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Holiday Health and Safety Guide from FSTA

It's December, Have a Healthy Holiday!

December is an exciting month, with holidays and special events to celebrate! We invite you to read through this special information to help keep you healthy and safe this holiday season.

We hope you enjoy the featured articles, recipes, and tips as we encourage you to relax and keep safe this holiday season!

Holiday Tips and Recipes

Tips for Responsible Hosting

Planning a social gathering? Organization is the key to hosting a successful party.

Here are some tips to help lower your risks as a host:

* When your guests arrive, ask them how they are planning to get home. You can ask your guests for their car keys to keep in a safe place until it is time for them to leave.

* As the host, drink moderately or don’t drink at all. This way, your judgment will not be impaired.

* Serve low-salt foods throughout the duration of your gathering.

* Offer low-alcohol and alcohol-free cocktails and other beverages, like sparkling water, fruit juices, tea and coffee.

* Don’t serve alcohol before planned physical activities, like skiing, snowmobiling, or skating.

* Decide in advance how you will handle guests who have had too much to drink, i.e., offer them a place to stay for the night, pay for a cab ride, or find another safe way of getting them home.

* When preparing for your party, you can assemble a "responsible host kit" which includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, disposable razor, and comb/hairbrush for guests needing to stay overnight.

* As a responsible host, take steps to prevent guests from becoming intoxicated.

Follow the guidelines for responsible hosting:

* Having a party?

*Know the low-risk drinking guidelines

Breakfast Recipes:

-Cinnamon Multigrain & Yogurt Pancakes

-Breakfast Tacos

Soup and Salad Recipes:

-Barley and Parsnip Soup

-Brussels Sprout, Blueberry and Walnut Slaw

Side Dishes:

-Holiday Rapini Saute

-Roasted Lemon and Rosemary Potatoes

Main Dishes:

-Turkey Breast Stuffed with Curry and Gouda

-Big Batch Beef and Root Veggie Stew

-Roasted Salmon and Broccoli with Lemon Parmesan Sauce


-Chocolate Almond Bites

-Slow Cooker Stuffed Apples

How To Stay Positive During the Holidays

Whatever holiday is on your calendar in December - Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa - it is sometimes a challenge to stay positive in the midst of the commercialism and general hub-bub. Here are a few ways to stay positive during the holidays:

* Avoid over-scheduling yourself. Use an agenda to keep track of your holiday commitments so that you can physically see what you are committing yourself to. Along with your commitments to others, make sure to include some downtime for yourself - even if it is half an hour here and there. Knowing that you have some personal time will help you to stay positive.

* Lower your expectations. Don't strive for perfection, good enough is okay. Don't expect your family to be perfect during the holidays. Be realistic about who they are and what your relationship is like with them all year around. That is especially true for step-families.

* Make a budget and stick to it. The price of the gift is not equal to how much you love them. Focus on the people that you care about instead of the stuff that really doesn't matter. Beware of the joy-to-stuff ratio: more stuff does not equal more joy.

* Spread your socializing in the months after the holidays. Don't try to pack a year's worth of socializing into a few weeks. Start a new tradition with friends and make a date with friends for mid-January or early February.

* Get as much sleep as you can. Schedule one or two pajama days for yourself or for the whole family - stay in your pj's and stay home and give yourself permission to rest and enjoy some time together without rushing about.

Holidays are for celebrating what is truly important to you, your family, and friends. Make it the holiday you want it to be and chances are you will keep a positive attitude.

This Holiday Season Make These Your Top Four Objectives:

Celebrate Safely

With family gatherings, dinners with friends, and office functions, the special celebrations throughout the holidays will keep you busy! Whether you are meeting with friends or relatives at a restaurant or someone’s home, make healthy choices. This December, try the latest popular trend and drink a mocktail beverage as a healthy alternative at your next gathering. As always, be sure you have organized transportation that brings you to and from your special events safely, now and throughout the year.

Additional Resources:

-Hosting Know How

-Canada's Low Risk Drinking Guide

-Alcohol Hangover

-Health Canada Responsible Drinking - It's Your Health

Take Time To Relax

With all the many wonderful but often hectic activities that get scheduled throughout the month of December, it is especially important to take some time to relax! Try adopting an organized and relaxed approach to the holidays. Use your calendar to schedule your special events - don’t forget to include some “down time” in your holiday planning. For example, stay in bed for an extra hour, watch a movie, or read that stack of magazines you have been collecting. Whatever your plans are for the holidays, plan for it to be as relaxed and stress-free as possible.

Additional Resources: -What Is Your Stress Index?

-Work/Life Balance Quiz

Eat Well

It often seems like December is a month spent eating. Whether it is your mother's amazing pound cake or your uncle's 'best ever' sausage rolls, it seems that delicious food is all around us! This holiday season, try to strike a balance. Do some pre-holiday planning to fully enjoy the festivities and treats of the season while staying on track with healthy lifestyle living. Do not deprive yourself...indulge moderately in the foods that you really love and plan for healthier meals on non-festive days. Make healthy food choices when you can, and be sure to fit in some daily physical activity!

Additional Resources:

-10 Tips for a Delicious and Holiday Season

-Happy Healthy Holidays

-Resolutions You Can Live By

-Holiday Food Safety


It is hard to believe that the Holiday season is once again rapidly approaching. Are you tired of getting gifts that aren’t very useful? Well this year why not ask your gift-givers for things that will help you enjoy a more active lifestyle or make your exercising safer? Here are a few suggestions. If your running shoes are a year old they should be replaced. How about running shoes with winter spikes? Do you and your family all have ski or snowboard helmets? Replacing your broken ski poles and old ski boots can make your time on the ski slopes more fun and reduce your risk of injury. Perhaps you like to exercise in low or no light conditions and don’t own any reflective clothing or accessories. A pedometer or an activity tracker is a gift that says I love you and want you to take good care of yourself. How about a set of snowshoes to help you get to your car in the morning? Jingle bells may make visits to your local snowshoe or cross country trails safer and more enjoyable, breaking the silence and keeping bears away! A set of resistance cables will allow you to keep up your strength training during your travels and they don’t take up much room in your suitcase. Nothing says I love you quite like a romantic tube of sunscreen that you can use on your winter holiday to warmer climates. All kinds of things can make your life safer and more active - all you have to do is ask!

Additional Resources:

-Ski and Snowboard Helmets

-Avoid Black Bear Encounter

-Bears in the Mountain National Parks

-Snowmobile Safety Tips for Families

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