Woke up today and opened up my email. What to my wondrous eyes should appear but a note from Chris Carmichael. What a dear! He listed a number of Holiday Hints to keep waistline spare tires away from a Grinch.

“Naughty” (you’ve heard these before):

  • Don’t go to the party hungry. Have a little snack in advance.
  • Don’t let stress wear you down. Find downtime for yourself.
  • Don’t keep leftover sweets for yourself. Gift them or toss them.
  • Don’t close down the party. You’ll just keep eating and drinking as long as you’re there.
  • Don’t skip your favorite treats or deprive yourself of seasonal favorites but monitor those calories. 

“Nice” (how many do you practice):

  • Stand and converse at a distance from the buffet table so you don’t nosh unconsciously.
  • Pile a small plate high once with one-third to one-half with veggies then refrain from additional visits to the buffet.
  • Eat colorful, healthy food like cranberries for antioxidants & sweet potatoes with beta-carotene and quality protein.
  • Select some tasty bites with strong flavors, such as blue cheese and bacon so fewer bites satisfy and you can indulge less in the high-sugar treats and low-flavor fats.
  • Drink alcohol judiciously and slowly. Have a 4 oz. glass of wine (~90 calories) or 1/2 pint of beer ~80 calories) but be wary of cocktails with calorie rich fruit juices or other mixers. 
  • Refill your beer bottle with water. (This Build Your Tour hint keeps you in the flow of the party without the pressure to “grab another.”)
  • Find time for 30-45 minute workouts to retain your fitness during hectic holidays.


Reviewing these holiday eating “do & don’ts” brought back memories of 2005 when we toured the Dolomites of Northern Italy in late summer. For eight months, I dedicated myself to eating healthy to maintain or reduce the number of pounds I’d have to haul up steep gradients. Following many of the practices on our Naughty & Nice list, I also found myself talking to dessert menus.

Do you really want to go up Passo Pordoi?“, I asked the brownie a la mode. Amazingly, very few of the dessert items responded with a resounding “YES!” In a strange, True Confessions, Twilight Zone way these odd conversations actually worked for me. Asking the question, allowed me the time and space to consider if I really wanted dessert. I was in the best physical shape ever for a tour. I learned what works for me. And the tour was a blast. So after my true confession…..maybe you’ll add “talking to desserts” to your Naughty & Nice list! 

Merry Christmas from Daina & Build Your Tour!
Photo credit to our friend Teri Virbickis. Find her stunning photography on shutterstock.com and flickr.com.

Tail winds and thanks for reading!
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