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As a mom of two small kids, a model, a contributor to The View and an author, Molly Sims is always swamped, so the holidays just add another level of craziness.

November 25, 2015

The holiday season is full of great times—and stress. Sure, the shopping and parties are fun, but they can wreak havoc on your healthy habits.

Molly Sims gets it. As a mom of two small kids, a model, a contributor to The View and an author, she’s always swamped, so the holidays just add another level of craziness. She took a few minutes recently to share some of her secrets for staying beautiful, energized, and happy throughout the season.

Refreshingly, her stay-well secrets don’t involve juice fasts, out-there superfoods or exercise regimens you’ve never heard of. Her approach is real, down-to-earth and totally doable.

Snack smart

“Always plan ahead, especially if you’re traveling or you know you’ll be in your car all day,” Sims tells Health. “When you’re not in control or you’re tired or in a hurry, that’s when you can really drop the calorie bomb.” Instead of relying on what she might find at an airport or mall food court, Sims spends some time on Sunday packing snacks for the week so she can grab and go. Some of her favorites include carrots and hummus, almonds, cherry tomatoes sprinkled with coarse salt, homemade popcorn, and Glutino pretzels. “I have to portion everything out, otherwise I’ll eat the whole box,” she tells Health.

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Don’t graze at parties

Have something to eat before you go, and once you get there, choose what you’re going to have carefully, then “sit down and eat,” she says. “If you’re grabbing things off trays and not paying attention, the next thing you know you’ve had 1,000 calories and you haven’t really eaten anything.”

Keep up your be-well habits

Both rest and exercise are critical during the holidays, Sims says. “Take a nap, 30 to 45 minutes. Or, if you can’t nap, even just lay down and take a break from email or the phone” to reinvigorate yourself. As for exercise, “The fitness will give you more energy,” she says. “Do what you can do. It doesn’t have to be an hour. Thirty to 40 minutes at home is fine, as long as you move around and sweat. Do jumping jacks, jump rope, lift soup cans—do what you can do to move and sweat. You’ll find it’s a great stress reliever.”

Give yourself a break

Showing yourself some kindness is especially important during the crazy-making holiday season, Sims says, so take it easy. “Make sure your heels aren’t killing you all night, try to wear things that are comfortable,” she advises. Take a few moments to indulge in an exfoliating mask or try dry brushing your skin.

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Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of herbal tea, sparkling water with lime, and plain water. Sims’ trick for drinking more water? “Sip through a straw,” she says. “I have a hard time drinking plain water, but when I drink it with a straw I drink twice as much.”

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