Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

The holidays are the time for big parties, awesome food, great drinks...Enjoy them! But stay responsible, don't over indulge in cookies and rich foods or over imbibe in fancy cocktails and toasts. Don't let all your hard work this year go down in flames during Christmas dinner. Yes, New Years is right around the corner, but who needs resolutions when health and happiness are a way of life?

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season this year! Keep on track and keep up your workout routine, your eating habits and thoroughly enjoy the season, family and all those parties and goodies (in moderation).

Christmas Cookies

Chocolate chip, gingersnap, snicker doodle, sugar cookie, rum ball and all oh-so-tasty treats! They are so tempting and so delightful, calling out with their beautiful color, frosting, powdered sugar and crispy promises of joy.

Don't forget just how many calories and how much butter goes into those little beauties. On average each chocolate chip cookie hides 120 calories in its deliciousness. Enjoy a few, but don't binge eat the whole batch.

  • Try drinking a glass of water with or after each cookie. Help your self by not only drinking more water (calorie free) which we all need to do, but helps space out those treats. 


  • Don't walk by the dessert table. Simple, but effective avoidance tactics. Out of sight (and reach) out of mind. 


Holiday Dinner 

Traditional, rich, flavorful, no-holds-barred recipes are the fare of choice at most holiday dinners. Hosts serve foods we're not likely to find any other time of year, they go all out to provide a memorable meal and lots of it.

Even the vegetables are hiding sugar and butter, so wondrous in creamy sauces, so decadent in caramelized sugar and oh-so-calorie-laden.
Get friend involved, make cookies together the day of

  • Use the salad plate for dinner. Honestly, humans like to fill their plate, the aesthetics of a bare plate drive our minds nuts. And we don't want to seem rude, so we clean that plate too. Using a smaller plate keeps us from taking larger servings but allows us to take a full plate and try a little of everything. 
  • Sit and talk. Do not get up for seconds, sit, talk and spend time with the people you are here to celebrate with. Make your dinner more about the people around you than the food in front of you.
  • Pass the water! Try to drink a whole 8oz glass of water with your dinner. It will help make you feel satisfied by slowing down how quickly you eat, and fill you up a little. 

Party Time 

Parties (unless you're Mormon) mean drinks: wine, beer cocktails and spirits. Enjoy them, but don't over imbibe. Save yourself the hangover and extra calories, try a few of these ideas instead.

Old fashioned and champagne cocktails 
Games are fun, and while some are super silly playing party games with the family or friends can create some great memories. Ever see a group of adults try to open a present while wearing mittens? 
  • Mitten Madness: One wrapped present, one pair of mittens, hat and scarf. The whole point is to open the present, but each couple or pair has 10 seconds for one person to put the mittens, hat and scarf on their partner and then try to unwrap the present (with the mittens on of course). The ensemble and the present work their way around the room to each couple until it is unwrapped and out of the box!
  • Board games and party games make great gifts, especially to the host/hostess of the party. This way you can enjoy playing with a crowd. 


Traditions

There are lots of traditions each and everyone of us has those special foods, activities, clothing and more that make the holidays special. New traditions are great too, its never too late (or early) to start a new one!

Beautiful Morning for a hike

Thousand Hills State Park trail
  • Holiday Hike. Is the weather not so wintery? Try taking the family for a Christmas hike, let the little ones enjoy the outdoors and burn off a little energy before driving to grandma's for dinner. Or take your special someone out for a lovely hike around the nearest lake, its so romantic and a great time for conversation and secret kisses. 
  • Reign in Breakfast. Not every meal needs to be indulgent, or at least high in calories and fat. Try a warm and inviting breakfast of oatmeal, dried fruit and nuts with cinnamon for the family. High in fiber and low in sugar this highly sweetened breakfast can provide the foundation to start your holiday out on a healthy foot. 
  • Use those cookie cutters. Not for sugar cookies, but for Bisquick rolled biscuits! Make a fresh batch of biscuits shaped like trees, ornaments or bears for breakfast sandwiches of egg and low fat ham, add some spreadable fruit if your feeling adventurous.  
Everyone loves a happy breakfast.