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Let’s face it, we do not always show our healthiest selves over the holidays or make the healthiest decisions. Here are some ways to take healthy risks and make healthy decisions to end your holiday season on a positive, happy, and healthy note.

1. Give your party guests a non-alcoholic option. Instead of serving a champagne punch at your New Year’s Eve get together, why don’t you try a fun non-alcoholic twist on a favorite drink.

Try this virgin Mojito Recipe: 1 juiced lime 1 juiced lemon 1/2 cucumber, muddled Mint to taste Orange vanilla seltzer

Serves 5

2. Let go of grudges and forgive. For some, the holidays may be a time when you see that family member or friend that you perhaps had a falling out with. It is important to remember that forgiveness is not about having warm feelings towards someone or completely restoring a broken relationship. Instead, forgiveness is about allowing yourself to move on, move past and be healthy.

3. Arrange for a cab before you go out on the town or to a holiday party. Did you know that Lancaster has three cab providers available, which include Lancaster City Cabs, Lancaster County Taxi Service and Yellow Cab? If there is a possibility that you might have an alcoholic beverage while out, might as well plan ahead and make arrangements to be picked up. At the very least, program the numbers into your phone.

4. When making resolutions, make them attainable and have a plan. Don’t just say, “I am going to exercise more” or “I am going to quit smoking.” Set weekly and daily goals for yourself that will help you reach your overarching goal. For example, instead of saying, “I am going to exercise more” or “I am going to loose weight,” resolve that you will work out for at least 20 minutes each day and/or set monthly weight loss goals. If looking to quit smoking, be realistic, as quitting cold turkey may not be realistic for everyone. Instead, set manageable goals of cutting back to eventually not smoking at all.

5. Avoid alcohol related host/hostess gifts and make healthy choices when it comes to belated gifts.

• It is extremely easy to pick up a bottle of wine or purchase a martini glass set. Try getting them something fun like an herb oil diffuser or a cheese making kit. • For the teenager you don’t know what to get, purchase a gift card to a specific store or better yet, a gift card to Spooky Nook Sports or even the Movie theatre. Avoid Visa gift cards as the possibilities are nearly endless; you would be amazed by what can be purchased on the internet today. • Avoid lottery tickets. For some this may be a fun little gift but there are people who are predisposed to gambling addiction.

In keeping with the theme, let’s all make a commitment to take healthy risks, make healthy decisions and make 2015 the best year yet.

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