At the heart of creating a healthy, sustainable planet is the need to create a healthy and sustainable self. Locally, we work in partnership with Tucson Medical Center (TMC) to do just that – especially during this time of year. Please read on for more information, and please join us for our TMC podcast series.


By Mary Atkinson, RD
TMC Director of Wellness


Incorporate activity into social plans

  • Include an easy, family-based physical activity when making holiday plans
  • A family stroll at a nearby park
  • A brief walk around the neighborhood to view holiday decorations

Don’t arrive stuffed or starved

  • Have a healthy snack before attending a holiday celebration
  • Showing up starved encourages over indulgence
  • Arriving stuffed means you are also likely to overeat
  • Find the happy medium that leaves room for some goodies

Quench the craving – eat with purpose

  • Don’t avoid your favorite holiday treat
  • Enjoy a treat and don’t shame yourself
  • Moderation – don’t approach holiday food with an “all or nothing” attitude

Eat slowly

  • Brain doesn’t receive full signal for 20 minutes
  • Think about how you are feeling after each portion
  • Put your fork down between bites
  • Focus on social interactions

Brush your teeth

  • Brush after you have finished eating
  • Sends message to mind and body that you’re done
  • Prevents going back for second helpings


Mary Atkinson has been the director of wellness at TMC for more than four years. She is a registered dietitian, and an expert on food and nutrition. Atkinson is engaged in building partnerships, sponsoring events and supporting initiatives to educate Pima County residents and foster better community health.