The holidays are filled with extra calories. They're in your cocktails, in the boxes of chocolates that arrive daily at the office, the cookies from your neighbor, canapés at parties, and of course in Christmas dinner. You are surrounded by excess calories, but this holiday season, be prepared to deal with the excess before it settles in (usually around your waist line on a cold January day).
During this season of endless cocktails, treats and late night parties, there a few steps you can take to help you look and feel sensational. The key is to eat frequently; never allow yourself to go hungry. Breakfast like a Queen; Lunch like a King and Dine like a Pauper.

To hydrate your body and start your digestion, open your morning with a mug of warm water and lemon. Then consider breakfast.

The Queen's Breakfast
Your breakfast needs to start your engine to provide you with energy to tackle your day. I suggest large flake oatmeal with 1 tbsp of chia seeds, yogurt and berries sprinkled with hemp seeds; mix up a smoothie ½ cup of berries, ½ banana, 1 ½ cups of almond milk, and 2 scoops of Vega smoothie infusion; poached eggs and whole grain toast.

Mid-morning is time to reach for a light snack to keep you going until lunch. Great snacking options include apples, grapefruit, berries, nuts, seeds, rice cakes and almond butter, a handful of granola, a couple of dates, and hummus and veggies.

The King's Lunch
This should be your main meal of the day. By mid–day your body is in need of some serious fuel, especially if you were out cocktailing the night before. Eat chicken, fish, tempeh, or beans with whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, brown rice pasta and load up on fresh vegetables (raw if available).

Afternoon Snack
This may be your most important snack of the day. It is around 3 o'clock that most of want to reach for something sweet, and if that box of chocolates is in the break room, avoid it. Eating chocolate is an activity that should be savored, not gulped on the run; that is how we end up consuming excess calories. Dates and nuts will be your most satisfying option.

The Pauper's Dinner

Keep it light; the hectic part of your day is done, and it's time for your body to start relaxing. Gobbling down a big steak and potato dinner at this point will seriously tax your system. If you ingest your excess calories at night your body doesn't have an opportunity to burn them off. A nice hearty soup with whole grain bread is your best choice at this time of day.

At the Party
Of course, if you're at a party and you're not the host, you won't have as much control over your options. Follow these tips so that you still fit into your dress and wake up feeling fine!

1. Drinking: Match every cocktail with 2 glasses of water. Following this rule will not only keep you hydrated, but will also help you to avoid over-indulging on food and booze. Stick to beer and wine; mixed drinks are loaded with excess calories.

2. Eating: Scan your food options. First, decide (but don't touch!) which delight you want the most: a piece or two of double cream brie, chocolate truffle, or the gingerbread cookies. Next fill your plate with the healthier options such as veggies (skip the dip, too many calories; besides, it will likely make you stink like garlic), fruit, and some protein (smoked salmon, chicken satay, or shrimp cocktail are good options). After you are mostly full, then reach for your chosen delight.

By eating the healthier choices first you help fill your body with what it needs, leaving less room for the things it doesn't. Indulging in your chosen delight after filling up will lessen your desire to go back for more. (Note: I said lessen. There is no magical cure for entirely squashing your desire for chocolate; there is only restraint).

3. Cleaning: That's right! Before you go to bed after a holiday party, you must get your body ready to clean itself (inside). Eating high fat, sugary foods and drinking alcohol before bed is very disruptive to your sleep. In order to help your body along:
Eat: ½ cup of organic applesauce mixed with 1 tbsp of ground flax seed
Drink: a glass of water
Take: 10 drops of milk thistle tincture

While you are sleeping your body has a lot of work to do, cleaning and sweeping toxins from all its systems, particularly the liver. Milk thistle is a hepatic -- it encourages the liver to detoxify toxins, in particular alcohol. It -- along with the other items in this plan -- should be available in the health food section of your local Loblaws. The apple sauce and flax mixture acts like a sponge to help soak up toxins, balance the blood sugar (which is generally out of whack if you have been indulging) and carry waste out of your body.

Remember: Just as you are responsible for every Christmas gift purchase by swiping your debit card and entering your pin number, you are also responsible for every morsel that enters your mouth. Each morsel ultimately becomes a part of your body. You have the power to support your body this holiday season, every day, with every meal and with every mouthful.