13 Reasons Why It’s Not OK

Our guest blogger today is a mental health nurse remaining anonymous due to the controversial opinions of this piece.  Have a read, leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned!

This show has received a lot of attention recently; and I’ll admit, I binge watched it with my husband and it’s well written, it’s creative, and they ended each episode with a slight cliff-hanger that makes you hit ‘yes’ when Netflix asks if you’re still watching. So, one would assume that if binge watched, I must have enjoyed it, right? Wrong. After the final episode, I sat in utter astonishment at Netflix, the writers of this show, and the author of this popular book.

For those of you who haven’t watched this yet, without spoiling the details entirely, this show is based on the young woman Hannah Baker who takes her own life. Hannah had recorded 13 cassettes and left them with a friend, who then passed them on to be listened to by 13 people who contributed to why she ended her life; each tape being the story of one of these people.

I know the argument that many will have; this opens up dialogue between parents and their children, it doesn’t shy away from mental health, death, drugs, sex, or the other no longer taboo topics that are prevalent today. I agree that we need to talk about these things, education and communication is of extreme importance for teens, but this is not how it should be done. Why Netflix has even remotely thought this was okay to share in the world of existential teenage angst is beyond me. So, in the sake of considering my ability of ranting and losing all of you to my rambling, here are my 13 reasons why this show is, an atrocity.

1. Rape – I wasn’t putting these in any order but this seems appropriate for number 1 on the list. In ’13 Reasons Why’ there are two rape scenes, and here I will give Netflix some credit as they highlighted the importance of always believing the victim, and how asking a victim if they said no, or fought back, can further destroy someone’s self worth. There is one particular scene, in which Hannah watches a rape occur as she hides; rather than say something about this when she is alive, she broadcasts it on the tapes. After her death she allows 13 peers to hear the story of her friend’s rape; Jessica was intoxicated and has no memory of this. Hannah… you were yourself raped, you understand the trauma that this is, and yet you further destroy Jessica after your own death by describing this in vivid detail to her peers… this is it’s own form of rape.

2. Blaming – this is quite simple. Hannah has blamed her peers for her death and highlighted why on her tapes. I could write an entire post on suicide and suicidal ideation but for your sake I won’t do that here; nevertheless, when someone ends their own life, ultimately this is their own choice. This is a difficult statement to make and people are likely to disagree and state that there are people to blame, but if people were to blame for Hannah’s death, this would be manslaughter or murder, but it is not, it is suicide.

3. Bullying – what is bullying? What has bullying evolved in to? This show depicts very real bullying of this generation, circulation of photos via social media, stalking, physical violence, and emotional violence. Why is it on this list? Let’s say a teen watches this show without an adult around, they see that these things are why Hannah ends her life, these acts, which are normalized on the show, now becomes a reason why it may be acceptable to end their life.

4. Revenge – Hannah seeks her revenge after death through these tapes. I don’t think I need to explain the emotional torture that places these living and breathing teenagers in.

5. Glorifying suicide – The last episode shows the very graphic death of Hannah, who slits her wrists in a bathtub, and her parent’s reactions when they find her. There is a reason that when someone dies by suicide, how they died is not written in the obituary. Research shows that graphic depictions increases viewer’s chances of becoming triggered by the content.

6. Graphic Images – rape, stalking, car crash, suicide, underage drug and alcohol use… oh, there is no PG rating for this but the consensus which I have found states 13+… seriously.

7. Respecting boundaries – Hannah highlights how important consent is; however, she gives Clay (the main listener) a tape not because of what he did do, but because of what he didn’t do. Clay and Hannah progress through their friendship and end up getting hot and heavy at a party. Hannah, struggling with anxiety says no and begins to cry. Respecting her, Clay immediately backs off and Hannah tells him to leave. Clay tries to talk to her but she aggressively tells him to go and he does. Clay did the right thing, right? Perfect gentleman by societal standards! Hannah, unfortunately, implies that he should have stayed, what a mixed message!

8. Counsellor – Hannah decides to give life one more chance and goes to her school counsellor. As a clinician, I felt that the counsellor didn’t ask the right questions to Hannah who was voicing passive suicidal thoughts; however, when Hannah leaves the office she speaks in to her recorder and states ‘he isn’t coming after me,’ implying that people are supposed to read your thoughts and know what you’re struggling with. 

9. Kindness – what is kindness? This show emphasizes that kindness and friendship can save lives. It’s important, yes, but it is unlikely this would have saved Hannah’s life.

