1. Survive the holidays, slim and serene

     Just 2 of these healthful skewers and a glass of wine is about 150 calories.Plan your indulgences
    If you are going to a party eat lightly that day and even the day before. Don’t skip meals as it leads to binging. Stick to lean protein, plain, on starchy vegetables and lightly-dressed salads.
    Two glasses of wine or two simple cocktails plus a few canapés can add to 650 to 1,000 calories. That is almost half to a third of many women’s daily allowance. One five-ounce glass of wine is about 100 calories and two ounces of plain liquor – for example, vodka or gin – is about 160. An average shrimp canapé will run about 50 calories. A skewer of mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil is about 75 calories. Most small canapés average about 150 calories. However, fried or cheesy items can be 300 for a few bites.
    You can see how quickly a little party nibbling adds up. And be aware that alcohol lowers your willpower. If you drink too much you may be tempted to gobble up too many treats.
    So, eat and drink slowly. Have a glass of water or diet sodas between cocktails or after you reach your limit. Chat and mingle far from the bar and buffet. Dance if you can. If you are bored, it is time to go home, brush your teeth, and go to bed.
    Remember drinking too much is not only fattening, but too much alcohol disturbs normal sleep patterns. This can be a disaster if you need to work the next day. Arrive at cocktail parties 30 minutes late, stay for an hour, and leave! The key to popularity and keeping to your diet is never being the first to arrive at or leave any party. The exception to this rule is an intimate gathering of family and old friends. Stay and enjoy old friends, but be careful not to overindulge.
    If do have too much to drink, rehydrate before bed. In the morning, replenish your energy with vitamins such as Emergen-C or Boost. Eat lightly but have some protein. Whole wheat toast with organic nut butter or an egg is a good choice. Drink water and green tea to rehydrate.
    Find time to exercise
    Shop online for gifts and save your lunch hour for exercise. Take a walk and get some fresh air. Take a vigorous barre or relaxing yoga class. Exercise clears your mind, tones your body, and lifts your spirits. Cope with seasonal stress by making time to decompress.
    If you need to shop or run errands. Make a list and be organized. Take advantage of extended store hours, but also shop during off times. Call ahead to make sure the items you need are available and in stock.
    Be creative
    A gift card for a mani-pedi or a massage may be the perfect gift for a busy friend. But buy one from her favourite salon not yours! If she doesn’t have a regular salon, be sure to choose one near her home or office. Do not give hair appointments or fragrance; they are too personal. If you want to be lavish, a limo or car service is also a great gift for hard-to-buy people who deserve a reward.
    If you know a busy mother on a budget, the gift of an evening of babysitting from her regular sitter or a bonded professional service may be her dream gift. Or offer your service as a sitter in pretty card if you know the child and are good at it.
    It is thoughtful, but not necessary to include gift receipts.
    Dog walking and pet sitting are great gifts. Dog walkers are getting $10 a walk and up!If you are on a tight budget relax.
    Most people care more about how you treat them all year than anything money can buy. A good friend you can depend on to listen and be there for you is priceless. Taking the time to write cards to tell people what they mean to you is a meaningful and thoughtful gesture.
    If you must have something to wrap and place under the tree – and many of us must – baked goods, if you are baker, are always welcome. Even dieters entertain.
    For pet owners who work, pet-sitting and dog-walking are valuable gifts. A friend who owns two dogs pays $35 per dog a day when she goes out of town. She would love dog-sitting from a pet-loving friend!
    Cooking, proofreading, sewing, and knitting are all welcome gift to those who can’t do it for themselves.
    Give of yourself elegantly. Inscribe your gift in a pretty card. Believe me, it will be appreciated. Relax and allow yourself to enjoy the season in all its glory.
    Like this story? Tweet it out!