Healthy holiday habits from Modesto’s Sutter Gould

Sugar cookies distributed at a Davis high school may have been made with human ashes.
Sugar cookies distributed at a Davis high school may have been made with human ashes. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The holiday food frenzies are just around the corner. Each year you think, ‘I better watch what I eat so I don’t gain that extra 3-5 pounds!’

But this holiday season, think outside the buffet table and make a plan to include other positive habits in your holidays. Here is a list of some ways to stay healthy this season:

1. Keep your regular exercise schedule on the calendar. Don’t make excuses for not being active.

2. When you are Christmas shopping, do an extra loop around the mall to get in a few extra steps. Warning – do not spend extra money or stop at the candy store.

3. Speaking of candy or that “extra Christmas sugar cookie,” a friend told me that for every piece of candy she eats, she gets on her treadmill for 10 minutes.

4. Think about giving gifts that promote health all year. Some ideas are a gym membership, healthy magazine subscription, step and heart rate monitors, new exercise equipment or clothes.

5. Put people first at holiday gatherings. Move away from the food and beverage table and take time to really talk to your friends and family. It really will be more satisfying that that extra glob of spinach dip and french bread.

6. Watch out for the extra stress that can come with the holiday happenings. Take time to relax. Read a Christmas story, listen to Christmas music, light some Christmas scented candles and sit by the Christmas tree.

7. Plan activities that don’t include food as the main focus. Walk around Christmas villages, attend a Christmas concert or play, dance to your favorite holiday music, go to the snow or volunteer at a food bank.

8. Congratulate yourself on living well during the holidays and keep those healthy habits going in 2018!

Hadley is a registered dietitian at Sutter Gould