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Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

December 22, 2015

Making a small difference

10:24 am - Posted by Gregg

Want to make a small difference this Christmas? This is one of my favorite ways to help the less fortunate, the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.

By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.

If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more actual joy to the world! (Fa la la la la!)

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December 18, 2013

To give and to get

12:41 pm - Posted by Gregg

Looking for a way to get more from giving this year?

This is one of my favorite ways to help the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.

By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.

If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more JOY to the world! (Fa la la la la!)

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December 4, 2013

Thank you therapy

10:18 am - Posted by Gregg

How full of gratitude were you last week in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday?

As dieters, we often get caught up in what we don’t have (a certain waist size, skinny jeans, self-acceptance – you name it). This is why this past Thanksgiving holiday can be a good reminder to be thankful for what we do have.

These days more and more researchers are finding that “Thank You Therapy” (reminding ourselves of reasons to be grateful) can help increase our happiness quotient, our self esteem and out overall outlook on life.

It doesn’t take a self-help guru to realize that this kind of changed attitude will attract a lot more reasons to be thankful — not to mention likely bring more positive results to our weight loss and overall health efforts. Therefore, why not take a cue from this season of gratitude and begin a Thank You Journal?

Any blank notebook or pad of paper will do. Once a day, list 5 reasons you have to be happy. They can be small. They can be big. But list 5, every day (many people do this at night, just before bed).

I often make entries in my gratitude journal in the morning – after my morning workout, but before I begin my workday. Sometimes I’ll doodle in the journal. Sometimes I’ll write down an inspirational quote I don’t want to forget. And other times I’ll makes lists of reasons to be grateful. For myself, doing this in the morning certainly has a positive effect on the rest of my day – not to mention on my diet and healthy eating efforts. Try it yourself, every day for a month, and see how it affects your “attitude of gratitude” – and, perhaps, even your physical health.

Here’s more information that will make starting a gratitude journal easy:

For a quick primer on keeping a gratitude journal: Click Here

For 5 ways to amp up your attitude of gratitude: Click Here

To learn about more ways that gratitude affects your overall health: Click Here

By the way, I would love for you to add comments to this blog post, letting me know some of things you’re most grateful for this holiday season. And while we’re on the topic, please know I’m sincerely grateful to all of you for helping to inspire me – and this blog – on a daily basis. Even though Turkey Day is behind us, I could still just gobble-gobble you up! (Sorry – couldn’t resist!)

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December 12, 2012

Helping hand

10:21 am - Posted by Gregg

This is one of my favorite ways to help the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.

By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.

If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more JOY to the world! (Fa la la la la!)

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December 5, 2012

Raising cane

10:28 am - Posted by Gregg

This is definitely one of my favorite (and most surprising) holiday treats. Thus I always love to share this recipe during this most festive time of year. Now mind you, this treat might require some getting used to since it’s not traditional hot cocoa. But it doesn’t contain the traditional hot cocoa’s fat content or calorie count either. So raise some cane (as in candy cane) and drink in this cup of good cheer that will leave you still looking good for the new year.

Keep in mind, there’s nothing ‘Swiss’ or ‘Miss’ about this recipe. In fact, upon first sip, your taste buds will be in for a surprise. This is because the recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa powder. Thus, the concoction will have a slightly bitter taste – not unlike black coffee. But there’s also a subtle richness in the flavor (a richness that won’t add to your waistline) – along with the blissful taste of real cocoa.

To add interest (and some seasonal zest), mini candy canes (1 for each cup) can be used as stirrers and will sweeten the mixture up –  but not in an overpowering way. Yes, this Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate might be classified as a treat that’s an acquired taste, but it’s become of a favorite of mine (and friends I make it for). So why not be adventurous and try something new (that’s also happens to be good for your commitment to healthy eating)?

Ingredients:
8 cups 2% Reduced Fat Milk
1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
8 Mini Candy Canes

Directions:
Warm the milk on low heat on stove. Add the cocoa and mix with a whisk. When mixture gets hot (but before it boils), remove from heat and pour into 8 different coffee or cocoa mugs. Add 1 small candy cane on the side of the cup as a decoration (as well as to sweeten the mixture when used as a stirrer). Serves 8.

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