10. Triggers – this show makes the most well adjusted person have feelings of anxiety and low mood; throw in the graphic images and heavy content and you’ve got a recipe for crisis.

11. Rise in Crisis Hotline Calls – this has been reported in many articles as a huge positive. ‘100% increase in phone calls to Australia crisis lines, thanks to 13 reasons why,’ hold on… now there is no context to this statement in these articles but my first instinct is that this may not be positive. This show doesn’t depict how to reach out for help safely, so are people calling in because they are triggered?

12. Abandonment and Adjustment – Hannah blames two friends for her suicide as they abandoned her and she was left alone socially; without the ability to cope with such things leads to what we would call, adjustment disorder. There is no mention of coping, how does Hannah try to deal with this in a positive way? Why does this show not highlight anything positive to show teenagers that they can influence and regulate their own emotions?

13. Legal Action and The Deposition – Reason 13… the parents have taken legal action against the school and each child on the tape is required to give sworn evidence. I don’t know that I can call this vicarious trauma… it may be… it also could simply be trauma, these students are now under scrutiny by not only dead Hannah, but the law, and they are only 17.

In conclusion, if you wish to watch this show please do, just be mindful of these points. If you have children and they want to watch this show, then please watch it with them; talk about these issues, encourage the use of coping skills, of giving and receiving communication efficiently, the importance of life, and the detriment of suicide. Clear communication saves lives. Accessing services saves lives.

Glorifying suicide, does not.

Better luck next time Netflix.

Lastly, if you need further convincing please see this link from the centre for suicide prevention: https://www.suicideinfo.ca/statement-re-netflixs-13-reasons-series/



10 to ZEN: Meditation , Mindfulness & Monkey Minds

We are so lucky to have a guest blogger today, Terri Gaglardi, who I asked to teach us a few lessons about mindfulness and meditation. I have seen so many posts lately about schools that replaced detention with meditation and I needed to learn more!!

1. What is your business?

I started a company in Calgary called Monkey Minds that teaches kids about mindfulness meditation. We hold workshops which are designed to learn in fun and creative ways how to calm down their “monkey minds.” Teaching children about the science of how our brains work, in that WE are in control of our thoughts can help them deal with big emotions such as worry, fear, anxiety, & frustration.

2. What does a “typical” Monkey Minds workshop look like?
I think being a fly on a wall in one of our sessions could be quite funny actually .. our classes can sometimes be a little silly & loud, but we want children to learn these tools in a fun environment. All of our classes have a theme, based on such principles as: practicing gratitude, positive intentions, kindness, big emotions, breathing as a super power etc. We focus on that theme in our meditation, play , worksheets and crafts. The kids always get take homes that can help them in their practice as well as show their parents and caregivers what they learned. At the end of every class, we get comfy and turn down the lights and I take them through a guided meditation. Honestly, I think its what the kids love best about class. 


2. What is your definition of  Mindfulness & Meditation?

Mindfulness, simply put is the focusing on the present moment and meditation is state of just being and calming the mind.

3. These words seem to be “popping up” everywhere lately , why do you think that is?

Mindfulness is definitely the “hot” topic these days as is meditation, but these terms are not new. I do think with all the research on practicing both and the profound positive life changes people are experiencing its just bringing it into the light. Life is active, its go go go , People are looking for strategies that help bring a little peacefulness and ways to slow it down.

4. What benefits do you think children can benefit from my learn these tools?

Already I am hearing such positive feedback from children and parents. Using the deep breathing techniques we teach is helping with anger, worry, frustrations, nightmares … and the list goes on. The research and science behind the benefits of meditation and mindfulness is undeniable. It can help us make dramatic positive life changes for kids and adults.

5. What are your dreams for Monkey Minds?

Grow… Grow… Grow… Raising awareness children and parents.

My ultimate dream goal is teaching this in the school system. I have so many great friends & teachers who are supporters that I don’t think that goal is too far off ? Already I have taught in Grades 2& 3 classrooms at my daughters school and have been asked to teach Grade 1’s at another school at the end of the month. Very exciting!

6. What lead you to this business?

While I was on mat leave I started diving into lessons of the universe. I attended training and received certification in Reiki Master as well as Law of attraction. Through research and classes it lead me into learning more about mindfulness and meditation . Initially I was looking for strategies for my daughter to help her with some worry and anxiety she was struggling with. I had taken mindfulness and meditation classes here in Calgary for myself but when I found a training certification program in Edmonton that specialized in teaching children about mindfulness meditation I quickly enrolled…It was truly a wonderful experience and I left with the feeling I was ready to turn my knowledge into a plan … and Monkey Minds was created.

