Healthy Holiday Tips

Healthy Holiday Tips by Kathy Dolan

Do you find yourself over-indulging at the end of the day? End of the week? End of the year? Does it start with Halloween and go strong through the New Year? Let’s start with a typical day, and then add the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and before you know it, you are feeling depressed and a few pounds heavier. It’s a cycle, or mindset, that can be changed with lifestyle choices if you are ready.

You have ended your day feeling accomplished about your tons of productivity, and are exhausted, causing your willpower to be low.

You know the drill, you come through the door at the end of the day, toss your keys down, and change into your comfy sweats and slippers.  This is the most crucial part of your evening mindset. How can you get through the morning and afternoon, sticking to your plan, and totally lose it at the end of the day? Your mindset is telling you, “I earned that handful of M&Ms!”  Your evening may be lacking routine, structure, and willpower.  A little structure, which should include kicking your feet up and chillin’ time, is a must. Yes. You got this.

Here are my Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Lifestyle with creative ways to avoid evening, weekly, and/or annual over-indulging:

  • Establish an evening routine, and shoot for 80% consistency. Holiday months included.
  • Consistent, moderate exercise regulates hormones, moods, and blood sugars, so make sure to schedule time for physical activity. Do your best to keep your training sessions throughout the holiday/winter months. Come April, you’ll be so glad you did. 
  • Does your career have you talking all day at work? At some point in the evening routine, curb your tendency to talk unnecessarily, and settle into the rejuvenation of silence,  whenever possible. Our 5:30 pm Yoga Sessions include lots of quiet time to meditate and rejuvenate.
  • Are you exposed to lots of people, kids, and germs throughout your everyday life, and even more so at the holiday season? Try using a neti pot, air purifier, or humidifier to help keep the lungs clear of congestion. Create a purified environment in your home to end each day.
  • Apply lavender oils combined with coconut oil to hydrate the skin. This practice regulates emotions of anxiety, depression, fear, and nervousness. Need oils? Purchase them here
  • Commit to a regular meditation & prayer practice to assist in quieting, centering and grounding the active mind. Journal your thoughts at the end of the day. What three feeling was dominant throughout the day?
  •  Learn and practice right nostril breathing: Close your left nostril using the ring finger on your right hand. Inhale through your right nostril for 6-8 seconds, then exhale through the same nostril for 6-8 seconds.  7-10 rounds, a few times a day or whenever you feel stress. Create a healthy habit that will enhance the Yang Sun energy that helps keep the body warm as the temperature drops in winter months. Learn more in my winter session yoga classes.
  • Hydrate all day, but especially at the end of your day. Make it a ritual.
  • Turn off all lights from electronic devices.  Use a diffuser (click on the link and look under the ‘Wellness’ category) with natural sounds with or without light.
  • Lights out for bed at 10:00 p.m.  Try to get a full eight hours of sleep and awake when the sun rises. Sleep is vital for health and well being.
You have heard the tendency of putting on 8-12 pounds over the holidays, right?! Did you know it takes most people 6-8 months to get that 8-12 pounds off? Some never do, and the weight continues to creep up year after year. You can enjoy the holidays with a healthy mindset. Drop the all-or-nothing thinking today! You can do it. Change your mindset, change your life.

Doing the Holidays Healthy

Doing the Holidays Healthy by Kathy Dolan

You have heard it many times: Most people gain 7-10 pounds over the holiday season.

It doesn’t have to be this way! You can enjoy all the holiday foods, goodies, parties and come out feeling amazing. Doing the holidays healthy doesn’t mean you don’t get to indulge!

Keeping the healthy balance starts with your mindset. So many have the all-or-nothing mindset which just sets you up for a lifetime of the yo-yo effect (aka ups and downs on the scale),  fluctuating body fat levels, and moods! Why torture yourself?

What is the “doing the holidays healthy?” For you, maybe it’s getting through the holidays without giving up on all your health and fitness gains! Maybe it’s feeling your best with energy and good health all season. Maybe it’s looking gorgeous in your little black dress for the company Christmas party or sparkling with good health celebrating New’s Year’s Eve with your kids.

