack of concentration, inability to attend, loss of appetite, problems sleeping, spinning the same thoughts and memories over and over again, not believing that your loved one is really gone, anxiety and hopelessness.

These feelings can be exacerbated during the holidays because the normal daily activities have given way to parties, gift giving and other celebrations. The regular activities provide an essential and normal distraction from your internal pain. You don’t have to be in agony all the time to work through your grief; it is OK to take a break from this heart ache.

If your loss is a close family member, memories of her attendance at past holiday extravaganzas will loom large in your memory bank. You will have moments of realization that this person will never be joining you again and the pain will be unbearable, but it will slowly lessen as time moves on.

seniorwoman2In the quiet of a winter holiday afternoon, you may see someone walking down the street who has a strong resemblance to your deceased loved one. It will catch you off balance and you will be blindsided by the pain. This is something you cannot prepare for; you can only be aware that it will occur.

During this initial grieving period that unfortunately is happening in the middle of the holidays, you will think you want to be alone one moment and a short period of time later, you will crave company. Your mood will change more radically than before your loss. Unpredictability is the only predictable constant here.

Tips for dealing with grief and loss during the Holidays

* Expect that you will feel extra vulnerable at this time.

* Expect that your mood will swing erratically.

* Expect that you social needs will change from one minute to the next.

* Expect that your sleeping and eating habits will not be consistent.

* Expect that those around you will try to cheer you up or leave you to deal with the grief in your own space. Don’t be afraid to share what your needs are with your support network.

* Allow yourself to cry if you feel the tears coming on.

* Realize that you will be feeling many emotions and thoughts including being angry at your loved one for leaving you.

* Don’t be afraid to opt out of holiday festivities because you do not feel like celebrating. You are not obligated to participate.

* Exercise as much as possible as a means for facing and healthily distracting yourself from the loss.

* Reach out to others when you need to talk about your feelings about the loss.

* Know that while you have periodic bursts of intense sadness, you will feel better over time.

Bob Livingstone is the author the critically acclaimed Unchain the Pain: How to be Your Own Therapist, Norlights Press 2011, The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise, Pegasus Books, 2007 and Redemption of the Shattered: A Teenager’s Healing Journey through Sandtray Therapy, Booklocker 2002. He is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker in private practice in The San Francisco Bay Area and has nearly twenty five years experience working with adults, adolescents and children.

Home For The Holidays

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

jogsnowWhen the holiday season approaches some people are thrilled at the prospect of going home to be with family; others dread it. Those who are happy need no advice, just a happy wish for a good trip and safe travels. However, if it’s not a joyous experience you anticipate, here are some tips that might help you.

1. Decide ahead of time it will be fun.

2. Don’t try to change anyone or anything. Put on your flexible hat and go with the flow. The visit won’t last forever and you can do anything for a short amount of time.

3. If you find that you can’t accept “them” as they are, then accept them for their entertainment value. Act as if you were a newspaper writer and you’re writing a story about them for your column. Be unemotional and act as if you are on a fact-finding mission. You’ll be surprised how some emotional distance will help you feel more comfortable and you may even find yourself enjoying them.

4. Try being who you really are with the people at home. Use the mantra “Keep Calm and Carry On,” which is a phrase that the British used to inspire it’s citizens during the bombing blitzes of WWII.

5. If someone tries to tell you what to do, do it if you want to, but don’t do it if you don’t want to. Don’t let yourself be bullied. Thank them for their suggestion and then Keep Calm and Carry On!

6. Be gracious. It’s free and a little graciousness goes a long way.

7. Don’t discuss religion, sex or politics. Unless you know for sure you are on the same page as someone else, refrain from touching on these subjects as they are bound to cause discord.

thumbsup8. Stay centered. Whatever you need to keep your core steady, do it. Meditate, go for walks, pray, whatever practice gets you into a calm and harmonious state, do it.

9. Make sure you have a Holiday Homey. Plan ahead and make arrangements with a friend that you can call, no matter what time, if you think you might lose it. (I’m borrowing this idea from the Phone A Friend option on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire). Rehearse with your friend, prior to leaving, and make sure he or she is pre-programmed with the right words that will help you get a grip. Promise the same service for them in return.

