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Staying healthy over the holidays is a marathon, not a sprint

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For most people, that time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a roadmap of parties, dinners, open houses and other opportunities for delicious food and drinks to be enjoyed at every turn.   Last week, Being Latino set everyone up to get off to a healthy holiday start.  Continuing a healthy lifestyle without feeling deprived isn’t as hard as it might seem.  The following is a great way to continue and find success.

Set yourself on a sample schedule.   Behaving during all of the festivities spread out over six weeks, is unrealistic for even the most disciplined among us.  Break up your meals into four to six mini meals with small samples of what you are craving in that moment.  Take the time to sit down, socialize and really enjoy your food.  By allowing yourself to indulge in what you want, you will be satisfied with the smaller portions.

Get the whole family involved.  From eating and prepping to playing family football and talking walks, by making exercise and food prep family activities, you instantly get everyone on board.  Kids are more apt to eat food they help create.  Furthermore, by instilling healthy habits during youth, they are more likely to carry them into adulthood at their own holiday festivities.  Bonus for adults, by actively playing with children, you will get in great exercise without necessarily realizing that you are working out.

Be prepared.  If you are hosting, find ways to make healthier offerings to go with some of the traditional dishes.  You have complete control over the menu.  If you are a guest, offer to bring a dish.  Your host will think you are being a completely gracious guest, but you are also ensuring that there will be something health-conscious to nosh on.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  With all the food and drinking, you are likely to experience bloat and/or indigestion at some point during the holiday season.  Drink water to help your body flush out your system.  You will also help yourself avoid holiday hangovers that way too.

Don’t beat yourself up.  At some point, you will indulge more than you intended, whether it was too much pernil or one too many glasses of coquito.  Forgive yourself.  No one gets obese or falls off the health wagon from one meal.  Brush yourself off and work harder the next day.  Remember, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed.  Just because today you indulged more than you wanted, doesn’t mean you can’t be better tomorrow.


About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


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