Originally written for Hillgrove Avenue Magazine.
In this month’s column, The Sister Project is answering questions submitted by our readers.
Thank you to all who wrote in. The questions we couldn’t answer here in Hillgrove, we’ll tend to on our podcast, Cozy Conversations with The Sister Project. Tune in every Tuesday and Thursday!
Let’s dive in.
How do you enjoy the holidays without completely letting go of your workout and healthy eating routines?
– Lizzy, 32, San Diego (Born & raised in La Grange Park)
The dean of my high school used to end every morning announcement with, “as in all things ladies and gentlemen, moderation.” Did we listen at the time? No. But here we are and sometimes it takes years for the good stuff to sink in.
The holidays don’t have to be a time to totally overindulge but at the same time, it’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy special, seasonal treats, traditions, and merriment.
Something I like to do is have a few daily wellness non-negotiables. These are the top three things I do every single day that has me feeling like I put forth some effort. My three are a brisk walk, some green juice or green tea, and healthy snacking. What are your top three non-negotiables?
I like to carry things like hard-boiled eggs, nuts (sometimes I get festive and roast some with herbs and spices), and fruit/veggies on my person so I don’t grab crap on the go.
However, when I do go thru McDonald’s drive-thru once a month, I get the largest french fry available and a small diet coke. It just hits differently from the golden arch.
Avoiding hangovers like the plague is also a top priority, especially when you’re 40 with a baby. Trading in alcohol for low-dose cannabis edibles (2.5 mg) instead is the perfect way to get in on the holiday fun minus the headache and the calories.
Out in California, this is called Calisober, so I suppose we can call it SuburbanSober around these parts.
One of our favorite products is the mango gummies by Matter. Tip: You can find these at your local dispensary here in Illinois.
When it comes to sticking to an exercise agenda, get the Peloton app. It’s a no-brainer and ridiculously convenient. Throw down a mat and choose a class from the thousands of options available. From strength training to yoga to barre and HIIT classes, the world is your oyster. Twenty minutes is all you need.
You got this. And remember, you’re trying your best and that’s the best you can do.
When do you stop buying gifts for adult nieces and nephews?
– Barb, 49, Montana
I think the real question here is when do the adult nieces and nephews start buying gifts for their aunts and uncles?
Growing up, our mom always got our aunt and uncle a thoughtful holiday gift. When I was younger, I thought she was just being nice, but now I get it. June knew how much love and energy they gave her kids and she wanted to show her love and appreciation in return.
I loved that she did that – it taught me a lot about gift-giving.
I have always thought there should be an Aunt and Uncle Day and turns out there is one. July 26! Mark your calendar and show your favorite aunts and uncles some love in 2023.
Ok back to the question at hand. I don’t think there needs to be an expiration date on gift-giving, especially if you see something that you know your niece/nephew may love. Perhaps if there are several of them, it’s time for the adult nieces and nephews to orchestrate a grab bag or White Elephant of their own AND include the aunts and uncles. It can be a really fun and economical tradition.
Another idea. Do you bake anything that they absolutely love? Last year I baked each of my nieces and nephews a box full of my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I think it was one of their favorite gifts. Remember, you don’t need to break the bank to show them you love them.
I mean, unless you’re asking this because your nieces and nephews are unappreciative adult brats, then yeah, this year is a good year to stop.
Wishing you and your families a very happy, healthy, & cozy holiday season!
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