Sandra M. Grant P.Dt. - Registered Clinical Nutritionist
My Blog

winter activities

December, Make it a stress free holiday season

The holiday season may be known as the most wonderful time of the year, but for many of us it is also notoriously stressful! The "to-do" list gets longer every week, and with each festive tune we hear, there's the reminder that we only have so many days left to get everything done! Why not do things differently this year and bring the fun back into the holidays! Life experiences provide us with cherished memories, many of which last long after that plaid scarf has been discarded. So skip the crowded malls, parking lots and scurrying scrooges and spend that time in a more meaningful way...sharing, laughing and making memories. In case you've lost track of how to do that, I have a few suggestions to get you started. If once you've read this, you have suggestions of your own to offer, please let me know. I would love to share your ideas.

Seek out icy thrills: Activites like skiing, skating, sledding and tubing aren't just great calorie burners, they're fun and exhilarating too! The fresh air gives you a sense of elation you just don't get from other work-outs. If they're a little too exciting for you, consider checking out the ice sculptures or try snowshoeing! Be sure to fill a pocket with bird seed to feed the chickadees along the way.

If it's raining, and outdoor activity isn't an option, then Decorate a christmas tree for the wildlife: Gather the kids, or a few friends, and decorate an outdoor tree for the wild life...or maybe just for the birds chipmunks and squirrels... It's easy and super fun!

Start with  Orange Cups: Cut oranges in half; scoop out fruit(use it in a smoothie). Make a handle for each cup by poking a small hole, one half inch from the rim on three sides. Push one end of an 8-inch-long ribbon into each hole; secure with a knot. Fill cups with birdseed or suet cakes. 


Edible Ornaments: Use raffia or rope to hang rice cakes, sliced pears, apples or start fruit (carambola). Tie a red or gold ribbon at the top of each fruit and voila! Edible ornaments! Try my favourite...Stuffed Pinecones: Melt 1 part peanut butter with 1 part lard (straight peanut butter is too hard for birds to swallow). Roll 2-inch-long (or larger) pinecones in this mixture then roll in birdseed before the fat hardens. Set on a cookie sheet to dry. Tie a raffia or ribbon hanger to the top of each cone. Peanut Strings. Make garland with peanuts (in the shell) and cranberries and wrap it around the tree. It will keep birds busy for weeks if the squirrels don't cut it down first! 
Then sit back and watch the flurry of activity as squirrels, chickadees, nuthatches, bluejays, woodpeckers and other seed eating birds scurry around the tree. Keep in mind though, that If you decide to do this,you should be consistent with your feeding. Birds will start to rely on you for part of their diet. A lack of food during a severe cold period or storm could result in tragedy for these beautiful little creatures.

For the gifts that you do need to purchase, consider upcycling. To visiting one of our many eco friendly shops click here

Next we will make healthy, wholesome peanut butter dog biscuits for woman's best friend, fun festive christmas mice and we'll learn tips on how to avoid adding on the pounds over the "festive' season". So check back soon!

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