Health for the Holidays

On Our Minds


Ahh, the holiday season. From tying up loose ends at work, shopping for gifts, decorating, attending holiday parties to cooking for holiday parties - it's very easy to push self-care to the back burner when we are busy and/or stressed. While self-care might not feel like a priority at this time, keep this in mind; self-care prevents burn-out, helps you stay "sharp" and protects your body and mind from the negative affects of stress.

Self-care is crucial to your physical and mental well-being. Don't feel like you have time? Schedule it in your calendar with your other appointments and tasks. It can be as simple as listening to a meditation app for 10-15 minutes, writing in a journal, getting a manicure or even just stopping to take 3 deep belly breaths at some point during the day. Show up for YOU this holiday season.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

In Good Health, 
Lisa Brown & Jennifer Medina

How to Deal with Food Pushers

"Come on, just a taste!"

"Here, take the last scoop—I know it's your favorite!"

You're at a family dinner. You're comfortably full and satisfied. Your loving, well-intentioned grandmother comes at you with a huge scoop of bread pudding and nods towards your plate. What do you do?

We've all been in this situation at one point or another (especially around the holidays!) and it can often feel uncomfortable. But, declining unwanted food shouldn't feel like a crime! Whether you're feeling full, trying to stick to your goals, or you simply don't like the offered food, respecting and honoring your body should always be your number one priority.

Note: If you feel that whatever the "food pusher" offers is worth the indulgence - go for it! Enjoy the food and own your decision.

If not, here's a couple of strategies for dealing with food pushers that work for both us and our clients:

"Thank you, but I'm not hungry right now."

Be polite but firm in your response and then quickly change the subject, "I heard you're going away for the New Year. I'd love to hear more!" Ask a question that requires a thoughtful response so you can turn the spotlight away from you and onto them.

"But I made it just for you!"

Ugh, the guilt trip. Again, politely decline and change the subject. Or, tell the person that you're quite full at the moment and would love to wrap it up and take it home with you for later.

"What are you on a diet?"

Comments like this can definitely cause some frustration especially at the dinner table when every one is eating. Take a deep breath and say you are eating in a way that makes you feel healthy and happy and if they'd like to discuss it more, you'd be happy to after dinner. Always avoid talking about food and diet at the dinner table. If someone else brings it up, do your best to change the subject.

Tell the truth

If you're close with the "food pusher" sit down and have a heart to heart. Explain that while you appreciate the love and care, you set a goal for yourself and need to stick to your plan. Let them know what they can do to help (offer vegetables with dinner, etc.). If you're speaking to them before a holiday, you may just explain that you are trying to be in tune with your hunger signals and it makes it harder to do when they persist.


Recipe of the Month:
Sugar and Spice Nuts

Quick and easy snack for the holidays!

Total active time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: makes 5 cups


  • 3/4 cup sugar (or Stevia or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 cups raw cashews (9 ounces)
  • 2 cups raw almonds (9 ounces)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 ° F.
  2. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the salt, chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Add the cashews, almonds and spiced sugar and toss.
  4. Spread out nuts on the prepared baking sheet and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring once, until browned.
  5. Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally.

Recipe courtesy of

Quote of the Month

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
  —Melody Beattie

Final Thoughts

Our last tip for getting through the rest of the holiday season:

Treat these days like any other day. You don't need to "save calories", skip meals or go crazy at the dessert table because it's the "one and only time" you can eat them.

If you're stressed about the food, assess the situation before going in. Decide what foods you are really craving and plan to include them on your plate. Focus on partnering with your body . Savor your meals, eat slowly and check in with yourself often. Your body likes variety, so think of the holiday meals as a way to mix things up!

lisa brown