Serenity, Now!

All I want for Christmas is . . . serenity! Take two easy steps to achieve it. First, don't sweat the small stuff. Friends are knocking at the door of your Garner home, but the kids aren't dressed and the dog looks like a mudball? No worries. Your friends are coming to see the real you, not a perfect vision. Second, chill out. Employ basic de-stressors, such as essential oils with relaxing scents, herbal teas, bubble baths, calming music and soothing candles. Ahhhhh!



Season to Be Freezin'?

Soon you'll be trimming the tree or lighting the candles, so now – yes, now! – is a good time to heat up your winter exercise. Why wait until the first of January to jumpstart your fitness routine? Do it immediately, and you'll greet the new year healthier and, probably, happier. But if the weather outside is frightful and you're walking the American Tobacco Trail, jogging the Capital Area Greenway or biking in Orange County, remember to:

  • Wear clothes in layers that can be loosened or removed to regulate your temperature.
  • Keep your feet, hands and head warm with sturdy shoes, superior gloves and a cozy hat so you don't lose body heat.
  • Prep with a nutritious snack – maybe something high-protein – about a half-hour prior to exertion.
  • Keep hydrated because your body loses moisture even in cold weather.



Skinny Santa

Want to falalalala during November and December but still fit down the chimney? It's too bad that making spirits bright often involves indulgent feasts and sweets. Go into these months with a strategy. We polled Carolina Woman editors for their jingle-bell approaches; here are five of their best ideas.

  • Even in the middle of the seasonal whirlwind, take at least 20 minutes to eat a meal so your head has time to realize that you are, indeed, full.
  • Fill up with hot broths, soups and drinks, but watch out for extra calories in special beverages, such as Frappucinno.
  • Eat well before you go shopping and take along wholesome nibbles to power your day.
  • Rely on fruit and veggies to take the edge off.
  • Wear skinny jeans on casual days so you can see and feel if you're putting on weight.