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Birthdays are often viewed as an occasion when it’s OK to pig out; to go ahead and eat that birthday cake and indulge in a bottle of wine. But you may wish to resist the temptation – getting another year older and wiser might make you realize that there isn’t any point eating junk food and then dealing with the feelings of guilt later. And, as we experience more and more birthdays, chances are we need less in the way of gifts and more in the way of support for healthy lifestyle choices as well as time spent on worthwhile pursuits. Here are some tips that will help you stay healthy and celebrate your special day at the same time…

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Ask for Alternative Gifts

As your birthday approaches, friends and family members may ask you what you’d like for your special day. Don’t be afraid to be honest. Let’s face it, you probably don’t need another scented candle or a toiletries basket. If you’re an active person, you could consider asking for a voucher for a yoga or pilates class, or perhaps a piece of special equipment, such as a resistance band. If you wish to learn a new skill, you could always for dancing lessons. If you love cooking and are concerned with health, ask for a juicer so that you can create your own juice concoctions (orange and carrot is a delicious combination, or apple and mint), or maybe even pots of basil, thyme and chives so that you can start your own herb garden. Think of your birthday as a chance to request gifts that will allow you to focus on your wellness and health and maybe even help you learn something new.

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Treat Yourself With Deliciously Healthy Food

Birthday party food doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Consider ‘normal’ party food and focus on how you could make it a little more in line with your usual dietary requirements. Look for no bake recipes if you’re looking for something a little different for your birthday cake, or opt for a fruit tart to cut down on simple carbs. For munchies, set out platters of crunchy raw vegetables like carrot sticks and cucumber along with salsa, guacamole and hummus for dips. Focus on a rainbow of fruits and vegetables along with nutritious things like whole grain crackers, a bowlful of nuts and deviled eggs.

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Start As You Mean To Go On

Finally, it’s time to look at your birthday and consider what exactly it means for you. Not all of us find birthdays an easy time of year – it can be a reminder of where exactly you are in life, for good or for bad. If you haven’t accomplished everything that you had hoped and wished for, then you might feel a little on edge and upset. But it’s important to bear in mind that your birthday can also mean a fresh start – it’s the day of your birth and it can also mean the day of your rebirth. Start as you mean to go on by eating healthily, getting some fresh air and a little exercise, raising your face to the sun, and taking hold of your future.

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