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Because it’s the holidays, here are more tips for you to avoid putting on holiday pudge. Enjoy.

1. My old stand-by tip: Upon waking, drink an 8 oz. glass of warm or room temperature water with the freshly squeezed juice from a lemon and ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper helps to rev up your metabolism and strengthens the immune system.

2. Enjoy a protein rich breakfast before 10 AM, and snack on non-starchy/gluten free/unprocessed sugary snacks as needed to keep blood sugar balanced. Apples and almond butter make a great snack.

3. Chew your food slowly! Concentrate on chewing each bite of food 30 times. Mindful eating is one of the most powerful ways to enjoy and absorb nutrients from food and facilitate weight loss.

4. When you are under the extreme urge to overeat or indulge in unhealthy snacking, make yourself a cup of green or herbal tea or drink a glass of water. We often mistake thirst for hunger. After hydrating, ask yourself
if eating too much of whatever it is now will make you feel bad later. (hint: probably)

5. Take a probiotic supplement to keep your internal terrain balanced and healthy. Probiotics feed the “good bacteria” in your digestive tract and enhance digestion as well as immunity.

6. While alcoholic beverages add to the celebratory nature of the holidays, they pack a lot of calories without nutrients, cause cellular damage, and tend to make you overeat. Cut down on alcohol consumption by drinking a glass of water with each alcoholic drink you imbibe.

7. Enjoy healthy fats such as organic butter, ghee, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oils, and nut butters. Coconut butter is a delicious butter alternative. Stay away from low-fat/non-fat products!

8. Banish white bread, processed foods, and fake sugars from your kitchen! They worsen cravings and cause your mood to crash. Enjoy natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrups, date or palm sugar, or Sucanat.

Here’s a great naturally sweet and energy-boosting recipe to enjoy this holiday season, or whenever you crave a little something sweet.
Date Power Balls

15 – 16 medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 Tbsp. coconut butter
½ tsp. cinnamon powder
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp. water
Shredded coconut for coating (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until dates are chopped up. You may need to add a tiny bit more water to facilitate the processing. Spoon out one heaping teaspoon of the mixture and roll between the palms of your hands, into balls. Coat with shredded coconut or additional chopped nuts.

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