Those nine tips will help you have an easy and possibly even enjoyable family visit. A healing may occur within you and also within your family. Who knows? It’s certainly couldn’t hurt and it’s worth a try.

Happy Holidays to all.

Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding.

How To Survive The Holidays When Traveling With Kids

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groupkidswbgTraveling during the holidays is stressful on its own. When you add a car filled with small children, you have a recipe for the longest day of your life. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make the experience not just tolerable, but fun, in the family adventure kind of way. How?

Plan in advance. It is always important to start with a plan. It’s likely the plan will change, so flexibility is key, but if you start with a plan in place it will be much easier to adjust as you go. Starting with a plan does not mean that you are stuck with the plan, but rather that you have some idea of when you will start, what route you will take, where you hope to take your breaks and when you want to eat.

Pack light. Wherever you are going, there will likely be a store you can stop at if you don’t have what you need. No one in the family needs seven different outfits for three days at your mother’s. Decide what is needed, bring one extra outfit and be done with it. If you have an infant, it can be tempting to bring every piece of baby equipment you have at home. DON’T. You will be with family. Everyone will want to hold the baby anyway, and you probably won’t even use the equipment you bring.

Avoid a lot of liquids. There is something about traveling that makes some children thirsty. Try to limit how much your child drinks on the trip because liquids will go right though her. Though you are going to expect frequent stops, inevitably your child will not have to go when given the chance, then need to go 15 minutes after you leave the gas station. For children who have recently been potty trained, you might want to consider using a pull-up for the trip. Doing so can save you from accidents when it is just not possible to stop right away.

Have healthy snacks available. When children eat junk food on trips, especially if they are not used to eating it, their bodies tend to overreact to it. It is best to stick with snacks that are healthy and that your child is used to eating. Use sturdy containers that close well and a thermal bag for packing favorites. Bring napkins and wipes to clean up messes.

groupkidsBring activities. There is only so much time a child can relax and stare out a window. DVD’s can be helpful when children get bored, and parents should not feel guilty about having children watch a little TV during the holidays. Perhaps use holiday DVD’s and make viewing them a special treat. You should also bring crafts, games and books that are travel friendly. However, be aware that some children get carsick if they use these. Try books on tape or have the adult passenger read aloud, if possible.

Make up games. Verbal games not only help your child pass the time, they also help engage her brain. If your child is learning the alphabet, search road signs for letters. Grab an empty tissue box, put an object in it and have the kids guess what it is without looking. Let them feel, shake and smell it to see if they can guess what it is. Play a few rounds of I Spy. Get creative and you’ll find that the kids will even make up games to play.

Sing songs. If your kids are young, they will love singing together. If they are older pick songs they love and hope for the best. If they are teen’s, they may roll their eyes and put in their ear buds, but they’ll still remember your time together.

When things go wrong – and they will – take a deep breath and realize that despite the travel issues, whether big or small, your child will have fond memories of the trip if you respond with patience and a smile.

– Submitted by Anne Laurie of gonannies.com

Keeping The Family Healthy During The Holidays

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Tips for Enjoying Meals Without Going Overboard

groupkidsThe temptations and treats of the holidays can have a significant impact on the entire family’s waistline. From cookies and candies to large meals and sugar-filled punch, holiday celebrations often focus on food and encourage overeating.

According to Rania Batayneh, nutritionist and founder of Essential Nutrition For You, a nutrition consulting firm, the average person gains five to seven pounds over the holidays.

Don’t let the joy of the season leave you feeling bloated and lacking energy while your children battle upset stomachs. Instead, practice mindful eating and utilize these tips to keep you eating healthy during the joyous season.

Eat Breakfast

Most people set themselves up for overeating by starving all day, says Batayneh. “We all know that this is not an effective strategy for many reasons and with all of the fattening and starchy carbs on the dinner table, you will likely feel the need to fill up on them because your body has been deprived all day.”

Instead of waiting for the main course, fill up on veggies and fruits in the early morning hours so your appetite will not be in rare form when the holiday platters are set in front of you.