7. Do you just teach children?

I do teach an adult class as well at Modern & Mindful meditation studio in Calgary. This weekend at Monkey Minds I am holding a parent/child workshop so I am very excited to have the parents come and experience our classes too.

8.What about for adults , how we can fit this practice into our busy lives?

The great thing about being mindful and practicing meditation is that we can incorporate it into our daily routines anytime and anywhere. Everything we do from eating, walking, listening, working out, watching t.v to spending time with our kids, we can be mindful. Its being in that moment right here , right now and noticing what is happening and what your are experiencing.

Driving is a big one for me, that is where I do my best thinking and often over thinking. Sometimes when I reach my destination I think ” I don’t even remember driving here.” I am trying to shift and really focus on what I am seeing and experiencing and not being so much on auto pilot. In our world today we are multi-taskers, we have to be or we wouldn’t get it all accomplished… but start by taking one thing in your day, even your morning coffee .. drink it mindfully, notice the flavors and how it makes you feel. Its the practice of bringing your thoughts back to the present moment – like anything , practice makes progress.

Having said that though, don’t do yourself the disservice of not taking a few minutes out of your day to sit in quiet and meditate … even if just for a few minutes.

9. Any last comments to share?

The most important thing I can share is don’t be overwhelmed on the subject. Change doesn’t happen overnight and neither does this. For years I have been reading about meditation, practicing it, giving up and starting over. Being someone who is living mindfully and practicing meditation doesn’t mean you have it all together all the time, always happy, or totally at peace . It’s knowing that it’s out there and knowing you its available to you anytime you want.

Most people say BUT “I can’t just can’t sit there and not think!”

Trust me I get it .. its tough, but every time we do it we learn to notice the thoughts and instead of attaching to them we simply let them go. I still have days where my mind is just going crazy and to sit and meditate feels like a total waste of time but trust me it isn’t. Just don’t overthink it. I tell my Monkey Minds parents the seeds of mindfulness and meditation are being planted, and it is not going to happen overnight, but eventually it gets in and starts to grow and they will start to use what they are learning.

If you are new to meditation I suggest starting off with a guided meditation. You will find lots on you tube, and there are some great apps out there as well.

10. Where can our readers learn more about Monkey Minds?
Check out www.monkeyminds.net and follow us on Facebook. For your PEI readers , Monkey Minds will be spending the summer on the beautiful island and am looking into a hosting a workshop. Please get in touch if interested in joining.

Cheerios and Bees: What to beelieve?

A hot topic in the news recently has been Honey Nut Cheerios and their new box, the one with the missing bee. The purpose: to bring awareness to the decline in bee colonies worldwide.  How are they bringing awareness? Well besides the missing bee on their box, you can sign up to have a packet of bee-friendly wild flowers mailed to your door step from a local company here on Prince Edward Island (PEI), Vessey’s Seeds, to do your part in helping out the bee population.

What’s the big deal, that seems innocent enough right? Well…not so fast. Here is what the world responded with:

  • Vessey’s seeds was funded by Monsanto which is basically seen as the agricultural equivalent to Shredder from TMNT. Read: hella evil.
  • The wild flowers are not considered native to all parts of the world like they are here in PEI and may even be invasive, or in some cases, banned species.
  • General Mills uses glyphosate, a pesticide responsible for contributing to the declining bee population.
  • The bee population is not actually declining so this campaign is pointless.

So what are the facts:

  • Vessey’s has reassured us they are in no way the Shredder of the seed world, they are a local, family run PEI company and Monsanto has no hands in their pockets.
  • Although the wild flowers are not considered native to all parts, they are also not considered invasive. As Vessey’s recently told CBC in a news article “in most locations the seed mixture species will be non-native but not considered invasive. To be invasive, a species has to be non-native and have the tendency to spread and threaten the environmental, economic or social health of an area.” Additionally, there were issues with specific types of seeds that were even banned in some states in the US. Vessey’s response “The forget-me-not that is invasive is the perennial type…The Forget-Me-Not that is included in our mix is the annual.”
  • Glyphosate is a herbicide not a pesticide. Which as indicated by their type, one kills herbs (i.e. weeds) and the other kills pests.
  • As for the bee population. The jury is still out. Reports from various sources give various reviews. Canada appears to generally be maintaining their populations with the exception of the east coast, the US seems to be experiencing a decline.


