Healthy Holidays

by tinareale on November 14, 2012

First of all, I have to say thank you all SO MUCH again for the love and support yesterday. We’re coping better around here (although I must admit I’m missing my companion laying at my feet right now). As I mentioned last week, I really enjoy featuring other great bloggers regularly here on Best Body Fitness so I now have a weekly guest post feature. A fun way to find new blends and possibly get some new insight in the process. Today, I welcome Julie from A Better Life With Burgers to talk healthy holidays ! LOTS of tips AND a super simple recipe!!


Hi everyone! I’m Julie, the blogger behind A Better Life with Burgers. I had the pleasure of meeting Tina earlier this year at BLEND Retreat, and I’ve also participated in Best Body Boot Camp – currently enjoying Round 3! I really admire Tina’s blog and her abilities as a personal trainer, so I jumped at the chance to help out with a guest post!


With the holidays fast approaching, I see pumpkin-spiced treats everywhere: Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Pinterest, blogs. I know I’ll be indulging in at least a few seasonal delights over the next few months. The holidays also tend to make us all mysteriously busier; we have parties to attend, gifts to purchase and wrap, cards to send, and perhaps a heavier workload at the office.

It all adds up, and I often find myself low on energy and high on stress—not a healthy combination. The best defense is a good offense, right? By being prepared for the next few months, we can actually enjoy the end of the year instead of surviving it in an exhausted daze. Here are some ways to not succumb to the stress and overindulgence.

  1. Try a new healthy recipe. Sure, it’s easy to drool over all those chocolate-covered-pumpkin-caramel-marshmallow bars on Pinterest, but the holidays can inspire plenty of healthy goodies, like homemade applesauce, pumpkin granola, or a cream cheese appetizer (see below!).
  2. Decide on a number of drinks before you go to a party. You’ll be more likely to savor and enjoy your drink(s), drink them slowly, and not regret it the next day.

chocolate martini

  1. At a dinner party, scan all your options before creating one plate of food. There is always room for indulgences and special treats, but on a day you’re looking to take it easy, stick to one plate.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be that person who brings fresh fruit or veggies or a green salad to a potluck. Most people appreciate those options, and you can load up your plate with veggies with all the other stuff.


  1. For those long days of holiday shopping, plan ahead for meals. Is there a healthy option nearby, or should you pack something from home?
  2. Carve out time for exercise. It seems we have even less time than usual during the holidays, but regular workouts will relieve stress, increase your energy, and help make up for some of those pumpkin pie slices.
  3. If you’re attending a party or two in one week, do your best to eat at home the other days.
  4. Choose active outings. The holidays typically draw large crowds to the movie theater, but why not try something new? Go ice skating, bundle up and take a walk through the neighborhood, go snow skiing or snowboarding, sign up for a local race.


  1. Get a jump start on those New Year’s resolutions. Why wait until January? There’s no time like the present!
  2. Find time for yourself and time with your loved ones. Remember that the holidays are a chance to spend time with those close to you, so make an effort to really enjoy that time instead of stressing out about how clean the house is or whether everyone is having fun.

This season, if you’re in charge of an appetizer, you can feel good about bringing (and enjoying!) this simple, delicious choice.

Cranberry-Almond Cream Cheese

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Triscuits or Trader Joe’s Woven Wheats

If desired, toast the slivered almonds to enhance the flavor. Allow them to cool completely. Then stir the cream cheese, cranberries, and almonds in a medium bowl. Form the mixture into a rectangle, square, or round shape and place on a plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with crackers.

Cream cheese

Special thanks to Tina for the opportunity to share on her amazing blog! I’d love for you to stop by sometime and say hello! <<<you totally should. she’s awesome!

Your Turn: Which of these tips do you regularly do? Which could you try to do MORE OFTEN this year? Also, link up if you have a healthy holiday appetizer to share!


1 [email protected] November 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

I am always THAT GIRL that brings her own food! I think it is the best way to stay on track!

2 Julie @ Better Life with Burgers November 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I think it’s totally ok to be “that girl”! :-)

3 molly @ heart, sole & cereal November 14, 2012 at 11:50 am

love this post and i love julie! those tips are awesome – especially the one about deciding about the number of drinks you’ll have before you have it. i have a lot of willpower most of the time and i’m great about sticking to goals, so this is an awesome tip for me. lots of times i’ll just mindlessly sip away without thinking about it. that leaves me overserved and overfull usually :)

4 Julie @ Better Life with Burgers November 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Haha love you too Molly!! :-) This is a new one I’ve started trying and it TOTALLY works!

5 Haley @ The Saucy Apple November 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

Hi Julie! I’m totally THAT person who brings a new healthy recipe every year. Even though I love tradition, I just can’t resist trying new things. :)

6 Julie @ Better Life with Burgers November 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Hi Haley! I really think people love trying new things — that’s what I usually remember after big feasts!

7 Heather (Where's the Beach) November 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Great tips. I’m always the veggie girl LOL. And that dip looks great (and super simple which is even better). I’m also the one who runs or works out on the holiday itself. Last year I got in 10 miles Christmas day so I could test out my Garmin ;-)

8 Rachel B - Busy Mama November 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Awesome tips! I definitely need to start being the veggie girl instead of the dessert girl and kick that reputation! I like the idea of scoping out the whole buffet table before grabbing a plate too!

9 michelle kim November 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Hi! New to the blog. I love that you feature other bloggers :D
YUM, all the holiday recipes look really delicious!

10 Stefanie @ Thin Vegetarian November 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I always scout out the buffet before taking anything for my plate. And always drink LOTS of water!

11 Katie November 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

That cranberry almond cream cheese looks delicious!

I think the best tip for the holidays is to not freak out that you are going to gain weight. I’ve read some studies lately that show that is a big reason people gain weight now over the holidays – they get so obsessed with all the info out there about it that they try to control too much and then binge.

12 [email protected] November 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm

the cream cheese ball looks awesome!

13 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper November 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I NEVER would have thought to add some ingredients like that into cream cheese, but that sounds delicious! And easy…which is always an added bonus.

14 Katie H. November 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Great suggestions! I am happy to say I follow most of them myself. And I am definitely “that person” who brings a spinach salad or a veggie tray to every get-together :-)

15 Aimee @ Testosterone levels November 15, 2012 at 4:56 am

Awesome writings, it always happen with me in holidays. All of my diet plans the whole exercises go in vain after couple of days. In fact its quite hard to stay away from parties and gathering and out door camping when all of my friends are enjoying there and you can imagine what happens to my diet plans :-P

16 Emilia November 15, 2012 at 5:45 am

Great ideas for staying healthy during the holidays! I love the idea of planning your drinks before you go to a party, I would have never thought of it, but it makes total sense. The cream cheese dip also looks really good and that’s saying a lot from someone who usually isn’t a fan of cream cheese :)

17 Amanda @RunToTheFinish November 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

i think you had comments closed on the other post but I had to say something :) friend i wish I could hug you!! I am so sorry for what you’re going through and just know we all have moments we wish we could change. but you made the best choice you could with the information you had

18 [email protected] November 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

Definitely needed a post like this before this week as Thanksgiving kicks off the season of eating. I always try to survey the food that is being offered and decide which ones I will eat most of (veggies/healthy) and which ones I cannot pass up but will only have one small serving of. Deciding a number of drinks you will have before you go is also a good one.

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