Get Your Workout In

When the holidays arrive, try not to slack on your daily workouts. Encourage the entire family to take a walk or run early in the morning to decrease your appetite and provide you with the energy to get through the day of celebrations. Think about taking a post-dinner walk, too, suggests Batayneh. “This can even happen after the meal and before dessert,” she says.

Many gyms offer morning workouts or boot camps on holiday mornings to help you burn calories before the big meal.

Decrease Alcohol Intake

Between the stuffing, bread rolls and mashed potatoes, this meal is a carbohydrate-lovers dream, but not your waistlines, says Batayneh. Don’t overdo it by adding too much carb-filled alcohol to the mix. “Limit the portions of the above foods to make room for your glass of wine and to keep your blood sugar more stable,” she says.

Try opting for lower calorie non-alcoholic drinks or mixing sparkling water with wine for a wine spritzer to keep your figure in shape.

Limit Portions

myplateWhy is it that most holiday celebrations include large plates? Opt for a smaller plate to limit your portions. Portion size is key when diving into a holiday meal. You can still sample the best of the lean meats, veggies, potatoes and desserts, but you are less likely to over-indulge when you have smaller portions of each. Pay attention to your body, too, warns Batayneh. “If you feel full, put your fork down and enjoy the conversations,” she says. “The good news is that you can always take leftovers home and enjoy them the next day.”

Hydrate and Rest

To curb your appetite, stock up on water before the big meal. According to Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, a clinical psychologist, physical therapist and author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, dehydration is often misinterpreted as hunger, and people end up eating more as a result.

Beyond dehydration, there are other factors that can encourage weight gain during the holidays. “Sleep deprivation and stress are two key variables often present during the holidays that put on weight,” says Lombardo. Encourage the entire family to go to bed early the night before a big celebration and minimize the stressors that cause anxiety during the holidays.

Eat More

Although it may seem contradictory to eat more when you’re trying to stay healthy, consuming smaller, regular meals can help you to eat less. Lombardo suggests eating healthy meals and snacks leading up to the big meal so you are not feeling starved when inhibitions are not as strong.

When you are regularly fueling your body with healthy greens and fresh fruits, the temptation to eat just one more cookie or slice of pie is drastically reduced. When divulging on sweets, Lombardo recommends mindful eating. “Eat it slowly and mindful, enjoying every morsel without feeling guilty,” she says. “This will help you not feel deprived and actually enjoy it more.”

– Submitted by Ethel Wooten of Houston Nanny.

Harried Holidays?

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Your Aura Colors – Signs of Stress & Tips to Be Happy

By Pamala Oslie

stressedwomanWe all know that the holiday season can be the most stressful and that, ironically, many of us find ourselves strung out and unhappy at a time when we are expected to be our happiest.

How we handle the stress of the season has a lot to do with the kind of person we are. Knowing that, we can use specific strategies to deal with holiday demands and make the season what is was meant to be- joyous.

How can we know what kind of person we are? The answer is in the colors of our aura. Everyone has an aura- what science calls the electro-magnetic field- and we’ve all felt them. We’ve been instantly drawn to some people and repelled by others, because we’ve felt their energy. That energy is expressed in different color bands that radiate from our bodies- what we call the aura.

I have learned in my work as a professional psychic who can also see auras that our aura colors reveal very important information about who we are – our personality, relationship style and compatibilities, best career paths, potential health challenges and more. Discovering our aura color personality type and unique coping skills is a valuable key to knowing how to handle stress.

* Yellows are fun loving, humorous, creative, physical, generous, sensitive & natural healers.

Signs that you’re stressed: You are not laughing and enjoying life. You’re avoiding, procrastinating or distracting yourself with addictions (food, alcohol, TV, sweets, drugs, caffeine, etc.) Your back or knees hurt.

Tips to become happier: Spend time in nature, exercise, dance, eat healthy, get a massage, play, laugh, cheer up others, hang out with your dog, simplify your life, find reasons to be optimistic, smile, watch a funny movie, and laugh some more.

* Greens are intelligent and driven accomplishers, often business-owners, managers, sales, etc.

