Year after year, December is a month of festive gorging. We're not even at the midpoint of the month yet, and people are already feeling the holiday pooch start to form. While we encourage you to let loose and enjoy the odd treat, derailing your diet too much in the next two weeks is only going to lead to feelings of shame and regret as you're Auld Lang Syne-ing up a storm on New Year's Eve. 5 tips to avoid a diet disaster this Christmas 5. Non-negotiable Workouts Being "too busy this month to workout" is a lame excuse. We all know being busy just means, "I'm choosing not to prioritize this." Are you too busy to remember to pee when you wake up in the morning? Didn't think so. Think of your gym routine like you're morning pee: Non-negotiable. 4. Healthier Treats Here's a recipe for delicious gluten-free, dairy-free bliss balls. The only sweeteners in these tasty balls are dates and a bit of maple syrup. For the most part, they're are full of healthy fats. Doesn't mean you should have 12 of them, but they're quite rich and made with whole foods, and will keep you satiated against those other more detrimental cookies in the line-up. Ingredients: • 2 cups Dates • 3 cups Pecans (Whole or crushed. If whole, you'll need a food processor to crush them) •1 cup Almonds (same as above) •1.5 cups Almond butter •1/2 cup Maple Syrup •1/4 cup Coconut oil •2 Tsp. Cinnamon •2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract •Cocoa powder (for rolling the balls in) Directions: 1. Crush the pecans and almonds with a food processor. Throw your dates in there too if it's a powerful food processor. If not, cut the dates into small pieces with a knife. 2. On the stove, on low to medium heat, melt the almond butter with the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add dates and continue to let melt. 3. Once melted, add the pecans, almonds, cinnamon and vanilla. 4. Turn off heat and mix together with a wooden spoon. The texture should be firm enough to roll into balls in your hands. If it's too runny, add some more nuts. If it's too dry, add some more almond butter, coconut oil, or even a little water. 5. Let sit in fridge to cool (about 1 hour) 6. Once cool, roll into balls with your hands. 7. Roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat them. 8. Refrigerate 2 hours EAT! NutritionRx (www.nutritionrx.ca) is my favourite place to get healthy recipes! 3. Avoid the Christmas Party Sabotage When you're surrounded by endless finger foods, it's hard to know how much you're consuming. Instead of attacking the never-ending flow of hors d'oeuvres one-by-one all night and eating standing up, grab a plate and fill it with a reasonable amount of food. It'll help you monitor how much food you're actually consuming and might prevent the binge of the century. 2. Planned Cheating It's OK to cheat over the holidays, but it's best to come up with a plan. Christmas dinner is likely going to be one night of guilt-free eating and maybe drinking. But not every Christmas event or meal has to be the greatest feast of your life. Knowing you have a cheat meal around the corner the next meal, or the next day, may keep you more in check during your other meals, or snacks, of the day. 1. Stop with the guilt trips What we're asking you to do is hard. Harder for some than others. If you do mess up, let it go! Registered Dietician Jennifer Broxterman of NutritionRx (www.nutritionrx.ca) likens it to brushing your teeth. "Everyone has forgotten to brush their teeth here or there, but you normally don't beat yourself up about if. Not brushing your teeth once doesn't lead to a spiral effect of not brushing your teeth for a week. But that often happens with food. Someone 'cheats,' and then this spirals into a week of bad eating," she said. So remember, don't skip your morning pee, and don't beat yourself up if you forget to brush your teeth this Christmas. ******************************************* Only 9:30am and 5:30pm class today!