The holidays are fast approaching, how is your energy level? Yet for some, holidays are a minefield. We find it hard to stay focused, hard to stay motivated, hard to exercise, easy to get too busy, too tempted, or just too down in our thoughts to eat sensibly and stay active. Are you skipping meals, hurriedly shopping for the children and running on empty? Remember that this is the time of the year that so many festivities are taking place; it is easy to lose yourself by not fueling your body with nutrient rich foods. Plan a head and have some snacks to take with you as you go on your many errands.

Involve your teens to help in preparing healthy snacks such as the scrumptious banana chocolate chip muffins. See the recipe provided below. This year, be proactive and ward off a holiday slump. I recommend you go to a special class on managing stress, try a yoga class, navigate emotional ambushes with holiday eating strategies such as cooking classes and holiday menu planning. Such activities will help you develop a game plan to make the season happy, healthy and all together enjoyable.

Research shows stress eating ranks as one of the major reasons women struggle with weight. One key reason is the diet mentality where eating becomes a soothing activity. You crave for your favorite comfort food. What else could compete with it when you feel deprived of it?

Many of us don’t realize how we use food to manage stress. Our first challenge is to recognize our gut feeling that the gnawing feeling in our stomachs isn’t physical hunger, but anger, anxiety or some other emotional distress. Once we are aware of our emotional eating that is the diet mentality. The next step is to think of non – food ways to let go of our stress and nurture ourselves. Here are a few ideas that you can try as a start, and find ones that personally work for you.

Breathe: Breathing is so essential. It feeds our bodies and our souls. Do it often.

Smile: It is cathartic. It makes you feel better, and especially when somebody smiles back in return.
Move: Dance, the new craze is jazzercise, try it! Release stress with any pleasurable physical activity. Take a hike, or bike ride, splash in the pool, pull weeds from the garden, or take the fashionable stroll around the neighborhood and enjoying it. Whatever works to release your stress, do it.


Chocolate Oatmeal

This recipe will give you the goodness of oatmeal and the fantasy of chocolate or breakfast. It is satisfying, nutritious and delicious. Serve it with Almond, Fat-free, Soymilk or whatever milk you like. You will never skip breakfast again.

1cup old-fashioned oats
2 cups water
2 tablespoons freshly ground flaxseeds or flax meal
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons sugar or Agave Sweetener
¼ cup chopped walnuts

1teaspoon cinnamon and or a dash of grated nutmeg
How to Prepare: Prep time 5 minutes

Microwave time 6 minutes/ Stovetop 10 minutes

Microwave option: Place the oats and water in large microwaveable bowl or container.

Cover loosely with a lid or vented plastic wrap and microwave on high stirring once or twice, for 6 minutes, or until the oats are softened. Mix in the flaxseed, cocoa, sweetener of choice, cinnamon/nutmeg until well blended. Spoon the oatmeal into 2 bowls, and sprinkle evenly with the walnuts.

Enjoy this nutritious breakfast supplying you with:
Per serving: 310 calories

35 g carbohydrates, 12 g protein, 16g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

Author's Bio: 

I believe that knowledge can be empowering and the more we understand our bodies and the mechanisms that cause illness, the more committed we become to getting better. Through my Hope Nutritional Services, I am devoted to educating you about your body, how it works and how to nourish, heal and nurture it.

Hope’s mission in life is to lead by example and to help others along the way via her platforms – to provide evidence based scientific information, products/tools, and services, and donate to charitable causes. Through her partnership company, she can help to transform individuals’ lives with innovative, anti-aging products, integrative science based supplements, health and beauty products and business opportunities for like minded business leaders or people who want to start their business in helping others.

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