As a general commentary from someone who has taken both graduate and masters courses in food security and sustainability (that’s me!), our demands on the food supply continue to increase. We (Canada) rely heavily on imports from other countries and need their supplies to remain stable as well, globally we are being faced with challenges such as colder springs, droughts, and fires, which all have significant impact on crops and therefore, food supply. Bees are affected by all of the environmental changes as well and since they are pollinators and we rely heavily on their involvement in almost all fruit, veggie, and oil crops. That is a lot of food and a lot of ingredients in other foods.

I don’t think Cheerios has poor intentions with their campaign, they are trying to bring awareness to our food system. While  there is typically a plot somewhere for financial gain with any large corporate campaign, I am not so sure they are trying to be the buzz kill to our food supply and ecosystem (see what I did there!) If you are interested in helping out in your own way, you can actually just go to a local greenhouse and ask for some flowers and plant them at home. You can also check out to see if there are initiatives going on in your community that can enable you to help out with your local food supply like community/rooftop gardens, veggie boxes, or farmers markets.

I have an amazing bestie doing her part to help out the bees, and more importantly, creating a symbol in our community that we all have to do our part. To bee honey-st, we could all pitch in and do a little extra. Okay I’m done.





Technology in Classrooms

Now this is a hot ticket conversation starter.

I have found that people have strong opinions when it comes to using technology in classrooms. Classrooms in 2017 have evolved from when us 80s babies were in school. Gone are the days of leisurely attendance taking (it’s all online now) and milk getting delivered to classrooms for 35 cents.

 Being a grade 1 and 2 teacher, I am biased, but I think classrooms these days are amazing. Kids are exploring, inquiring and discovering incredible things about themselves and their 2017 world.

Kids talk about Facebook, apps and Snapchat like we used to talk about pogs and whether Corey and Tapanga were going to make it as a couple. #drama  Our students know that any question they have (for the most part) can be answered by Siri. To sum up, it’s a different world, for better or for worse.


Personally, I think technology can be used in a classroom as a tool, not a toy. Learning to navigate computers is a critical skill that our students need to have for the work force. Formatting appropriate emails, typing quickly and accurately as well as a list of other skills are assumed acquired skills by the end of grade 12. 

So what does technology look like in a grade 1 and 2 classroom?

We aren’t formatting emails. In fact, we don’t get much screen time, but we do have a computer and a few ipads. The computer is mainly for my use (attendance, report cards, email, etc) but we watch videos when I flip the screen to face the kiddos. For example, we enjoyed this video that we watched to compliment our empathy unit. The thing about screens is kids love ’em. They watched Mark Ruffalo explain empathy and maybe that will stick in some brains better than my explanation or the books we read.

Don’t be naive. Kids as young as 5 have cell phones. They play games, take selfies and text. I think the school’s responsibility is to help kids develop critical thinking skills and be knowledgeable with online safety to navigating the online world.

 We use our ipads to listen to stories. FYI- there is something special about Robert Munsch reading his own books that makes stories more interesting for some reluctant readers. Our ipads can be motivators, a much needed break or a chance to practice their ABC’s in a different way. (My favs include abcya and starfall)

Technology isn’t going away, or becoming less complicated. Let’s embrace it by learning how to be online safely, with purpose and for technology to enhance our students learning.


Flashback Friday

We wanted to remind all our wonderful followers of some posts from the archives. Thank you to everyone who loves and supports Ladies that Life. We appreciate it so much.


  • A reflection of the first year without my father, read the post here.







We are always looking for article suggestions and feedback on our blog. Feel free to get in touch with us with any ideas or opinions at ladiesthatlife@gmail.com


Again, thank you for all your support! We love you.

J & H


Breastfeeding: mind your own tits

In the past few weeks breastfeeding, more specifically breastfeeding bullies, have gained a lot of media attention. I read an article last week about a woman who went to a breastfeeding room to bottle feed her son as it was a quiet space with a chair and was told by another Mom she had to leave because the room was JUST for breastfeeding Moms. As if she was such a low life that she was not even worthy of a chair in their presence. And she literally sat on the floor outside the breastfeeding room to feed her son.

Picture this: You are a carnivore (aka you eat meat) and you walk into a vegetarian restaurant. Suddenly, someone screams at you to leave because they know you are not a vegetarian. Now that you have been publicly shamed you carefully consider their screams you decide that kind stranger is  correct, you should be a vegetarian. And then you become one and you live happily ever after.