Signs of stress: You’ve become a workaholic; you’re frustrated, critical, controlling, arguing, yelling, blaming others, or being hard on yourself. You have tight neck & shoulders, heart problems or digestive issues.

Tips to become happier: Write a list of your accomplishments, appreciate everything on that list, take deep breaths, organize your space, reduce your caffeine intake, reassess & write a list of your goals, trust yourself, and develop a plan. Then once you learn how to breathe, take action.

stress* Violets are visionaries, leaders, teachers, artists & humanitarians who want to help the world.

Signs of stress: You’ve become overwhelmed, scattered, constantly multi-tasking, stuck, bored, restless, or depressed; or you’re bossy, judgmental & impatient. Your thyroid may be unhealthy or your eyes may be bothering you.

Tips to become happier: Practice your favorite form of daily meditation, travel, listen to positive music & inspirational teachers, spend quiet time alone realigning with your visions, get involved with humanitarian projects, be with people who inspire & motivate you, travel again – hopefully to foreign countries.

* Blues are loving, nurturing, spiritual, emotional, and perpetually counseling and helping others.

Signs of stress: You’re exhausted from giving too much, you’re sad, cry a lot, feel unappreciated, feel unlovable or unworthy, feel guilty, or depressed. You may have throat, breast or reproductive issues.

Tips to become happier: Pray, connect with a Greater Source, walk, breath, meditate, appreciate your home & loved ones, remember all the loving things you’ve done for others, let go of guilt, trust you are loved, learn to love yourself by doing good things for you too, learn to say no, help others without over doing it, spend time with supportive friends.

* Tans are practical, logical, patient, detail-oriented, reliable, and value stability & security.

Signs of stress: You’re worried, anxious, impatient, frustrated, critical, bottling up anger or intense emotions, pessimistic, withdrawn or shut down. You may be experiencing headaches or eyestrain.

Tips to become happier: Exercise, watch less news, take a break from the details, develop a secure financial plan, rest your eyes, breathe, read positive & optimistic information, find healthy outlets for your emotions (such as talking with a calm & rational friend who can give practical & trustworthy advice), research data until you feel more secure.

– Pamala Oslie is an author, consultant, radio show host, and professional psychic. Pamala has written three successful and popular books, Life Colors, Love Colors, and Make Your Dreams Come True, and has a very extensive clientele, including many celebrities. She has been a guest lecturer at the International Forum on New Science, Fortune 500 companies, the TEDx Talks 2012, and many seminars for professionals in the psychology, education, health fields and more. Pam is the Founder of LifeColorsCity.com, a one-stop virtual city designed to help you create love, joy and fulfillment in EVERY area of your life.

Guest Post – Kac Young PhD, DCH. ND, Heart Easy Tips For Having Fun During The Holidays Without Paying A Price

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heartWith the holiday season upon us some of us have mixed feelings. Flights, lines, delays, junk food, sugary treats, Uncle Fred, gravy, creamed vegetables, Aunt Clara’s desserts…all of these things can be stressful to the person who is trying to eat heart healthy. A small amount of thinking ahead can make all the difference. Here are some tips you can use to keep yourself healthy and still have fun during the holidays:

1) Plan ahead and keep your heart healthy brain engaged. In every social situation take a moment to determine how much control you have over the menu. If you’re doing the entertaining, it’s a breeze. You make the food choices and stay with the heart healthy ones. If you know your host loves to cook with butter, sugar and salt come prepared with your own food. Take fresh veggies you can steam in the microwave, bring healthy snacks, like a handful of almonds or walnuts, and eat before you go.

2) Be alert: survey the buffet table before plunging in. Choose an appetizer size plate and begin with the freshest foods first. Choose veggies. Avoid cheese, crackers and pastry.

Health3) Eat for your heart, not your stomach, or your mood. Many holiday standards are loaded with sodium (read the labels), sugar (corn syrup is the biggest offender), and saturated fats. Select white meat turkey without the skin or a ham slice without the topping. Avoid the butter-laden mashed potatoes and gravy (unless you’ve brought a non fat packet of gravy and made your own.)

