We all do it. It's December, after all. It's a candy, cookie, goodie free-for-all.  Even if you don't make or buy anything yourself, it's likely there will be a plate of cookies at work or samples at the checkout counter or a tin full of peppermint bark on your doorstep from your friendly neighbor.

How do you maintain a balanced diet with all of these temptations strewn about?  You don't.  This is a time for indulgence.  Rather than feeling guilty about the chocolate Santa here and the gingerbread man there, enjoy every bite.  BUT, recognize that each mouthful of sweet delights is a splurge.  Know that in January you'll be back to more sensible eating and these holiday goodies will be banished from your home and denied entrance to your stomach.

Granted, your body may grumble a little in the first week of the New Year craving the sugar that it began to take for granted.  By the second week, however, your body will thank you with a smaller stomach and more energy.  Indulge your craving occasionally, but savor the event and tell yourself that eating an entire pain au chocolate is a special treat.  Until next December, that is.