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It's an exciting time of year. In our home we cekebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah as well as the winter solstice. Blending the customs of the various traditions is fun and allows us to experience a rather full holiday season.
I was out of town last weekend through late Tuesday night and arrived home to find a tree in my living room! My boys were busy at work while I was gone! It's such a joy to see how fully my husband Scott, raised Jewish, embraces my Christmas traditions.
There is so much joy and connection this time of year! Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, its likely you have traditions around connecting with people you love and giving gifts.
The downside of this time of year is the focus on food. At every corner is some new temptation – cookies, pies, candy, hor dourves! Unfortunately, most of it is high in sugar, fat and refined flour and does nothing for your health and has a knack for expanding your waist-line, zapping your energy and exacerbating inflammation. So instead of feeling at your best and really enjoying your connections with people, you may find yourself feeling foggy headed, over stuffed and more depressed about the state of your body that you'd ideally like to be.
I have a favorite cookie recipe I learned from a Betty Crocker cookbook shortly after I moved out on my own in my early 20's. I made these cookies every year and they were LOVED BY ALL. Then something happened, and I “changed my diet”. You may already know the story, as I've shared it on many a teleseminar. The first Christmas after I changed my ways, I reinvented the cookie recipe. I substituted the white flour for whole grain, substituted the butter and eggs with almond butter and psyllium and the cookies, while tasty, were not as popular as the originals.
Over the years I refined the recipe, and I now have a raw dehydrated version that knocks people's socks off. I've included it below the announcements.
1- “Releasing Yourself from the Bondage of Your Comfort Foods” . This webinar, along with a full package of resources including recipes, videos and articles is available as my gift to you. To register go to http://www.DrRitamarie.com/signup/comfortfoods
2- “Healthy Holiday Sweets Class and Webcast is happening this Sunday, December 12. In the class you'll learn to make the most delicious and amazing sweets, made without oil and sweeteners. They're 100% whole food desserts that will impress even the most picky eaters. If you attend the class live, you'll get to sample everything. If you attend via the web, you'll get to participate in the class discussions and ask questions. Either way, you also get access to the videos after the class is over. These are high quality, indexed by recipe and includes a recipe booklet. Early bird pricing is still in effect.
Everyone who attends either the live or web class will have the opportunity to pre-order our amazing new dessert book called “Dessert, Making it Rich without Oil” at a discount. All the recipes in the class and the book are gluten free, dairy free, soy free and sugar free and are 100% raw whole foods. We even sneak veggies into the recipes and you'd never know it to taste them. It's a great way to get kids to eat their greens.
Even if you can't make the live class, sign up to receive the videos here:
3) Holiday Cleansing Made Easy Most of us think about cleansing after the holidays, to work off all the extra pounds and inflammation caused by over-indulging during the holidays. I usually schedule my Group Green Cleanses in October and January – before and after the holiday season. After discussing it with some of my participants, I made the decision to do it differently this year. Our Holiday Cleanse will start Sunday evening, December 12 – after the holiday sweets class!!!!
The usual cleanse is 7 days long, but this time I decided to also offer a 3 and 5 day version, to make it easier to fit-in to your busy holiday schedule. While I plan to do the 7 day version myself, and I hope you join me, I fully realize that a short cleanse is better than no cleanse.
To find out if this is for you, read the details at
The Green Cleanse is only for you if you're ready to move into the new year full of energy and vitality in a slimmer, trimmer, stronger body than you've ever had stepping into a new year.
If you join us for this cleanse you'll be invited to attend the first two cleanses of 2011 at no additional charge.
Here's a summary of my strategies for staying healthy through the holiday season, summarized from the more detailed version in my DVD product Indulge Without the Bulge
1. Begin with the end in mind
Think about how you want to look and feel on January 2. Write it down. Make it rich with descriptive language. When reading it makes you smile, copy it neatly to an index card and carry it with you. Take it out as a reminder whenever temptations present themselves. Ask yourself if making the food choice you are tempted to make is in alignment with your desired body on January 2.
All too often we perceive thirst as hunger and eat when our bodies are crying out for water. Start your day with at least a pint, preferably a quart of filtered water. Add a splash of lemon or a pinch of cayenne to really wake up your digestive track.
Drink a tall glass of water about 15 minutes before each meal. It takes the edge off your appetite and you’ll eat less as a result. Whenever you start to feel hungry, have a glass of water and wait 15 minutes before eating. If you still feel hungry, enjoy your meal. You probably need it.
Green smoothies, made from fresh whole fruit and leafy greens are an amazing way to nourish yourself with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. When greens are blended, the cell walls explode, and the nutrients that were locked inside burst forth, releasing their magic for you to enjoy. The net result for you is increased energy, clearer thinking, and the strength and stamina to truly enjoy your life. It’s easier to avoid the temptations of holiday sweets and rich foods when you’re well nourished.
It’s important to always carry food along whenever you go to parties, dinners and shopping excursions. Even if you’re not hungry when you start out and you’re only going for a short shopping excursion it’s important to carry food with you. It’s a lot harder to make good food choices when you’re tired and hungry and at the mall where the healthy choices are limited or non-existent. That’s why it’s important that you don’t go shopping when you’re hungry or stressed.
Start your day with deep breathing to get the oxygen flowing, clear your busy mind and calm your nervous system. On the DVD, Cheryl demonstrates a valuable breathing technique. Be sure to pause before each meal and take a deep breath. This shifts your nervous system from sympathetic state (hi alert) to parasympathetic state (calm). Your digestive tract is most efficient in the calm state.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time when we express love and appreciation to those we care about. It is a season of connection. If you’re like most people, though, you spend a lot of time stressing over choosing the right gift and dealing with crowds, high prices and nervous energy.
Simplify your gift giving by giving gifts of service or gift certificates for services that support health. Find a cause to contribute to in your loved one’s name. Maintain your focus on what makes the holidays special — the love. Request and give gifts that suit your healthy lifestyle. Books, CDs, DVDs, equipment and food make great gifts. Gift baskets filled with health supporting items and foods are always well received.
7) Learn To Make Foods that Delight Your Palate and Nourish Your Body
Learn from a book or class. Sweets for the Holidays and Healthy Holiday Feasts Videos are great starting points. My book Healthy Holiday Traditions contains almost 200 pages of recipes for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and parties in general and is a great resource for delicious recipes. Indulge Without the Bulge includes a DVD with 10 recipe demonstrations along with recipe guide and laminated checklist. Enjoy the quick and easy recipe below for a very special holiday treat.
Raspberry Filled Almond Cookies
Ingredients – Cookie
Ingredients – Raspberry Filling
FILLING: Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. If too thick, add more water. The mixture should be thick and creamy.
• Form 1-inch balls with the dough. Place the balls on a paraflex sheet to make the bottoms. Use a cookie cutter to form shapes or press gently with the bottom of a small drinking glass to make uniformly sized, circular cookie shapes. On half of the cookies, cut a small circle in the center to make the tops.
• Dehydrate 12 to 24 hours until fairly dry.
• Remove paraflex sheet and dehydrate for another couple of hours.
• Remove from dehydrator and place on a cookie sheet.
• Spoon the filling onto the cookie bottoms. Cover with the cookie tops.
• Put in freezer for a couple of hours to set.
These are decadently delicious.
Enjoy the holidays, stay healthy and I look forward to connecting with you soon.
Love, Health and Joy to You,
P. S. Live in or near Austin? Our potlucks are lots of fun. The next one is Saturday, December 11! www.drritamarie.com/potluck
P.P.S. In a Hurry? Here's a summary of the resources explored in this newsletter