Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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Do not get it twisted. The holidays should be enjoyed with full bellies, hearts, and arms. It is arguably necessary to indulge in the abundance of this season, and that includes indulgence in your own health. After all, aren’t we celebrating health? A healthy spirit, healthy relationships, healthy outlooks on a new year? So instead of going down that path where you forget to nurture yourself and feel more burnt out than built up, here’s how to keep the health in your holidays:

Write down your workouts in advance. The holidays are always busy. Take 3-5 hours a week to yourself to just connect with your own body. Sign up for classes in advance so you feel accountable. Include workouts in your planner just like you include holiday parties. Carve out the time you need in advance so you aren’t forced to choose when you are strapped for time and inspiration.

bari class

Simplify your cooking. I love food. My mom is the best chef I know (even her sandwiches have a way of making me reconsider why I ever moved out), and you can bet your cannoli that my dad makes the best pasta and gravy Sunday dinner this side of the Atlantic. But for all of those in between days, post-turkey and pre-pasta, I like to keep it simple. Just buying the necessities. Keeping it lean and delicious with proteins, vegetables, legumes. Simplifying means two things: a budget you can maintain now, and guilt-free indulging later. You’ll get enough food excitement from parties and family functions, so why not keep your list succinct and sustainable. Here’s a sample of what Craig and I are buying right now:

chicken breast

tofu

eggs

spinach

salsa

avocado

tomato

black beans

lentils

onion

turkey bacon

I can make three or four meals a day with that list:

Hearty Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fried tomato, avocado slices, turkey bacon and black beans

Breakfast on the go or snack: hard boiled eggs, salsa, spinach

Lunch: Salad with spinach, tofu, avocado, tomato, onion, turkey bacon

Dinner: grilled chicken, lentils or black beans with onions, sauteed spinach

That menu costs around $50 a week for two people. That’s a lot of savings. That means more money for Christmas gifts. Like, say, I don’t know, this… asos jacketMeditate, pray, write. Do one or all three of these things depending on your disposition. I’ve taken to meditating first thing in the morning for a mere ten minutes. Clearing your mind, allowing yourself to start your day on your terms is going to give you the juice you need to celebrate with family and friends without burning out. You can’t just hustle to each and every holiday engagement. You’ve got to fill up and recharge so that you have something to give once you’re there.

therabandGet yourself some travel weights. Or resistance bands. Keep it lightweight so that you can pack it easily. This way, no matter where you are you can do a little something. Even if all you’re doing is a set of crunches with weights in your hands, you’re going to raise that heart rate up faster and burn a few more calories in a shorter amount of time. Slipping in a few sets here and there throughout your day when you’re visiting family will make sure you’re not stuck at a gym while trying to hold all those newborn babies.

Like this guy:

photo 1-1photo 2-1

Be honest and gentle. I think the best gift we can give each other during the holidays is the acknowledgement of truth via the gentleness of love. So often we don’t say what we feel, and mostly that happens with the people who need to hear it the most. Open up and stop hiding from those you love. I’ll admit it, I have a short temper. Sometimes when I’m on the subway and people are starting to irritate me, I will imagine what they looked like as children. I try to see innocence, wonder, potential. If we can do that with strangers, we certainly should do that with our families. It’s the best time of the year to remember that everyone struggles in their own silent way from time to time, and exposing your honest and gentle self gives everyone else permission to do the same.

What other ways do you give your health a boost over the holidays?

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