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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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Taking care of your skin at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning and exfoliating your face, neck and décolleté.

Serums, eye creams and moisturisers: Moisturising provides a protective layer to the skin that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated. This hydration is what gives your skin a smooth and luminous appearance. This is the step in your skincare routine you don’t want to skip. We always apply the serum closest to the skin as it’s water based and needs to be absorbed on the deepest layer of the skin; the basal layer which is the active layer. It’s where the collagen and elastin start to grow and move up towards the surface of the skin. The more hyaluronic acid, peptides, ribose, and active ingredients in your serums the better. We need to keep our fibroblasts, melanocytes healthy as they are the source of plump, juicy skin.

An eye cream to me is the most important cream as the eye area is a place that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil gland). These glands help remove old skin cells, keep the skin lubricated and prevent tissues drying out. Therefore, for me, I always use an eyelid lifting serum, eye cream in the night time and eye roll-on gel in the morning. Our eyes can make us look older than we are so it’s important to look after them. It’s very important not to go too close to the eye when applying creams as the skin is very thin. A little bit often makes a big difference.

When applying your serum and cream rub upwards and outwards; be careful not to tug the delicate skin around the eyes.

Apply SPF all year round, it’s the most important step in preventing skin cancer and keeps your skin healthy as you age. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays helps maintain a healthy youthful visage. However, it’s important to remember the best form of sun block is to keep your face in the shade.

With all skincare routines, it’s important to keep it consistant. Do it twice a day every day and follow with monthly facials. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. This means that it’s important to take good care of it.

For more information, or to book a skin consultation or facial, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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What do we mean by ‘Employability’?

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.




By Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor

According to experts in the area of career development, the term ‘employability’ refers to a set of achievements that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.

This in turn benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. At this stage in the year Leaving Cert students are well into the process of trying to decide what step they want to take next. It is a daunting task for many of you because of the variety of choices available and the challenge for young people at 17 or 18 years of age to really know what career they might like. It is important to remember that you aren’t choosing a career for life, you are taking the next step and you will be building on that as your career develops. A big concern for many students and parents is whether they will get a job at the end of their chosen course or pathway. While we have some indications of where there will be skills shortages in the short to medium term, the jobs market is subject to change.


One thing we can be sure of is that, regardless of what pathway you take after the Leaving Cert, be that Further Education courses (FET), traineeships, apprenticeships or university courses, on completion of your training and education you will want to be ‘employable’. In simple terms ‘employability’ depends on your knowledge (what you know) your skills (what you do with what you know) and your attitude (how you approach things). As you research the various options open to you after you finish school, remember you are heading into a working world that values transferable skills which include specialist knowledge in the subject, field of study or technical area you have chosen to follow. It also places huge emphasis on having the ability to analyse, evaluate and use information effectively to problem-solve and to organise and communicate knowledge well. Furthermore, your personal qualities are a core part of your offering to a potential employer – your ability to work on your own initiative, to self-manage, to manage time and meet targets and deadlines. Central to all of this of course is the ability to collaborate, to work and study as part of a team.

If you are struggling to decide between courses or options, focus on finding an area that you really want to find out more about. You will develop a set of transferable skills which will give you flexibility and adaptability as you grow and develop in your career. All of the other things you do will add value to your degree/qualification and that is what will ensure your ‘employability’!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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