Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tips to Staying Fit over the Holidays

Tuna Meatballs are a healthy alternative to fat laden Swedish Meatballs
I'm sure most of you have heard these tips before but I think its helpful to reinforce these ideas frequently. I believe that when you regularly practice healthy habits, you turn a 'diet' into a healthy lifestyle. These tips are easy and will relieve the stress that the holidays can have on people with special diets or those just trying to eat healthier.

  1. Cook and Bake! Cooking and baking both burn calories, just ensure that you are cooking healthy dishes to serve and share with guests. Scratch Swedish meatballs off the menu and serve up some delicious tuna meatballs. Serve low-cal high veggie Vietnamese spring rolls as a healthy appetizer. Serve spaghetti squash casserole instead of creamed spinach, green bean casserole or any other casserole you would normally serve that is loaded with cream and/or cheese. Mash sweet potatoes with spices like ginger instead of mashed potatoes with butter. Bake up some healthy carrot bread, applesauce cake or healthy chocolate carrot cake. Make a low sugar crisp instead of a pie and serve it with TruWhip instead of ice cream. And skip the buns!  There are so many things to eat during the holidays! Don't load up on empty carbs!
  2. Eat before you head out to a party or dinner. Never go to a party starving as you tend to overeat on unhealthy things once you get there. Make a healthy high fiber fruit and spinach smoothie. Enjoy a slice of whole wheat bread with a high protein nut butter. Make a fabulous salad loaded with veggies and tofu that will keep you full enough to not over-eat but still enjoy smaller amounts of food at the party. 
  3. Bring something to share. If you are unsure if there will be good choices at a party bring food that you enjoy to eat. But bring enough to share with everyone. You don't what to be that 'weird diet person' that brings their own food in Tupperware and eats it alone sitting in the corner. 
  4. Continue with your workouts and adapt to guests. If you are staying at home this should be easy as you just continue with your regular routine. If you are staying in a hotel make use of the gym or pool or go on walks/runs to explore. If you are staying somewhere tropical, lucky you! You can go for runs outside in the morning, or swim, kayak and snorkel in the ocean. Family or guests may be disruptive to your regular routine. Family is your #1 priority but you should be at least #2. A 30 minute workout can be done while guests are in the shower or while the turkey is in the oven. You can also include your family too. Ask your sibling to join you! Most families will be very supportive of you, just don't use the gym as an excuse to get away for hours at a time ;-)
  5. Choose well. Fill your plate with lean proteins and loads of vegetables. These will fill you up and keep you full throughout the evening. Avoid gravy and limit the stuffing especially if it is loaded with sausage and cooked in the bird. Limit your alcohol intake and make sure you are well hydrated with lots of water. Most importantly: choose fun and a healthy lifestyle over food-guilt and diets.
Applesauce Cake is a healthier alternative to other seasonal desserts