Holiday Season 2005 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: A Simple Holiday Eating Strategy
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: Solutions For Holiday Stress

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Cranberry Relish

Did you miss Christi's Holiday Teleclass?  No worries... you can buy the call transcript and notes here.

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Why do the holidays stress us out so much?

I think I've figured out the answer...

Our everyday lives are busy enough.  When we add holiday responsibilities, fun and social events to the mix... we overload ourselves.

We then start to drown in holiday stress, and we have a harder time enjoying the season of holiday cheer.

This year, I urge you to take control of your holidays.  Why not make them sane and fun again?

My teleclass last month focused on "How to Survive the Holidays... Without Gaining Weight or Going Crazy!"  During the call, we came up with great solutions to some of your most popular holiday stresses. This month, I want to share a sampling of the ideas with you.


If you missed the call, but want to buy a copy of the class transcript and all supplemental materials,

click here.


My favorite de-stressing holiday approach is a three-prong technique called "Non-Actions." 

Non-actions are simple.  Instead of adding things to your life, Non-Actions help you remove things so you can create space for holiday fun.

Here's the basic three-prong Non-Action approach:

1. Delete - take it off your list!

2. Delegate - get someone/something else to help out!

3. Diminish - don't be a perfectionist about it!

Here's how to apply the Non-Action approach to your Top Six Holiday Stresses:

#1: Gift Shopping

- Delete: Chances are, other people's budgets are feeling overstretched, too.  Have a conversation with extended family and friends to see if you might take a 'no gift' approach this holiday.

- Delegate: Use my "Healthy Holiday Gift List" to find an idea for anyone on your list!  Hire a personal shopper to take care of non-intimate gifts for teachers, neighbors, etc.  Ask your spouse or partner to take care of his/her side of the  family.

- Diminish: Don't stress about finding the perfect gift. Just get gift cards for everyone.  Keep extra gift cards onhand for last-minute gifts!  Starbucks, Whole Foods, movie theaters, beauty salons all make great gift card ideas.

#2: Holiday Cards

- Delete:   Don't send cards this year! Before you start giving me a hard time, I must tell you that I made the decision to NOT send holiday cards two years ago, and I've never regretted the decision.  Give it a try and see how freeing it is!

- Delegate: Ask each member of the family to sign the card or write their portion of the Christmas letter. Have a mailing/stuffing party so you don't have to do it all yourself.

- Diminish: Send an e-photo or e-postcard instead of mailing a letter. My mom now sends out a Valentine's Day letter instead of a holiday letter.

#3: Entertaining/Socializing

- Delete: Take a break from hosting your traditional get-together. Or say 'no' to a holiday party that you usually attend, if you'd rather have the time to rest.

- Delegate: Hire a housekeeper to clean your house before the party.  Ask a friend to stay afterwards and help you clean up.   Ask everyone to bring a dish.

- Diminish: Focus on one or two entertaining elements, and let the rest go.  For example, light a bunch of candles to create a great atmosphere, then order food from Whole Foods or a local caterer.  Create a special music mix to set the mood, then just put one wreath on the door instead of going nuts with decorations.

#4: Overspending

- Delete: Pay for all holiday purchases in cash.  Overspending will be no problem with this approach!

- Delegate: Go in with friends or family to purchase combination gifts so that you spend less on presents.

- Diminish: Set a budget and stick to it, even if that means spending less this year than you usually do on people's gifts.  They won't mind.

#5: Decorating the House

- Delete: Only put up half of your decorations this year.  Leave the rest in storage.

- Delegate: Ask friends to come over for a tree-decorating party.  Hire a neighborhood teen to put up the exterior lights.

- Diminish: Put up a tree or wreath and simmer some cinnamon sticks in the stove - instant beauty and great smells!  No other decorations needed!

#6: Holiday Travel

- Delete: Part of the stress of holiday travel comes from trying to get everything done before you go.  Look through the rest of this article and see what you can take off your pre- or post-travel to-do list!

- Delegate: Instead of taking gifts with you, ship them directly to your destination.  Pay a bit extra to have the shipper gift-wrap them. 

- Diminish: There are lots of ways to make holiday travel less stressful.  Buy a great new book to read in the airport.  Buy a portable DVD player so you can watch movies on long car trips.

