INDULGE WITHOUT THE BULGE
Oven roasted turkey, corn bread stuffing, green bean casserole, and sweet potato pie. November is a very delicious time of year. With Thanksgiving, Thanksmas, Christmas, and a lot of holiday parties to look forward to, it can be easy to gain weight this time of year. Not to mention that most of our holiday comfort food is full of extra fats, sugars, salts and food allergens that we tend to crave. Below are 5 tricks plus a bonus to get your holiday fix without the holiday pounds that go along with it.
1. Keep it Small. When facing a feast, banquet, or buffet table, choose the smallest plate size possible. This will keep your portion sizes smaller. Scan the table for fruits and veggies first, the raw kind without added sugars, fats, and other ingredients. Try a large helping of these healthier foods. Then scan for your lean proteins such as turkey, chicken, or fish. With the room you have left, indulge in a small portion of one or two of your favorite go-weak-in-the-knees dishes. Try eating these last so that you get to savor the flavor after your appetite has been mostly satiated.
3. Never Start with Sugar. Don’t start the day with a high sugar breakfast such as orange juice and banana bread. Spiking your sugar first thing in the morning can increase your food cravings throughout the day. Even though there may be more sweets around the house that tempt you, start with high protein, high fiber foods such as eggs and an oat bran muffin. Save a small portion of your sweet indulgence for the end of a meal as an extra treat.
4. Eat Healthy Sweets. Try swapping your traditional sweets with a healthy variation. Instead of candy, buy fruit. Replace the sugar in holiday cookies with stevia. Avoid the holiday punch bowl. Try drinking tea or water with some fresh fruit thrown in for flavor and sweetness. If you do find yourself indulging in something sweet, combine it with fiber and protein to help keep your blood sugar stable.
5. Get Moving. Try some light exercise after you indulge, like walking, stretching, or some yoga positions. This will help speed up your metabolism, jump start digestion, and get your body using the extra calories. In fact, try to find ways to increase your activity every day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther out in the parking lot and walk in. Try walking a few laps in the store while doing holiday shopping. Increasing your metabolism with exercise is one of the best ways to counteract the extra calories.
Bonus Tip: Be Careful of Food Allergens. It can be easy to go off our food allergy diets, especially with wheat and dairy, during the holiday season. Going off our food allergy diets can make you feel bloated, inflamed, sluggish, and tired. If you have special food needs, make sure to plan ahead for any festive gathering. Your hosts may not even know what gluten-free means. So, be sure to bring your own healthy variation that you can eat in case there is nothing else available.
RECIPE: PUMPKIN PUREE SOUP
- 3/4 cup water, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (from baked pumpkin)
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 green onion top, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup water over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don’t let onion dry out.
Add remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the almond or coconut milk and cook until hot. Do not boil. Ladle soup into warmed bowls and garnish with black pepper, green onion tops, and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.
IRVINGIA (AFRICAN MANGO)
They also experienced lower blood pressure and lower lipid counts than the placebo group. Clinical evidence is suggesting that the fiber may help slow down the absorption of dietary sugar, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. This can help with weight loss. Fiber also helps you feel full longer, which helps to satiate appetite. It is a supplement worth asking your Naturopathic Doctor about, especially during the holiday season when it is so easy to gain a few pounds.
Judith L Ngondi, Julius E Oben, and Samuel R Minka. The Effect of Irvingia Gabonensis Seeds On Body Weight and Blood Lipids of Obese Subjects in Cameroon. Lipids Health Discussion 2005 (4): 12.
Green Tea. World’s Healthiest Foods.
Try a walking meditation when you are too restless for a sitting meditation, when you feel anxious, stressed, or if you have a tendency to fall asleep while trying to meditate.
Walking Meditation. Wildmind Buddhist Meditation.
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