When in the history of every has bullying  and publicly shaming someone into doing something actually worked? Being a parent is hard, especially a brand new parent so please give us a break. Here are 5 very worthy considerations for everyone to keep their judgements to themselves about how parents choose to feed their children:

  1. Grandparents, step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, caregivers, guardians, single fathers, etc. They generally do not have breast milk but they can be great parents still and have a really healthy child.
  2. Mechanical difficulties: Poor latch, tongue tie, inverted nipples, breast reduction surgery, poor positioning, it all matters. These difficulties require all of the right support people to be able to overcome those difficulties and they are not always available. I had my son at 10:30 on a Friday night and had my first consult with a lactation nurse bright and early at 8 am on Monday morning. That is a lot of hours without help when it feels more like you’re feeding a shark and there are blood and tears everywhere.
  3. Medication: Ever read the label of prescription medications or over the counter medications and notice that almost all of them are not appropriate for breastfeeding? There are a lot of reasons why new Mom’s need to start a new medication or resume a medication they stopped just so they could become pregnant. Research shows approximately 13% of new moms have clinically diagnosed postpartum depression and some of those Mom’s may need medication and have to discontinue breastfeeding. Picture yourself judging a Mom who formula feeds her child only because she had overwhelming levels of anxiety and depression postpartum. I bet you feel like a real asshole.
  4. Working Moms: Surprisingly not everyone has a year off from work and not all jobs allow you to break every couple of hours to get your pump on.
  5. Poor milk supply: This one is debated hard on the inter web and Dr. Jack Newman would absolutely tell me that poor milk supply is an urban myth. I call bull shit. If Dr. Jack Newman wants to hang out with new Mom’s at 3 am who are faced with a hungry and screaming baby, all the power to him to prove me wrong. But I am a firm believer that not all Mom’s produce enough milk and that leaves you with one unhappy baby which in turn leaves one unhappy Momma.

If you feel extremely passionate about breastfeeding, here are 3 causes to fight for instead of trying to take on Mom’s one at a time:

  1. Lobby government to improving access to lactation nurses (read: more money and more hiring)
  2. Ask some of your local shopping and community centres to create breastfeeding friendly
  3. Try contributing to empowering women instead of tearing them down.

#fedisbest #mindyourowntits






Will pineapple cure my cough?

Everyday I see complete nonsense on facebook that claims a cure has finally been found for something that we all hope actually gets cured. The latest that keeps catching my eye was that pineapple juice can cure your cough better than cough syrup. This has one had curious because I actually had no reason to believe it didn’t other than my general scepticism of any health information on facebook. So off to the google scholar world I went.

 Here is the down low:

  • Pineapples have a protein digesting enzyme called Bromelain that is found in the highest concentration in the stem of the pineapple.
  • Bromelain has been used for medicinal purposes in many tropical countries around the world
    to treat various ailments such as bronchitis, sinusitis, wound care, cardiovascular disorders, osteoarthritis, cancer, and the list goes on.

is it going to cure my cough or what?

Research shows bromelain can suppress cough, loosen mucous, and relieve sinusitis which may be causing that gross feeling of mucous running down your throat forcing a cough. More research supports that it will help with sinusitis and not cough specific. But, and there is a but. Bromelain from the pineapple stem is considered to be far more effective than bromelain from the fruit itself. And I am not sure about you, but I rarely eat the stem. Therefore, most studies actually use the supplement form of bromelain.

Basically, if you like to eat pineapple it certainly isn’t going to hurt your case and there is nothing wrong with an extra dose of Vitamin C… but I wouldn’t toss out your Buckley’s just yet! As always, if you are interested in trying out a herbal remedy always chat with your doctor or pharmacist first as they can and do interact with other medications! Now, lets all hope winter is dying down so we can all stop being forced to google how the eff to get rid of our coughs and colds!


Teachers & Parents

We are just about half way through the current school year, so it seems seems about time I put my teacher hat on and give some advice on the teacher/parent relationship. Here are 5 tips to help build a healthy, respectful relationship with your child’s’ teacher.