4) Be a thinking drinker. Choose a beverage that is not high in sugar and alcohol. Sticking with wine or light beer is best. Avoid mixed drinks and seasonal corn syrup based festive drinks. Keep your consumption moderate and drink a glass of water between each drink.

5) Keep your backside in motion. If you’re visiting cold-weather climates and can’t easily go for a walk after meals, visit the local indoor mall and take a power walk to keep your body moving in the right direction.

cookie6) Skip dessert. Seriously. Unless it’s fresh fruit or frozen yogurt, pass. No good can come from pies, cookies, cakes and bon-bons. Unless they are made from non fat or low fat products and have reduced sugar and salt, you’re best without them. If you must, then have “just a taste” to satisfy your sweet tooth, then quit. One bite is all you need.

7) Listen to your body. It will always tell you when enough is enough or when you need something special. Holidays can deplete the body, so don’t neglect your sleep.

8) Last but not least, enjoy the company. Ask questions of the people you are with, delve into their lives and find out what motivates them. Ask them to share a childhood memory with you. Learn something new about each person in the room. Help with the clean up. Learn a trick or a game to entertain the kids. Bring photos with you that many may not have seen in years. If a new person has been added to the family, include them in the conversations and try to make sure they feel comfortable. Show a little extra kindness to everyone; you’ll feel a lot better, too.

– Dr. Kac Young – www.HeartEasy.com

Fitness During The Holidays

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From Your Health Journal…..”This web site likes to share articles from other web sites to bring health news to you, and then draw traffic to the web sites to read the full article. The Star Tribune from Minnesota always has some great writers and articles, and I wanted to share a snip today about fitness during the holidays. Many of us, busy with buying gifts, work, shorter days, and family may find less time to exercise during the holiday months. I always tell people to go to the local mall and window walk for 30 minutes, but don’t buy anything until the 30 minutes expires. When home watching TV, every time a commercial comes on, exercise – whether performing pushups, jumping jacks, or jumping rope…..but get active. I highly recommend your visiting the Star Tribune web site to view the full article as well as some of their other great media clips.”

From the article…..

Turn the tables on your busy schedule: Five tips for adding exercise into this hectic time of year.

This is the season for parties, pageants, shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, family visits — and, oh yeah, trying to carve out time in that whirlwind to work out.

“Exercise gets sacrificed when people decide they just can’t squeeze it into their hectic schedules,” said Mark Blegen, who heads the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

“But you don’t have to choose between fitness and holiday activities,” he added. “It doesn’t have to be either/or.”

You can keep physically active by harnessing your creativity, he and other fitness experts say. There are shortcuts, ways to combine the busyness of the season with the satisfaction of staying in shape.

Some health clubs, such as Hell Bent Fitness in Minneapolis and several CrossFit centers, are trying to help out by offering afternoon and weekend kid-workout sessions while parents get in an hour of quality exercise.

“We just got it started as a holiday thing, but we’d like to continue it into next year,” said Hell Bent owner Jason Loesch.

After school on Thursdays, his wife, an elementary school teacher, takes kids 4 and older and gives them a snack, then exercise, then homework time.

But if you’re so jammed up that you can’t make it to the health club, there are plenty of other ways to keep moving those muscles, Loesch said.

Here are five ways to keep fit without sacrificing the season’s festivities.

1. Shop with gusto

That trip to the mall can do double duty when you make it a family outing for walking off calories. When you shop, choose the farthest parking spot you can find and hike to the mall entrance. This might actually be faster than driving around looking for a parking space that’s closer to the front door.

To read the full article…..Click here

Guest Post – Jason Miner, 5 Activities To Keep The Kids Active During The Holidays

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familyThe holidays are a great time to relax and enjoy each others company but it’s an easy way to get bored and restless for kids, so the best thing is to keep them active. Keeping them active will help them stay happy and less irritable during the holidays. Cold weather tends to keep the family inside so here are some activities that don’t require a lot of outside time:

Walks: Now that the kids have all this free time, take family walks around the neighborhood in midday when it’s most warm. This will keep the whole family moving and create a perfect time for bonding and memory making. Don’t forget to bundle up and take the family dog!

