The countdown has officially begun, Christmas time is here! And along with a countdown, we typically have a very long to-do list. Somewhere on the list I’m sure is baking holiday cookies. Maybe they are for your child’s school, an office cookie exchange or just some yummy homemade gifts. Regardless who they are for, with a few of these cookies on a platter you won’t feel so bad about keeping them aside for ‘Santa’.

Also check out these Healthy Christmas snacks

Pumpkin spice cookies – makes 3 dozen cookies

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Recipe courtesy of drhyman.com

Ingredients:

– 1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– 1/3 cup applesauce
– ¼ cup melted coconut oil
– 1 cup oat flour
– ½ cup almond meal
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
– ½ teaspoon baking powder
– ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– ½ cup pecans
– ¼ cup mini chocolate chips.

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 350F.

– Mix first four ingredients in a bowl and put aside.

– Sift together the flour, almond meal, baking soda & powder and spices together.

– Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and fold in pecans & chocolate chips.

– Scoop 1 tablespoon of bated on to baking sheet (lined with parchment).

– Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly firm. Enjoy!

Christmas cookies & а Christmas carol-inspired arm workout_02

No bake peanut butter balls – makes 2 dozen balls (family favorite)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup creamy all natural peanut better
– ¼ cup butter
– 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal
– 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
– red and green sprinkles for decoration if wanted

Melt peanut butter and butter in saucepan over low heat. In large bowl, mix cereal and sugar. Pour melted mixture over cereal and blend together. Form into approximately 1 inch balls, and place onto cookie sheet , chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Melt chocolate, dip balls into chocolate (sprinkle if wanted)and place back onto cookie sheet, chill once again until firm and chocolate sets. Enjoy!

While the cookies are in the oven or in the fridge, why not crank up the Christmas carols (Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run , Elvis Presley – Santa Claus is Back In Town and Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree are a few of my favorite tunes) and

Pump out this quick arm workout

We need the strength to carry those holiday packages! Best part no weights needs.

Push-ups – Either on toes or knees. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds.

Chair dips – place hands on end of chair, body close to the seat and dip down, elbows bent and raise. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds.

Plank tapouts – Get in push up position, with one hand on group, use other hand to tap opposite shoulder, tap other side. (that is one rep) Do as many as you can for 30 seconds.

Plank – Get in push up position, hold core tight and and do not let hips drop. Hold for 30 seconds.

– Rest for 30 seconds and repeat for 3-5 rounds. Want more of a challenge increase to 45-60 seconds each.

Remember, make sure you make yourself a priority and if you have to pencil in some time for yourself on that to-do list. Take a walk, do a circuit like the one above, take a yoga class or just hit the gym for some cardio. A quick workout is better than no workout! Indulge and have a cookie (or two), and most importantly enjoy the Christmas season with your family, friends and loved ones. Merry Christmas friends!

Loved these? Reward yourself for being good all year long and grab a professionally designed diet and workout plan to start off 2015 right!

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