*Disclaimer- I am not a parent. But, I am a teacher. I have been teaching for over 5 years. I’m no senior expert but have been around the block enough to offer some advice. A few pearls if you will.*

  1. Start an open line of communication in September. Please do not wait until March to tell me your child is gluten free. Pop into the classroom in the fall at some point and touch base. You don’t have to stay for an hour, but a 5 minute, “hey, here is my number if there is an issue- please don’t hesitate to contact me, good luck this year!” is perfect. To hold up our end of the bargain, us teachers shouldn’t wait until March to tell parents about any issues with their students learning. Open and honest communication is key, even when it’s tough news to share.
  2. We spend a lot of time with you child and do love them! Believe it or not, teachers like children. Teachers are not out to get parents. Teachers aren’t trying to make your life miserable by giving homework or requesting a parent/teacher meeting. Teachers have the honour of being with your child for over 7 hours a day in many different settings (classroom, field trips, music, lunch, etc) and have a good understanding of your darling. Mutual respect for each other is key.
  3. Communication is key; but not every hour. It is hard for us to teach your child when we a stream of emails coming in! Teachers struggle to make enough time to teach all the curriculum, let alone having to send emails reassuring parents their child is wearing their ski pants.
  4. Keep expectations realistic. Both teachers and parents have been guilty of expecting things from the other party that are not always realistic. Teachers can get frustrated when parents do not read with their children at night, and parents can get frustrated with teachers when their child is learning at a different pace than they want. Keep it real. Parenting and teaching are hard, let’s both cut each other a break once in awhile.
  5. Believe! Kiddos are brilliant. They know exactly what, when and how to get the reaction they want. Both parents and teachers hear lots and lots about each other. That third beer you had after supper? He told me this morning when he came to school. That Mommy tells Daddy to exercise more? They tell me everything. And I know they tell you what happens in the classroom. It’s all rooted in truth, but the details can be misleading. Before you panic, call the teacher. Talk it out before you talk smack about me or the school at your workplace!

Simple truth; teachers need parents and parents need teachers. So instead of finding faults in each other, let’s realize we are both on the same team fighting for your child/my student.


Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season with lots of love. All the best for 2017! And remember, hydrate today for tomorrow.


Here are the links for our December posts in case you missed any of them!

Holiday Gift Giving  

Holiday Parties

Dear Father Griefmas

Staying Healthy over the Holidays 

We will be back next week! Lots of exciting things coming your way in 2017- follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss anything.

xo Ladies that Life

Staying healthy over the holidays

There are so many strategies to staying healthy over the holidays and endless posts and information available. Here are some standard tips:

  • Don’t eat sweets
  • Stay home
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Definitely don’t drink egg nog
  • Do not go to parties
  • Definitely don’t go to buffets.

There you have it! Just kidding. But what if you want to go to your work’s holiday party and get wasted in front of all your co-workers (and are responsible and have a designated driver of course)!? What about all of the potlucks and bake exchanges!? Staying healthy over the holidays does not have to be impossible. Here are a few things to consider over the holidays that will help you from ignoring your health and goals for an entire month.


If you are going to a “shot”luck on Friday night, make sure you have an extra healthy b’fast and lunch. There is no need to sabotage a whole day just because of one meal. Also, some preliminary hydration wouldn’t hurt either!

Never skip a meal

Try your very best not to ever skip a meal because you are already anticipating that you will overeat for one of them. Its a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy because you most certainly will, but also you will be extra hungry because you missed a meal! This will lead to overeating 100% of the time.


Try not to drop your workout routines just because it is ‘the holidays.’ I love the holidays, hell I am even born on Christmas day, but the holidays do not need to be celebrated night and day for the entire month of December.

Be mindful

Think about whether or not your hunger is what is pushing you to the buffet table for round 2. Are you satisfied with what you ate? If you eat a second piece of dessert will you be twice as satisfied?

Say no

If someone is pushing their stupid, cherry filled cookie upon you and you really do not want it, SAY NO. You can say no thank you also. It is absolutely okay to refuse a dessert even if someone insists without as single ounce of an excuse. If you really want to throw out a line here is one “No thanks, I’m full.” Simple.

Stop with the Christmas baking

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from co-workers that they need to get all of their Christmas baking done AND how much of their Christmas baking that they, themselves, eat. Why the eff do you need to bake 30 types of cookies and squares?! No one is going to die because they didn’t get a tin of your peanut butter balls because chances are they have 50 other tins in their freezer. If you have people in your life you like to bake for to show that you are thinking of them, try something new this year. Give a special ornament, a homemade wreath, a cute jar of preserves (surely you can trust yourself not to binge eat pickles or cranberry chutney whilst cooking it), or even a nice local product such as chocolate or cheese. Point is, no one is going to die without your baking.

Watch the liquid calories

Holiday punches, ciders, eggnogs, lattes, you name it. These delightful, yet extremely calorie laden beverages are bound to eff with your health goals. If you are going for a specialty beverage try to enjoy just one and switch to something a little lighter.

Best of luck, although with these tips and a little self-love, “the holidays” won’t be to blame!