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Navigating the Christmas season




By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness

It is so simple to get swept up in the holiday season! It is my favourite time of the year and if I could I would have the decorations up in early November!


Christmas and New Year are widely associated with indulgence, the mix of social and national celebrations can help keep our typically cold winter at bay but can lead to a strain on our waistlines. How many of us start January with the best of intentions hoping to go on a ‘diet’ that will undo the excess of our partying from the previous few weeks! Did you know that four or five sweets from those holiday tins contain around 200 calories? And let us be honest, who stops at this?

You don’t need to deprive yourself or eat only boring foods or to accompany your treats with a side order of guilt - but you do need a plan!

Pay attention to what really matters. Although food is an important part of the holidays, put your main focus on family and friends. If your eating habits are balanced throughout the year, it’s okay to indulge once in a while.

You get to choose what this will be, don’t get drawn into the hype. One way to cut through the marketing that surrounds us at Christmas and that tries to draw us in is to set a rule; if the food or drink is available all year round, leave it. Just because it’s packaged differently it is still the same!

However, if it is a family recipe with the most amazing memories attached i.e. Gran’s stuffing or a traditional dessert or cake, enjoy every mouthful, get involved in the making of it so in time you too can hand this family recipe down. Cherish this experience.


If you are going to house parties be sure to eat before you go, prioritising a balanced snack containing protein, carbs and healthy fats. It takes a bit of time for your stomach to signal your brain. Have a chat, drink some water, wait a good 20 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes this long for your brain to register that you are full.

Get savvy about portion control. This is the biggest problem over the festive season. It is almost expected of us to overeat! Research has shown the bigger the portion the more you will eat. Focus on the first few bites, it is better to have a smaller portion of high-quality food.

Drink at least two to three litres of water every day to stay well hydrated. If you drink alcohol, have a glass of water in between drinks.


Get out and move every day. We are blessed here in Kerry to have so many places to choose from and that all ages can enjoy. A family walk after a particularly filling meal or late night can be brilliant for shaking off the cobwebs.

Meet up for coffee instead of pints. It is never about what you are drinking but who you are with, and again we have some amazing coffee spots to indulge in.

Try to stay to your usual routine and continue to have your three regular meals a day, this will in turn help naturally reduce the serving sizes of your celebratory meals with family and friends.


Christmas and New Year are all about having fun and not getting too stressed with everything. This year make it about good quality food, good company and most importantly about your family and friends. Make sure you enjoy yourself, share some love and remember that moderation is the key to anything to do with keeping healthy and safe during the festive season or any time of the year!

Now is the time to plan for the coming festivities. Having a coach on side to help you navigate this period is a huge help so that come January you aren’t caught spinning your wheels looking for a “quick win”, rather you are hitting 2022 working towards your goals, refreshed after an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas. If you would like a complimentary nutrition consultation, visit

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New free local fitness group to motivate people back to health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness  Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a […]




By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a free health and fitness group. 

Our primary vehicle is our gym but we do a lot of other stuff, too, like:

* Train kids how to exercise in schools
* Helping frontline workers with their mindset
* Supporting local fitness events and teams
* Running fun social events in the community
* Raise funds for local charities

We’ve won awards for this stuff, but the real reward is moving the Killarney community back towards health. So today, I’m thrilled to share a free Facebook group: ‘Fitness, Nutrition & Health in Killarney’ with you.
Visit this link to join:

In that group, we’ll share helpful posts, tips, and support for everyone, whether you exercise at Activate or not. We’re also welcoming other health and fitness practitioners to join the group and help people find valuable and sensible advice around health and fitness.

When you join, Facebook will ask you a few questions, then my team will be around to support you and give you stuff to help.

If you have questions about fitness, health, longevity, nutrition, or exercise, go ahead and ask! If you have answers, please share! Let’s get some positive momentum going in Killarney!

What’s the deal with motivation?

I was having a discussion with a new client the other day and it came up that they sometimes feel a lack of motivation to keep working out. I know many of you feel like this sometimes, so I thought I would write about it today.

I really believe in discipline, as motivation is fleeting – but we’ll address this anyway. There are a few things that you can do to fool-proof the system. Here’s five ways.

1. Find an accountability partner:

When it comes to working out, having someone to hold you accountable can be a huge motivator. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a fitness coach, knowing that someone is counting on you to show up for your workout can help you stay on track.

2. Set realistic goals:

Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated, but it’s important to make sure they are realistic. If your goal is too lofty, you may find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t see results as quickly as you’d like. However, if your goals are achievable and realistic, you’ll be more likely to stick with your workout plan and see the results you want.

3. Find a workout routine you enjoy:

If you dread your workouts, it’s going to be very difficult to stay motivated. However, if you find an exercise routine that you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. There are so many different types of workouts out there, so take some time to experiment and find one that fits your needs and interests. I feel a key facet many of us in the health and fitness industry miss regularly is making sure people are always engaged and challenged, so it remains fun to work out!

4. Reward yourself:

This one sounds a little weird, but for some, it can really work. One way to stay motivated is to reward yourself after setting a goal and reaching it. Whether it’s your favourite snack or a new piece of workout gear, treating yourself to something special can help keep you on track.

5. Get enough sleep:

This is the one thing we all hear that’s drilled into our brains – but for good reason! It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to stay fit and healthy. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy for your workouts and you’ll be less likely to skip them. So make sure to get plenty of rest each night!

Following these tips can help you stay motivated to workout, even when it feels like a struggle. Just remember to be patient, set realistic goals, and find an exercise routine that you enjoy. With a little effort, you can reach your fitness goals in no time!

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Irish food only for Lisa’s September challenge

Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself. Artist and food activist […]




Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself.

Artist and food activist Lisa Fingleton plans the unusual action as she will eat only food grown in Ireland for the entire month.

That means no sugar, lemons, olive oil, or coffee with the challenge designed to highlight issues with Irish food security.

In the seven years since Lisa founded the 30-Day Local Food Challenge, food supply chains have been hit by a succession of market shocks highlighting Lisa’s concerns with increasing urgency.

From seed shortages caused by Brexit to the global market shock of COVID-19 to potential shortages caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, to the recent conversation about the need to reduce the Irish National Herd in line with carbon emissions targets, Lisa says there has never been a more important time to talk about Irish food security.

“This year in particular in Europe we are seeing the impact of war on food and the global reliance on Ukraine as an important wheat producer,” said the former Kerry County Council Artist in Residence who lives in Ballybunion.

“This has shown us more than ever just how fragile our food systems are. We need to focus on building sustainable and resilient food systems on the island of Ireland. This year we are encouraging people to do one local meal a day so they can make it really simple and have Irish porridge for breakfast or really elaborate with a meal grown in your own garden.”

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