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A Healthy Holiday
Drs. Neal and Nicole Barry

There’s no doubt about it – the holiday season is the most challenging on our health; if we manage to avoid the obligatory ten-pound weight gain, there’s the stress of the usual budget crunch, the family get-togethers, the mall-hopping and the hustle and bustle of shopping; not to mention the frequent trips to In & Out, or The Habit because there’s not enough time left to prepare dinner.

At Your Home
“There’s just too much to do without worrying about eating healthy, too!”  Is that what you’re thinking?  Well, if it is you’ll be surprised to learn that with just a few simple modifications in your busy schedule, eating healthy can be the least of your concerns.

  • Turn Sunday afternoon into ‘Preparation Day’ and get ready for the week

  • Go to www.crockerykitchen.com and get some great recipes that can be slow cooking throughout the day.

  • Pre-season the chicken, put it in the casserole dish in the fridge, and ask your spouse or kids to put it in the over when they get home.

  • Go to your local farmers market, or grocery store, and pick up a bag of pre-cut salad to add to your now healthy meal.

No matter what your schedule looks like, with a few healthier options you and your family can be eating healthier and feeling better.

At A Party
Are you going to be invited to holiday parties and worried about making the wrong choices?

  • Before you leave for the party, eat a small amount of protein (a piece of baked chicken, tofu, beans, cheese) as this will help you not to crave the simple-carbohydrate snacks that are sure to be offered again this year.

  • Offer to bring a veggie platter with a yummy ranch dip (just substitute plain yogurt for the sour cream) or use hummus instead.

  • Pace yourself, fill up a small plate and then step away from the food; grazing is dangerous, as you may not realize how much you have eaten

  • Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water before and after; this will successfully eliminate the hangover, which is mostly caused by dehydration, as well as the empty calories found in most alcoholic beverages.

At The Office
Do you work in an office where the holiday treats just keep pouring in?  It’s difficult to resist what’s so readily available.  Here are some ideas for the workplace:

  • Make sure that you have access to protein items by keeping a block of cheese, a piece of chicken or celery sticks and a jar of peanut butter (real peanut butter, not Jiffy) in the employee refrigerator; the protein will fight off the carb cravings while the snack takes the edge off the hunger.

  • If vendors annually gift you with sweets, then post a sign at the front desk that while you are grateful for the boxes of goodies and the recognition, you are considering the health of your employees and would ask that instead they:
    • Bring a coat for the local homeless shelter or Salvation Army
    • Bring a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots
    • Provide a gift card or clothing for our local fire victims

Also, consider that this time of year is the cold and flu season and eating healthy is not the only thing to consider in the office.  Avoid getting sick or weakening your immune system by:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water

  • If you are not the only one using the headset at your desk, keep it clean with rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth.  This will stop the spread of illness.

There are several thing you can do to keep this time of year from becoming a trial on your health, and one of the most important thing you can do is eliminate stress.  Go for a walk around your neighborhood, on our lovely beaches, or on State St.

Dr. Nicole’s Top Five Family Ideas

  1. 5. Decide in advance which day Dad will take the kids shopping for Mom and vice versa – this promotes quality time between Dad and the kids as well as assures that Dad won’t forget a gift for Mom.

  2. 4. Adopt someone who might be alone for the holidays – it could be a foreign exchange student, a widow/widower, or maybe go to a local nursing home and share the good will of the season.  There are many displaced families as of print time.  Let’s band together as a community and support our friends and neighbors.

  3. 3. Don’t over-schedule the family – use a master calendar hanging on the fridge (Yahoo! Has a good online calendar at calendar.yahoo.com or use Google, Outlook, etc) and make sure that you and your spouse both check it before scheduling anything and update it after something has been scheduled.

  4. 2. Make relaxation a part of every week – buy Christmas music, scented candles and a few of the old classics (Miracle on 34th St.) or even some more recent hits (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and have the whole family sit together and enjoy a family movie.

  5. 1. Prepare your cookie dough ahead of time during the quiet time of the month and then freeze it – so you can have a family cookie back in the month of December.

Dr. Neal’s Top Five Holiday Stress Reducers

  1. 5. Carry a box of Holiday Cards with you – the 5 minute wait can be an opportunity to jot thoughtful notes to loved ones.

  2. 4. Write your holiday list out with one or two gift ideas for each person on your list and then stick to the list.

  3. 3. Go shopping once a week on your lunch hour or one evening a week

  4. 2. Wrap a few gifts one night a week and store them at the home of family or friends.

  5. 1. Most importantly, don’t forget that you can not be there for others if you are not healthy and well.  Keep your regular chiropractic appointments to keep you and your children healthy.

In This Issue
We Continue to Serve
A Healthy Holiday
Oh No…It’s Influenza…Everbody RUN!!!!!
Did You Know?
Sweet Potato Souffle

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