What makes my clients succeed with year-round health and fitness training is the very same thing you need to do to maintain your healthy habits through your jolliness.

What is that one thing? Accountability!

Now, you are thinking you have to journal your food or track your calories? Nope. Train 4 times a week with me? Nope. Miles of cardio? Nope.

Accountability means setting a few loose rules or boundaries. Keep it real and honest. Heading into the holidays with a plan in place. Focus on how you want to feel during the holidays. Thoughts and feelings are our superpowers, so charge them up.

During Thanksgiving dinner, we can easily consume 3000 to 5000 calories so extra exercise is a must!

Here are a few tips:


  1. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or a Turkey Burner Class
  2. Set a time to meet and walk the trail with your neighbor, sister, or friend.
  3. Book a few extra sessions with your trainer.
  4. Sign up for a contest like Doing the Holidays Healthy”  #Hashtag us and win free stuff!

Meal Planning

1) Plan on eating treats and sweets, but pick only the best foods that you don’t get all year. Don’t waste your calories on store bought cupcakes or the cheese and cracker platter. Savor your mom’s dressing, homemade cinnamon rolls, or dad’s prime rib. The foods that say holiday!

2) Portion Control.  Here’s my big tip: Eat a little of everything and a lot of nothing. ELF BITES. Elves are little wee creatures. LITTLE WEE BITES.

3) Eat small meals to avoid binging. Graze. There is always another gathering around the corner. Pace yourself.

4) Hydrate! For every adult beverage, match it with a glass of water. You will be so glad you did.

Watch the coffee beverages as they are as many calories as a meal. Stick to healthier drinks like vodka soda, bloody mary, or champagne to avoid the excess sugar of the season!

Move It (and dancing counts)

Every single chance you get to MOVE, MOVE. When you park at Costco, park out as far as you possibly can. Do 10 Minutes of cardio before you shower. Work the 10-minute abs while dinner is cooking. Sign up for early morning sessions with your trainer and get the heavy lifting done early. Put on your favorite playlist and dance like Richard Simmons, walk like Kathy Smith or run like Deena Kastor, even if it’s for 5 minutes. Set a timer and get up from your desk every hour and do 50 squats or pushups.

Focus on Family and Friends:  

The non-caloric soul food being served! It is said you hear the most when you are listening. So enjoy catching up with your friends and family. Enjoy these occasions and being around the people you love, not the food and drinks.

Here is The Instagram Hashtag Challenge:

Hashtag EVERYTHING that you do that is positive and healthy each day!

Start the train rolling with good vibes. The more you tag, the better you will feel! Look for health every single day and post a selfie of you working out, eating healthy, or setting an alarm clock to wake up and go to the gym!

The opportunities are endless. Get creative, not only will you inspire others with your healthy choices, you will get inspiration from others in the Doing the Holidays Healthy movement!

Have some fun! You CAN fill your newsfeed with MOTIVATION.  Choose Healthily!

Here are a few ideas to get you started and keep adding!

★Every day you got 8 hours of sleep

★Did a 10-minute workout

★Had a salad

★Intermittent Fasted


★Did Yoga

★Worked out

★Walked the dog


★Skipped the seconds at the buffet

★Did an act of gratitude

★Took a power nap

★Did a HIIT workout

★Parked in the furthest parking spot

★Focused on the family, not the food.

★Talked/chatted/called a friend

★Had a massage

★Had a healthy snack today

★Upped your workouts! Upped your intensity!

★Did an extra 5 minutes on the run

★Played charades at your next gathering

★Stayed hydrated

★Drank a protein shake after working out

★Had an extra serving of salmon

★Passed on the office donuts

★Had an ELF BITE OF ______ (Donut, See’s Candy, Cookies, Pie)

★Had an ELF size cocktail (1 glass instead of 3)

★Drank a glass of water between cocktails