Puzzles: Challenge their little brains and keep them thinking with picking out several large but easy puzzles. Clear off a table top and let them go to town on it. Not only do puzzles allow them to use their brains but will keep them quiet and busy for at least 45 minutes. That means more time for you to get done what you need to get done.

muffinsBaking: Instead of allowing the children to lie around all holiday break, get them active by getting them into the kitchen. Have them help you bake cookies and other yummy treats. Baking teachers children math problems, practice following the directions and allowing them to be creative. Depending on your child’s age you can also let them do the bigger meals and actually help cook.

Crafts: Grab the glitter, stickers and construction paper. This is a great time to allow the kids to create crafts together. Throw a large sheet down on the dining room table floor and let them go crazy. Inspire them with requesting crafts for the grandparents, like snowflakes and Christmas trees.

Forts: Indoor forts are the best! Grab all the pillows and sofa cushions you can, some empty boxes and blankets. Let the kids build a fort and once they are done, pop them some popcorn and make it a reading or coloring fort for them to hid and get cozy in. You may have to lend a helping hand to get them started, have fun crawling in with them!

Enjoy the holidays and every day the children are home from school, use one of these activity ideas to keep them busy: bake, make a fort, create holiday greeting cards, put together a puzzle or go for daily walks. Have a happy and safe holiday!

– Jason Miner plays a vital role for www.blogcarnival.com. He is an expert in writing topics of different categories. He is helping the carnival team to grow & working on making this an even better place for bloggers.

Guest Post – Emily Joseph, Eating Healthy Around The Holidays

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cookiesThe holidays are an amazing time of year. Families get together to celebrate, parents shower their children with gifts, and in many parts of the country, the ground and everything else is covered in an angelic white powder. Another great part of the holiday season: the food. Everyone getting together means lots of pie, cake, and cookies. Plenty of stuffing, turkey and ham. Appetizers, entrees, desserts – the celebrations and the meals seem to never end. But there is, of course, a downside to all of that delicious food: the weight gain that follows. There is, however, good news for those that love the holidays and love to eat but do not like to pack on the pounds. Below are some tips for eating healthy during the holidays, so that you can enjoy the food but keep the pounds at bay.

1. Fill up on the veggies! When you are surrounded by people eating, it can be nearly impossible to try to abstain. So instead of fighting an uphill battle, change the dynamics of what is on your plate. Avoid the stuffing and the sweets and instead pile on the salad and the greens. Brussel sprouts, spinach, and squash are all delicious favorites during the holiday seasons. So fill up on the good stuff!

waterbottle2. Drink plenty of water at every meal. It can seem like over eating is almost required at some family meals, but if you are too full to eat anything more, then you will slow down on your own accord. You might be surprised by how much you can avoid eating if you make an attempt to drink extra glasses of water.

3. Savor a piece of your favorite dessert, instead of sampling everything. When you see a dessert table covered in delicious treats, asking you to abstain entirely is an unreasonable request. But instead of taking a bit of everything, pick your favorite and enjoy the whole thing. A full slice of pumpkin pie will be more satisfying than small bites off several treats.

4. Wear the right outfit. What we are wearing influences what we eat. When we wear billowy shirts or dresses, we don’t feel the same need to avoid binge eating as when we wear more fitted attire. So save the elastic-waist pants for hanging out around the house, and put on some real slacks for the big meals.

jogsnow5. Stay committed to your fitness routine! It can be tempting to just say “to heck with it” when you are eating extra and enjoying the tasty pleasures of the holiday season. But the truth is that this is precisely the time that you need to hit the gym. Work off the extra calories by doing more cardio or lifting heavier weights.

6. Use a smaller plate when you have the option. We tend to fill up our plates at buffet lines, so the more room on the plate, the more food ends up in our bellies. Some buffets only offer one size, but if you have multiple plate sizes to choose from, opt for something smaller. You will naturally help yourself to less calories.

7. Eat something before the meal. If you show up to a big meal completely ravenous, you will eat more. Try having a healthy snack, like a glass of V-8 juice, to fill you up a bit before heading over.

– Emily Joseph has been writing about QualSite LASIK for many years. When she’s not writing, you can find her finding quiet time to relax and read some of her favorite books.