The holidays are over! Now what?

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We did it! We made it through Christmas! We looked Christmas square in the eyes and said, “I will have fun and appreciate the reason for the season no matter how many egg nogs I drink, pounds I gain, sugar fueled fits my kid has, and hours I spend cooking.” It’s all over and for some it brings relief and normalcy, but for others including myself, it signals a crash of epic proportions. I like to call it the post Christmas grumps. Only days worth of sleep, weeks spent eating salad, and hours spent by ones self can make this mood even out. The weeks leading up to Christmas are often so jam packed with Christmas cheer (or craziness) that a steep drop in that cheer is inevitable once the purpose for it is over. This is what I think it looks like:

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Dec. 1st.- It’s ok to listen to Christmas music. The 25 days of Christmas movies begins. Shoppers smile and wish each other happy holidays.

Dec. 13th.- First of many parties. Watched Elf for the fifth time and it’s still really funny. So many cookies, not enough time.

Dec. 20th.- Presents are wrapped. Blood sugar is at it’s peak. Can still threaten kids with, “Santa’s watching”.

Dec. 24th.- Everyone is excited for Santa to come. Avoid all shopping centers unless you’re looking for a fight. Day drinking is okay, “because it’s Christmas”.

Dec. 25th.- Your kids tell you that you are the best parents ever. You are just happy that you don’t have to return anything. Last Christmas party. Mimosas are flowing.

Dec. 26th.- It feels like you got ran over by a reindeer. Egg nog and peppermint are coursing through your veins. It’s possible that you are getting a cold. You cringe each time you look at all of the decorations that will have to be taken down this week.

It makes sense why we act like sleep deprived toddlers doesn’t it? I love Christmas and everything that it means, but I’m exhausted and my pants are tight. So it’s time to get back on track and the sooner the better, not just after New Years. To get out of the post Christmas grumps let’s try the following:

  1. Vitamin D- Cloudy days=cranky pants.
  2. Exercise- I need to drag myself back to the gym and shed about 12 cookies and a double dose of pretzel jello.
  3. Eat more fruits and veggies- not chocolate covered or mixed in a dip.
  4. Quiet time- Turn off the Christmas music and movies, make a cup of tea, relax.
  5. Detox- Less alcohol, more water. (Less does not mean none! The kids are on break for goodness sake.)
  6. Get involved again- This can be in anything. In a book, a hobby, a club, a class (cooking, wine tasting, writing, etc.). Something that gets you motivated and will give you something to look forward to.

I wish you a safe, happy, healthy 2015, and all the best as you read a good book while running on a treadmill with a bottle of water which you will use to hydrate and wash down your vitamins and carrot sticks. It’s going to be a good year!

Cheers!

Jodi

A little something to get you started:

And a healthy recipe:

Caprese Quinoa Casserole

Prep time: 10 min.       Cook time: 30 min.            Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 16 oz. ground turkey
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 8 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ¼ c. white wine (you can substitute chicken broth)
  • 2 c. cooked quinoa
  • ½ c. grated parmesan, divided
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced or cubed (use 2% milk cheese to lighten it up)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • handful of basil leaves, sliced thin or minced (I used freeze-dried basil this time)

Instructions:

  1. If you don’t have leftover quinoa, cook ¾ c. dry quinoa with 1½ c. water according to package directions. Continue with the rest of the recipe while this cooks.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey, onion, salt, and red pepper flakes. Sauté and crumble meat until turkey is cooked through.
  1. Add garlic, spinach, and wine or broth. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Stir in cooked quinoa and ¼ c. parmesan. Reduce heat to medium and cook until heated through.
  1. Transfer quinoa mixture to prepared baking dish. Arrange slices or cubes of mozzarella over the top, and place tomato slices in an even layer over the cheese. Sprinkle basil over the tomatoes. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle remaining ¼ c. parmesan over the top.
  1. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and tomatoes are thoroughly cooked.

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