How To Stay Happy, Healthy, and Safe This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and other big holidays right around the corner, the invitations to eat, drink, and be merry should start hitting your inbox very soon.   If you ever wondered if it were possible to avoid the annual year-end roller coaster ride of weight gain and some common buffet line pitfalls, read these three tips below.  You’ll also learn how to stay alive and make it to next year’s holiday season.

1) Keep Good Company: The worst possible time to hang around lazy and negative people and to be less active than usual is the holiday season.  If you’re hanging around with people who would rather stay inside eating fast food while scrolling through their drama on Instagram and Facebook during lunchtime instead of hanging around people who eat well and enjoy going outside for a walk, you’re cheating your body out of all the productive energy and positive mood boosters that exercise and fresh air have to offer.

Try This:  Go out of your way to associate with friends and co-workers who make nutrition, fitness, and celebrating life a priority.  Remember, you are who you surround yourself with.

2) Pace Yourself: No, we’re not talking about exercise here.  We’re talking about food.  Chances are you’ll find yourself in front of multiple buffets this holiday season.  Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach.  Try not to compete with the person next to you to see who can pile the most stuff onto their plate. Portion control is paramount during the holidays.

Try This:  Make an effort to start your buffet line excursion by simply making a small salad on your first run.  Eat slowly, have some of your water, then return for round two.  Try for one piece of chicken, beef, or fish, and then a large spoonful of veggies on the side.  Eat slowly.  Finish your glass of water.  Drink another glass of water slowly while enjoying the company and conversation around you.  Wait for 10 minutes.   If you are being honest with yourself, you’ll realize that you’re not hungry anymore and don’t even want or need to eat dessert.  *Now, if you are invited to multiple parties and you happen to enjoy dessert as much as I do, it’s okay to have dessert at one or two of them.   (Especially, if your wife makes a ridiculous homemade apple pie.)  If your regular daily nutrition is on point, a few desserts over the holidays won’t hurt. Moderation is key.  Just keep in mind, the extra calories add up fast!

3) Call Uber:  If you’re not getting enough sleep, if you like to text while driving, or you enjoy drinking during the holidays, DON’T DRIVE.  The amount of car accidents and deaths each year during the holiday season due to impaired driving is staggering.  The worst part is that most of them could have been avoided with common sense.

Try This:  If you’re driving home later than usual after attending a party and you feel your eyes getting very heavy, pull over as soon as you can find a safe place to take a little power nap.  If you know in advance that you’ll be getting home later than usual, call an Uber for your round trip transportation.  Most people don’t realize that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.  Speaking of drunk driving, STOP IT.  Don’t think you’re the exception and you can get yourself home after a few drinks just because you’ve been extremely lucky all these years.  Call an Uber.  And speaking of being lucky, if you haven’t crashed or killed anyone yet from texting while driving you’re playing with fire.  Either pull over and type your reply or just call an Uber so you can text your heart out.  Remember, an Uber might be more expensive, but you can’t put a price on your life, the lives of others, and your future.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!

Cheers,

Marcello Pedalino, CFT, is the author of the new inspirational book on personal growth and development, Celebrate Life. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, lifestyle expert, and fitness trainer. He delivers dynamic keynote presentations to corporations and organizations across the country who need help making Energy Management and Work-Life balance a priority.  *In addition to being an amazing pediatrician, his wife, Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino, makes the best homemade meatballs, sauce, and apple pie in Jersey.  🙂

Live While You Are Alive: Red Rock Canyon, Nevada.

FYI: There are a lot of awesome things to do while you’re in Vegas…  Especially if you’re not a fan of smoke-filled casinos, drunk tourists, and the smell of vomit in the hallways.  🙂

Check out Turtlehead Peak at Red Rock Canyon if you’re interested in an awesome workout and some fresh air.  *Huge bonus if you can find someone to share the experience with.

Cheers,

Show Me Your Friends, and I’ll Show You Your Future: The 2017 Celebrate Life Ride


Special thanks to Dr. Jill Garripoli and Healthy Kids Pediatrics for co-sponsoring the annual #CelebrateLife Ride in New York City. It was a gorgeous outing that included 35 miles of fresh air, sunshine, and Grimaldi’s Pizza with some incredible entrepreneurs.  Shout out to Johnny V’arvolis for the awesome pic at the George Washington Bridge lighthouse!

Cheers,

A Slice of Humble Pie: When the Motivator Needs Motivation

I was exhausted.  I was grumpy.  I was ready to quit.  After another 14-hour marathon study session in the kitchen, I called out to my wife who was in the living room and moaned, “have you ever spent the entire day studying like this?”  Without hesitation she yelled back , “yes honey, every day for four years while I was in medical school.”

Ouch.  A slice of humble pie served up hot and fresh.

Earning my CFT (Certified Fitness Trainer) credentials from ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association), was much harder than I thought it would be.  In addition to all the prerequisite quizzes that you have to pass just to unlock the rest of the course,  you have to read a 700-page book, write six essays, pass an intense final exam, and design a comprehensive 12-week health and wellness program for two unique individuals.   I’m grateful that I had an accountability partner on my side and I’m incredibly fortunate that my “study buddy” happened to be an award-winning pediatrician who actually enjoyed medical school and excels at continuing education.

There were several points along this journey where I thought to myself, “This is crazy.  I’m lying on the floor and whining like a little baby about not wanting to finish what I started.  I motivate people for a living! For the past twenty five years, I’ve motivated the young and old to get on the dance floor and celebrate life. For the past five, I’ve motivated the young and old to be more mindful and live a happier and healthier life. Why is this so freakin’ hard?”

Jill, with a healthy dose of both compassion and sarcasm, reminded me that many things we need to do for ourselves are incredibly challenging- but well worth it in the long run.  She essentially told me everything I needed to hear, not just what I wanted to hear.  Yes, the professional motivator got taken to school.  It was pretty impressive, actually.  At that moment, Jill helped reaffirm that sometimes we need to put our pride aside and seek inspiration from others when our own empowerment fuel tank is running low. 

Earning a few new letters after my name, which will help secure some future TV appearances for the book, was a bonus.  Being reminded that who you surround yourself with makes all the difference in this world… well, that was the lesson of the day.

Stay humble and stay hungry,

A Classy and Distinctive “Thank You” at The Park Savoy Estate for Jen & Frank


When I went to their home and saw the full-on antipasto spread and a bottle of wine on the table, I knew that this was the start of a beautiful relationship. 🙂 They chose one of the coolest first dance songs I’ve heard in a long time. Jen & Frank, who happen to be one of the coolest couples I’ve worked with in a long time, danced to Chris Cornell‘s stellar cover of “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin to set the tone for their exceptional once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Special thanks to our friends at Milton Gil Photographers for the gorgeous footage and to the The Park Savoy Estate for their professionalism and hospitality. It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with your team. Best wishes to the Abitabilo and Valente family.

Cheers,

Marcello Pedalino, MMP Entertainment, How To Be a Standout Wedding Guest, Celebrate Life Book, CelebrateLifeBook.com

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