‘Tis the season for overindulging on treats! If you’re hoping to make it through the holidays without adding a notch onto your belt, get out of the mindset that cookies, candies, and treats are the reason for the season.
To be jolly without waking up to a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly, try these seven tips for spreading cheer and joy (instead of sugar and fat) this year:
- Write a heartfelt note letting the person know how much you appreciate them.
- Have your kids create handmade crafts that the recipient will cherish.
- Make a small donation in the recipient’s name to a meaningful charity.
- Offer to wrap gifts (or do some other needed chore) for an elderly neighbor or a friend with small children who may not have the time or energy to do it themselves.
- If you can’t give up the notion of delivering holiday goodies, try this recipe for Spiced Spanish Almonds instead of the usual cookies or candy. Or take it up a notch and deliver a meal to a neighbor who may not have time to cook.
- Is there a coworker you’ve been meaning to get to know better? Invite them to lunch to spend some quality time away from the office.
- Instead of an office potluck, try organizing a food drive to collect nonperishable food items for those in need (follow these easy steps from the Oregon Food Bank). Similar ideas include a toy drive or a coat drive. Your coworkers will still come together during the holidays, but with a more meaningful and helpful outcome.
If you’re looking for more ways to give back this season, check out this great calendar of volunteer opportunities in Portland. For a special and memorable day, you and your kids can deliver holiday meals to those in need or spend an afternoon helping at the food bank, then take a drive that evening to look at Christmas lights—maybe you’ll even create a new holiday tradition.
Enjoy the holidays – see you in 2014!
Tracy works with the OHSU Surgical Weight Reduction clinic and Cardiac Rehab program, and also provides medical nutrition therapy for General Adult Outpatient Clinics at OHSU.