Avoid a Santa Belly this Holiday Season!

Avoid a Santa Belly this Holiday Season!

Here are a few tips to be sure that you are maximizing your health & enjoyment this holiday season, feel amazing and can still fit into your favourite outfit!

How many times have you gone to a party and said to yourself, “I’m just going to take it easy and not overindulge tonight” and then basically have to roll home because you are so full?!

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Yep, we’ve all been there. This year, let’s make it a priority at our Christmas and New Years events to actually “take it easy” and not feel terrible on the way home (and the next day too!)

It is easy to gain 10 or even 15 pounds over the holiday season, because there are so many extra social events, and these events tend to focus on food! Sweet treats, mega calorie meals and lots of drinks and cocktails.

This overload really takes its toll on our general health and well being. We’re all for getting together with friends and family and having a wonderful time, but we try to keep to an 80-20 rule.

That is, 80 percent of the time we are choosing healthy options and 20 percent of the time is a little more casual.

That also means that at holiday parties, you choose 80 percent healthy food and 20 percent not-so-healthy food.

It’s pretty easy to think that you are being healthy 80 percent of the week, so the 20 percent can be used all in one shot at a party! But, we all know that 20 percent can quickly morph into 300 percent!! And you know how terrible you will feel the next few days while trying to detox all of that sugar, fat and alcohol out of your system.

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Here are a few tips to be sure that you are maximizing your health and enjoyment this holiday season, feel amazing and can still fit into your favourite outfit in January!

1. Drink lots of water before you head out. This will flush your body and help to awaken your digestive system so that it is ready to digest the coming party foods. It will also make you feel full and will help to deter you from indulging in so many options at the party.

2. If you know that there may not be too many healthy options, take your own veggie and fruit tray. This is super easy to whip up, and your host will appreciate your help with food options! Chop carrots, cucumber, peppers, celery and cauliflower onto a tray, add raw green beans and baby tomatoes and you’re ready to go! Pair the tray with a hummus or roasted red pepper dip and you’re all set. For fruits, chop cantaloupe and pineapple, add raspberries, blackberries and apple slices, and bring along a few clementines that people can peel as they want to eat them.

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3. Now that there will for sure be healthy options at the party, try to focus on eating 80 percent healthy and 20 percent treats.

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4. Always keep a glass or bottle of water in your hand. Go ahead and have that glass of wine, but make sure you are drinking as much water as you are drinking alcohol. This will help to keep you from getting tipsy, and tomorrow morning you will feel so much better!

5. Keep up with your exercise routine throughout the holiday season. It’s obviously more hectic and stressful this time of year, but exercise is so beneficial to help work off stress and anxiety. It will also help to offset the 20 percent treats we allow ourselves! And, if you don’t have an exercise routine, start one! Try gentle movement and stretching like yoga, find an exercise buddy and go to some classes at the local gym, or turn up the music and dance! Find time for joyful movement… your body, mind and emotions will thank you!

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6. Remember that time is precious. We really only have this moment for sure, so make the most of each one. Spend time with your favourite people and live in a space of gratitude. Give and receive love freely and joyfully, laugh and have as much fun as you can!

7. And speaking of giving and receiving, don’t over-do the gift giving! Choose one or two special gifts that you know your recipient would love and be satisfied with that. The holiday season has developed into a consumer driven craze, and it would be great if we could slow that down and remember what it’s actually all about ~ spending time with family and friends and celebrating our lives together!


Jo-Anne Richardson, Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Energy Medicine Practitioner

Jo-Anne works with Fournier disAbility & Health Management Solutions to provide online education for clients and patients. Her interest in healthy, joyful living is demonstrated in her writing, coaching and teaching. Her goal is to improve the health of her community by empowering you with knowledge, support and new ideas.

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Avoid a Santa Belly this Holiday Season!

Lucie M.H. Fournier RN, COHN(C), BA (Psych)

Founder/Workplace Health Strategist

With over 30 years of experience in disability management, and a return on investment on average of 1:7, Fournier disAbility & Health provides customized and results oriented services in Absenteeism Management including Attendance, Sick Time/Short, Long Term Disability, and WSIB claims for employers across Ontario.

Expertise in 5 distinct niches of disAbility management include:

1. Complex claims management resolution

2. Mental health claim return to work & accommodations

3. Advanced level training for internal claims manager to make a significant impact on the health of the employee and wealth of the organization

4. Transitional Leadership when moving to & from a 3rd party disAbility Management company

5. Sensitive claims & disAbility management of professional staff, such as HR, health team, and/or executives such as supervisors, managers, directors