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  • How to Avoid Weight Gain During Holidays

    Did you know that roughly 75% of annual weight gain takes place during the holiday season? Don't wait for New Year's Resolutions to commit to ridding yourself of the extra poundage - battle the bulge before it starts! Enjoy feasts and festivities without sacrificing your waistline or your weight-loss goals with these healthy tips from celebrity trainer Mario Green. Watch:

    1. Eat half of your meal

    "One of the big things with holidays is lots of big, big meals. What a lot of people do is they sit down and eat this huge big meal and it sits. One tip I would say is eat the meal, but eat half the meal and save a little bit for later," Mario said. "You really want to have six to eight meals a day. The more frequent you eat, the more you are revving your metabolism and burning calories. Break up that big meal into two or maybe even three meals."

    2. Stay Away From Sodium…

    "Sodium is in everything, especially anything processed and prepared," Mario said. He advises to stay away

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  • Is Now a Good Time to Break Up with Someone?

    © Shutterstock© ShutterstockBy genConnect | Rachel Sussman

    An excerpt from The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman's Guide to Healing from a Breakup or Divorce on how to distance yourself and recover after a relationship ends:

    Rules of Disengagement

    Believe me, I understand how strong the impulse to engage is, but you will be so proud of yourself when you resist it. Every single woman I spoke with reported how satisfied she felt when finally taking control of this behavior. I know you can do this and I promise that you will feel relieved and powerful. Following these suggestions will help you break free.

    When you have an urge to reach out, inquire, or spy:

    • Buy yourself some time. Make a bargain not to engage for at least thirty minutes. As previously described, obsessions are reduced or eliminated if you simply make an agreement with yourself to delay your urge.
    • Create an affirmation. I'm going to ask you to use this when- ever you feel like reaching out, whenever the
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  • 5 Most Common Holiday Couple Fights — and How to Dodge Them

    ©Shutterstock©ShutterstockBy | Laurie Puhn

    The holidays can be stressful. Do you and your mate find yourselves involved in more arguments than usual during the holiday season? Do you encounter acquaintances and family members who have the uncanny ability to push your buttons and get in your face, even though you set out to steer clear of holiday strife? This year, you can survive the holidays and even better, enjoy them! As a lawyer and couples mediator I have observed the same dumb arguments ruin relationships during the holidays, and year round. In my book Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In, I share 5 smart comments you can rely on time and again to short-circuit an argument.

    Here are the top 5 arguments that emerge around the holidays, and the smart responses you can use to reject conflict.

    1. The Political Argument: "You're wrong. I don't want that flip-flopping jerk in the White House."

    Smart Response:

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  • Ways to Get the Kids in the Kitchen

    © ShutterStock© ShutterStockWith the holidays here, chances are you're spending more time in the kitchen whipping dishes for family and friends. Judy Weitzman, aka "Diet Coach Judy," author of How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way and offers her picks and tricks on how to get the kids involved in the holiday cooking festivities:

    Apple Corer

    "My stepdaughter gave me this cool gadget that peels and cores the apples in no time," Judy says, which came in handy when her 3-year-old grandson Zach recently helped her make applesauce. "Zach loved turning the crank and watching the 'snake' of skin fall off the apple. This is definitely something that has to be done with an adult monitoring the situation since they could get hurt on the sharp edges."

    Egg Slicer

    Zach's other favorite kitchen gadget is the egg slicer (left). "He loves hard-boiled eggs and this nifty little gadget is easy and safe to use for his little hands."

    Nesting Bowls & Spoons

    Nesting bowls and measuring spoons are fun toys and

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  • Should Kids Really Believe in Santa?

    © iStock© iStockLet the kids have Santa Claus.

    As a psychotherapist and a child development specialist, I've heard all the arguments:

    "He's 7 years old and in first grade and he still believes in Santa. My husband says I should tell him the truth."

    "We're a Jewish family and we don't believe in Christmas, so how can we allow her to believe in Santa?"

    "We teach our children not to lie, so we must not lie about Santa Claus."

    I cannot argue with the parents who make these statements. And yet I argue for Santa. A child who isn't allowed to believe in Santa is missing out on a lot. Parents do their kids a disservice when they keep them from the myth of the jolly, round, white-bearded man with the red checks and the red and white tousled hat.

    Isn't it amazing that Dancer and Prancer and Rudolph can find all of our homes? And that Santa slides down our chimneys? And if we've been good, he leaves us gifts. It's surprising he doesn't get stuck. Maybe we should leave a snack for Santa

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  • Happy Holidays: Mount Gay Rum Classic Punch Royal (RECIPE)

    The punch bowl is a staple for any party and restaurant owner and mixologist Julie Reiner offers up a classic recipe below, just in time for holiday celebrations.

