MHLbannersmallAs part of your monthly My Healthy Lifestyle newsletter, you'll have a chance to take advantage of some healthy tips from fellow employees. This month a Riverside team member offers thoughts on standing up to the pressure of friends and family when it comes to holiday food.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is just say no

"I used to spend a lot of time making up little stories during the holidays only they weren't the kind you read to the children. When the people I work with, neighbors and family would put still another plate of cookies in front of me or tell me to sit down and eat something I would usually say I had just eaten or even that I was feeling a little under the weather. I did that because if I just said, "no thanks" they would take that as a challenge and keep insisting.

xmascookiesThe last few years I've tried something different. I let the people I'm around, those same friends and family members, know that while I appreciate their offers and the food looks delicious – I'm trying to avoid not only the potential holiday season weight gain, but also the kind of food that's usually served during this time of the year, and by that I mean things that generally have too much fat and sugar. Of course, even when I tell people upfront that I don't want or need any extra calories they may still dangle the food in front of me. What I've found though, is that when you communicate with people ahead of time, there's a better chance that they'll respect your wishes. At the very least you've set your own boundaries in an open and honest way.

The good thing is that when you don't overindulge in either food or drink, you can still enjoy the parties and get-togethers, spread some holiday cheer to the people around you and feel better about yourself at the same time."


If you have a health and wellness suggestion that other people can use please send it to Daniel Ballin at