Holiday eating Part 1: How to avoid resembling St. Nick

christmas-tree

It’s officially holiday season! Holiday commercials are on after my favorite shows, christmas music is blaring in Starbucks, the air has that it’s-almost-winter crisp and the smells of the season are being spritzed at every department store. This is my favorite time of year. However, like everyone on this planet, is not my healthiest time of year either. I indulge on one too many holiday cocktails, eat a few too many cookies and load my plate with all of the holiday stuffings, puddings, mashes and pies. Holidays are not just for giving, they are for eating. Lots and lots of eating. Which, if you’re not careful, can equal to a few, unwelcome pounds.

 

I’ve had my holidays where i’ve forgone the normal eating habits and stayed in a perfect size 4. and I’ve had my holidays where I’ve gorged myself and gained a few more than the standard 2 pounds (up to 10 once!) Now as a smarter and wiser gal with 23 years of holiday experience, I can say that neither of those options were smart. I was either left feeling hungry and sullen or bloated and regretful, which are not the emotions one should associate with the holidays. So this year, I vow to not feel any of those. I vow to feel happy, great, sexy, thankful, comfortable and happy. When I tell my girlfriends this they encourage me and toast to my new found holiday success, but then, as I walk away, I can hear them go “how on earth is she going to realistically not gain weight?’ Truthfully, I’m grappling with that myself. I know it won’t be easy to stay svelte during the thanksgiving feast and christmas parties, but realistically, it’s not impossible. So i’ve created a holiday game-plan that will keep me in shape and happy during the holidays without feeling hungry or bloated. Each day I’ll share a tidbit on how to beat the holiday bulge.

1. Holiday eating

Eating is what the holidays are all about. and why shouldn’t they? Look at what is served traditionally? Succulent hams, hearty stuffings and creamy desserts. And the cocktails, who could forget? Rich reds and luscious hot chocolate are what create that certain holiday smell that radiates from houses and kitchens everywhere. That smell is like poison gas to dieters, and women alike. So how do we indulge in this “poison” while still fitting into our sexy party dresses? Easy. Be realistic and smart in your holiday eating game plan.

Eating before the party

Before you dress and slip on your heels, make sure to put something in your stomach. I know, seems ludicrous to eat before you go and, well, eat, but it’s the smartest way to avoid over-indulging or binging once you get there. The biggest diet mistake I hear about and read about are women starving themselves before the Thanksgiving dinner or before their work holiday party. You’ll end up feeling ravished and eating just about anything you get your hands on. Before any event, eat like you normally would on any other day, just a tad bit lighter before a big dinner. These light and filling meals will keep you full and satisfied before the party/dinner even begins.

BREAKFAST

Egg taco: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/quick_breakfast_taco.html  Sounds weird, I know. But this out of the ordinary breakfast dish gives you enough protein to keep your  hunger at bay and gives your taste buds a little kick with the salsa. I like my eggs with a little spice, so I usually add a bit of chili powder or a dash of cayenne pepper to give my eggs more of a punch. (Cumin and cayenne pepper can increase your metabolism by up to 25 percent and garlic can help tear down small amounts of fat!) So spice it up!

Bran muffins: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Classic-Bran-Muffins/Detail.aspx These have got to be my absolutely favorite breakfast treat. Bran is naturally high in fiber (which take your body longer to digest, therefore keeping you fuller longer) and low in fat. I love to add cranberries, blueberries and applesauce to these to make them just a bit sweeter.

Cereal: You can’t go wrong with a bowl of Cheerio’s or All Bran. Trade in your regular milk for skim or soy and always read the labels before you buy. As a obessive label reader, I refuse to buy cereal that has high sugar or hidden corn syrup.

SNACK

Apple slices with peanut butter: Nothing beats this delicious snack! The apple gives you a bit of sweetness and the peanut butter, which is high in monounsaturated fats (the good kind!) is also full of protein. I like to add just a bit of honey to the peanut butter for even more sweetness.

Healthy trail mix: Mix whole-wheat pretzels, wheat Chex, Craisins or raisins, chocolate chips, and nuts together for a snack that is quick, is easy to eat on the go, and has the sweet/salty texture I am always craving.

Veggies and dip: I’m a huge fan of the veggie/dip combo! However, these dips are often high in fat, so try to stick to the healthy, low-fat kind or make your own! I usually mix low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt with a packet of Lipton onion soup mix. Healthy and easy!

Now, these are just a few of my pre-party/big dinner favorites! For more light recipe ideas, check out http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy-eating/index.html; www.eatingwell.com; http://www.self.com/fooddiet/2009/06/30-healthy-snacks

Stay tuned tomorrow for what to bring to holiday gatherings and how to eat without busting your seams.

 

 

 

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~ by therealnutritionist on November 15, 2009.

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