    "Classic punches, something that we make a lot at Clover Club, they're really popular today especially with young people and their parties. It's like making a very large classic cocktail."

    The feature of the Mount Gay Punch Royal is of course, Mount Gay Rum. First distilled in 1703, Mount Gay is crafted from rich sugar cane, aromatic molasses and coral-filtered water native to the island, and it's flavorful and smooth.

    Related: Barbadian Cuisine & Rum With Chef Paul Yellin

    While playing bartender for your holiday guests can seem like a daunting task, Reiner assures that creating classic cocktails isn't all that difficult.

    "People say 'Oh, you make the greatest cocktails.' Anybody can make great cocktails. You just need to make things fresh at home and use the right measurements. It's not that tough."

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  • 5 Holiday Food Tips from the Pros

    If there's one thing in abundance over the holiday season, it's food! And we love all kinds of it! At the 2011 Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Event in New York City's Bryant Park this past week, we talked to some of the most creative chefs and bakers in the business. And we brought their tips to you!

    Here are just a few of the great culinary and pastry artists we spoke to at the Real Simple event, and tips they have for you to make your holiday cooking and baking simpler - and tastier - this season:

    Make Cupcakes Simpler

    CandaceCandaceCandace Nelson @sprinklescandac - Candace Nelson, owner of Sprinkles and judge of The Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," can help you kick your kitchen into high-gear by turning one cupcake recipe into three. "What I like to do during the holidays is make a big batch of just vanilla cupcake batter, divide into different bowls and add different holiday spices," Candace told genConnect. "So you can add cloves to one, you can orange oil to another, add peppermint

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  • What the Style Pros Wear & Give as Gifts This Holiday Season

    'Tis the season for cocktail parties and outfit changes, boots and glitter galore. We turned to the experts at the Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Shop in New York City's Bryant Park to pick the brains of the best style and fashion pros. Here's what they had to say to look your best.

    Wear Festive
    Patrick McDonaldPatrick McDonaldPatrick McDonald, better known as "The Dandy" and voted one of Gotham magazine's "100 Best Dressed New Yorkers," said men shouldn't be afraid to wear color this season. McDonald, contestant on Bravo's "Launch My Line" show, added: "Men out there should really just be more adventurous. Wear a red tie for Christmas. Put on green and red. Be festive!"

    Make It Special With Faux

    Joe LupoJoe LupoFashion guru and Visual Therapy Co-Founder Joe Lupo knows fashion. But Lupo, the co-author of Nothing to Wear? A 5-Step Cure for the Common Closet, doesn't think you need to spend a lot of money to look good, or to help others look good. "When you're shopping for someone ... definitely think of what is it this person loves?

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  • 5 Holiday Tips from the Experts

    genConnect was on hand at the Real Simple Holiday Pop-Up Shop in New York City's Bryant Park, picking the brains of the best food & wine, organizational, and fashion pros for tips to make your holidays simpler. Here's what they had to say:

    1. Carson Kressley: Buy the Unique Gift

    Carson KressleyCarson Kressley

    Stylist and designer Carson Kressley recommends shopping early and sticking to a list to reduce the holiday stress and save money when looking for the perfect gift. He also prefers the unique present over a sweater or scarf - like many of the gifts recommended in the Real Simple Holiday Gift Guide . "I think as long as it has a lot of personality and makes a statement, you don't have to spend a fortune on it," he says. Carson also recommends giving to charity as a great gift. "I actually sent all my agents a letter for a charity I work with called the Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation that said, 'Don't buy me anything and just send a check to them.'"

    Watch our interview with Carson Kressley here

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  • You're Going Through Menopause; Your Daughter is Going Through Puberty

    If you're in your 40s or 50s and you have kids in the house, you're probably familiar with what I like to call "dueling hormones."

    This is that ever-so-special time when mom is going through perimenopause and menopause , and her kids are going through puberty, all under the same roof. With all these hormonal fluctuations happening at once, things can get more than a little hectic!

    Fortunately, amidst the chaos (which will likely rise during the holidays), there is a real opportunity to take these challenges and turn them into a time of growth and connection. Often, the anger or outbreaks that come with hormonal fluctuations on both sides are really just an overflow or projection of the same anger and frustration that we might harbor against ourselves. Working on yourself and your own personal growth, and knowing your body and being prepared for perimenopause and menopause , will help ease the super tense dynamics that can develop with the people closest to you.

    One of

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