Day 10: Holly, Jolly Christmas

At a time of the year where “joy” is supposed to be an integral part of the season, it is a commodity found in surprisingly small amounts some days. In fact joy – in In Balance terms, Laughter and Play – is an essential component to the wellness journey. The health benefits of incorporating laughter and play in our lives are numerous, and include increased endorphin production as well as helping us uncover certain innate passions – music, dance or writing for example–we perhaps did not even know existed deep inside of us.

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes that taking regular steps to incorporate laughter and play in our lives is a learned skill and, in today’s world, often an under-utilized skill. The possibilities to grow in that skill are endless but here are some ways to up your laugh quotient when you are just not coming by it naturally:

  1. Google “funny videos” on YouTube and see what catches your eye. Some of our nutritionists love cat videos as well as the baby-themed variety. If you are a sports fan you may want to try the “NFL Bad Lip Reading (SO funny).” Regardless what you choose, watch for appropriate content (be mindful that some are adult oriented) and be sure you find the flavour that makes your cheeks hurt!
  1. For those of you who find humour in other’s technical writing (i.e. auto correct) errors, check out this website of hilarious auto-correct errors. *Be aware some of the auto corrects are very adult oriented.
  1. Put on your favourite music really loud and channel your inner diva in front of a mirror. Either on your own, or if you have children, with the whole family, enjoy the freedom of letting loose!
  1. Often video-watching comes bundled in our brain with the idea of snack time. That’s OK! Choose a healthy fun snack (see the Nibbles recipe below), ensure the snack contains protein, pair it with a handful of raw veggies, and be mindful of portion size (i.e. no bottomless bowls). That way you really can have the best of a healthy AND fun “both worlds” experience.  

Joyce’s Nibbles (Adapted)


Mix together in large bowl:

6 cups popped non-GMO popcorn

1 cup natural sesame cracker strips

1 cup natural pretzel sticks

1 ½ cups natural “O” cereal

2 cups natural “wheat square” cereal

1 cup natural cheese crackers

2 cups mixed nuts (raw, unsalted)


In small saucepan combine, stirring until butter melts:

¾ cup butter (or ½ butter, ½ olive oil)

1½ tsp. Spike seasoning

½ tsp. celery salt

10 drops Tabasco sauce (or ½ tsp. capsicum)

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder


Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients, place nibbles in large roasting pan and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour.

Stir frequently. Allow to cool completely. Serve as a healthy side to a good belly laugh!


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