What do I like best about the holidays? It is the time off. I love the idea that things slow down and everyone is making plans that do not revolve around work or school (unless you work in retail). Now that may not be your experience if the requirements from family and friends keeps you hopping. But at least it is a change of pace and, as they say, a change is as good as a rest.

Here are my quick tips for a healthy holiday:

1.    Eat what you like (that’s right, you are reading that correctly)

2.    Drink what you like

3.    Sleep when you want

4.    Watch whatever you like on TV or binge on Netflicks

5.    Spend what you can afford to spend and hopefully, you spend some of it on yourself

6.    Get a massage, see a physic or whatever else strikes your fancy

In other words, let go. The healthiest thing you can do for you is to take the pressure off of yourself and just do as you please. Now if you have been working hard on eating as best you can or doing things to be healthy, you may be thinking that I am suggesting you throw all your good work out the window. But I am not.

If your new habits are entrenched, you may be surprised that what you want to eat is not too far off from what you have been eating. You may long for a few things that remind you of your childhood or that you look forward to every year. That is okay – go for it.

If your new habits are not so entrenched, then you are going to fall of the wagon anyway so you might as well as enjoy it and not think twice about it. You can get back on the wagon in the new year.

But feeling guilty for any reason is really bad for your health – so don’t. I like eating certain foods this time of year. If people will not serve them to me, I will make them myself. I looking forward to doing the family thing and then doing my own thing. What is my thing? Whatever I want. I am stepping away from the nonstop deadlines, pressures and frustrations so I can feel like I live in a different world – just for while.

I wish the same for you – if you have to work – make it work that you want to do and not what you have to do. If you can’t do that and there is work you must do, plan to have some fun and eat great food after you are done.

Whatever scenarios you face this holiday season, give yourself a break. Do not think about what you should be eating or drinking or whatever and just take the season as it presents itself and enjoy it. It will be the healthiest gift you can give yourself. And this is what I wish for you.

If you are looking for two easy to prepare treats, try these:

Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread

Chinese Chews (from A Pastry Queen Goes Green)