Daina's Healthy Tip and Recipe for December

The holiday season is upon us and whether you celebrate them or not, they tend to increase the stress, anxiety, and already jam packed schedules. On average America as a society is generally more stressed than the rest of the world.  Add a “holiday” in the mix and we tend to increase the level of stress to atomic levels. This article is going to introduce some great tips to help bring the focus back to what a holiday should be; fun, slow, fulfilling, and experienced.


1.       Plan- One of my favorite quotes “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

a.       Keep your calendar at the forefront of your mind. Use it diligently so you avoid overbooking yourself.

b.      Plan some time for yourself and actually write it on the calendar.

c.       If you know you are going to be traveling in a specific area work in other events at the same time to alleviate extra driving and wasted time in the vehicle.

2.       Learn to say “No”.

a.       Some events may not be as important as staying in and watching a movie or spending some quiet time at home.

b.      Prioritize your events. Are family events a must for you to attend? Put those on the calendar first and pencil in others that are important in case the event is cancelled or changed.

3.       Be realistic.

a.       Events-We can’t be everywhere so make the most out of the time you have. When looking at the holidays talk with your family and friends. Make plans to include more people at events so that everyone gets a chance to see each other. Enjoy the moment when it comes and linger towards the end if you can so you do not feel rushed to leave.

b.      Money- Presents are nice, potlucks are always amazing, cookie bakes are delicious but all of these things end up costing money and time in the long run. Creating a gift budget for this season can be a huge help and allocating a certain amount towards each event can help so that you are not left broke at the end of the long season.

c.       Health- The more hectic our schedules become the more we relax on our healthy diets and the less exercise we fit in. This can decrease our immune system just when we need it the most. So make sure to fit in a workout time and keep on eating those fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and of course a cookie or two.


Whole Wheat Sugar Cookie



•          1½ cups whole-wheat flour, plus extra for    rolling out the dough

•          ¾ teaspoon baking powder

•          ¼ teaspoon salt

•          ½ cup cold butter (1 stick)

•          ⅓ cup granulated white sugar

•          1 egg

•          4 teaspoons heavy cream

•          1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



1.         Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2.         In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3.         In a large bowl fitted with an electric whisk cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes. While the mixer is going add the egg, cream, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

4.         With the mixer still going on low, slowly add the flour mixture until well mixed. Turn off the mixer and squeeze the dough together into a ball using your hands.

5.         Using a rolling pin roll the dough out onto a floured  surface until it's about ⅛ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes and place them onto an ungreased baking sheet.