Want more ideas?  I've put together all the materials from my Holiday Survival Teleclass just for you.  The materials include:

- The full class transcript, complete with participant comments

- A list of delicious holiday recipes to take to holiday parties

- A list of fun holiday events and memories to create

- A list of healthy, holistic gift ideas

- A list of more ways to avoid overeating, overspending, and over-stressing

To buy a copy of the class transcript and all supplemental materials (only $15), click here.






Online Nutrition Program for Marathon Runners

Are you a marathon runner who is confused about what to eat during your training season? The "Peak Performance Nutrition Program" (PPNP) is an online program that teaches you the dietary changes you need to make during your 18-week training season.

The winter programs started last week, so sign up now to make sure you receive all 19 online issues. 

To learn more and read a sample PPNP issue, click here.

The Boston program starts 12/12 - sign up

The Big Lake program starts 1/9 - sign up

The Rock 'N' Roll program starts 1/30 - sign up

The Anchorage program starts 2/13 - sign up



Healthy Shopper DVD

If you'd like to take a grocery store tour from the comfort of your own home, please check out my "Healthy Shopper" DVD!



Upcoming Teleclasses

*A teleclass is a seminar delivered over a phone line.  Call in from your office or home... whichever is more convenient.  You can simply listen in... or you can participate and ask questions.  If you've never tried a teleclass before, it's a fun and convenient way to learn about a new topic. 


As part of my holiday de-stressing approach this year, I've decided NOT to lead a December teleclass.  Take this month off and enjoy time with your friends and family!

If you couldn't make the November "Holiday Survival" teleclass, you can still get access to all the information, including:

- A comprehensive outline of everything discussed on the call

- A list of healthy (and delicious) holiday recipes

- A list of fun holiday ideas that you can take advantage of

- A list of healthy, holistic gift ideas

- A list of ways to avoid over-eating, over-stressing, and over-spending

To buy the comprehensive set of teleclass notes, click here.










A Simple Holiday Eating Strategy


The average person puts on 5-7 pounds during the holiday season.

During a typical Thanksgiving feast, the average person will eat 7000+ calories!

Why not approach holiday eating differently this year? 

Here are some techniques to help you:

Before the Party:

Get your workout in, even if it's a short session.

Create a gameplan - how will you approach this party?

Don't starve yourself! Before you go to the party, have a snack like hummus with pita bread, apple with almond butter, almonds, or turkey slices rolled around goat cheese.


At the Party:

Fill up half your plate with veggies.

Chew each bite 50 times - this is guaranteed to eliminate overeating.

Pop a piece of gum in your mouth to avoid going back to the buffet for seconds.

After the Party:

Get outside and go for a walk to improve digestion.

Take most leftovers to a homeless shelter... or give them away to guests.

Evaluate how your game plan worked... and re-work it for your next party.




Cranberry Relish


We made this dessert at one of my very first cooking classes, and it made the entire house smell glorious! 

The next time you look at a bag of cranberries in the store and wonder what to do with them... why not give this recipe a try?

- 2 apples

- 2 pears

- two 12 oz. bags of cranberries

- pinch of sea salt

- 1 t. ground cardamon

- 1 cup fresh orange juice

- 1/2 cup raisins or currants

- 1/2 cup maple syrup

- 2 t. orange zest

1. Peel and cube apples and pears.

2. Grate orange zest and squeeze juice out.

3. Combine all ingredients into a saucepan.

4. Cook on medium heat until everything has melted, about 20 minutes.

Pair Relish With:

- Chopped fruit, like apples, pears, oranges

- Plain couscous, brown rice, or quinoa

- Toasted whole grain bread

- Baked squash or sweet potatoes

- Cornbread


Need more healthy recipe ideas for the holidays? Check out my holiday recipes.







Christi Lehner-Collins, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. A Holistic Health Counselor is a nutritionist and life coach all rolled up into one.

Christi studied Eastern/Western nutrition and modern health counseling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and earned a B.A. in Honors in Communication Arts from Villanova Universty.

Christi's goal is to help people fall in love with healthy eating, juicy living, and guilt-free self-care. Christi is a three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan.

She is the author of the forthcoming book You Don't Have to be Superwoman to be Healthy: 50 Ways to Reclaim Your Health.

To read more fun facts and stories about Christi, click here.

Christi can be reached at or 617.492.6450.




About "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets"

Note: the information in this newsletter is presented for educational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a licensed professional. To suggest topics for future "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets " issues, please contact me.

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