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Keeping Weight Off This Holiday Season :)

I LOVE the holidays! ESP Christmas …which is always filled with family, fun and FOOD!!!! SO what are some ways to eat well during the holidays and NOT gain those extra lbs!? Just think small portions and balance!

Put a little fruit, add a lot of vegetables, and limit the amount of cheese you add to your plate. When you do decide you want those desserts, maybe fill your plate up with more vegetables and SAMPLE a tablespoon size of the really yummy ones!

Also try and focus on the vegetables at dinner, and try to skip the butter and gravy….Due to many request…here are some good tips to help you get to the New Year the same weight (if not lighter) you were before the holiday season!

Prepare Yourself Before the Party…

One of the biggest mistakes you can make before heading to a party is to skip a meal or arrive hungry. By eating a light, healthy snack before leaving your own house, you can set yourself up to make better choices.

Bring a Healthy Holiday Food …

If you are hosting the party, you have control of the ingredients that are added to the favorite holiday recipes – but as a guest, it is not as easy. However, just because you are a guest does not mean you can not offer to bring a healthy, low-fat dish to add to the selection. Most hosts will welcome an additional dish, and the other guests may enjoy having a healthier option to choose. Bring a simple dish like a veggie platter, or a crust-less pumpkin pie.

Be Mindful During the Party…

The first thing you should do is remember what the celebration is about. Your mind should be focused on enjoying the time with your family and friends. During mealtime, fill your plate up mostly with vegetables. Try not to over-indulge, but you should not feel like you have to avoid any item. Choose items that are your favorite in smaller portions, and eat slowly to savor every bite.

Avoid drinking beverages that are high in sugar and calories, or at least limit your intake to a single drink. Alcohol adds extra unwanted calories and, if too much is consumed, it lowers inhibitions, which can lead to overeating. Try consuming water with a lemon or lime. Spend your time at the party catching up with all your friends and loved ones- enjoy a FEW bites of the food you really want but remember…moderation!

Keep Moving…

This time of the year should be enjoyable. However, you need to keep physically active, maybe now more than ever. Physical activity reduces stress and gives us more energy. Try fitting in a workout before the party because, more likely than not, you will be tired from all the celebrating afterwards.

If you like participating in races, sign yourself up for a seasonal 5K run/walk or some other fitness event that will keep you focused and motivated to stay active.

REMEMBER: The holidays are for celebrating with family and friends. If you must splurge one, two, or even three days during the holiday season, then that really is not going to ruin all of your hard work. It takes an extra 500 calories each day, or 3,500 calories a week, to gain a pound. All the extra snacking can really add up, but you can easily pass up all the treats in the office and keep goodies out of your own home. If you do this, you can feel good allowing yourself to enjoy the foods you look forward to every year.

One more thing…when you are doing all your cooking- use healthier ingredients… like apple sauce instead of butter or oil, egg whites, whole grain flours, ect… its easy!! Here is a recipe I thought I would share that I made for Thanksgiving and will make again this weekend…super good and healthy :)

Southern Sweet Potato Bread with Pecans
1 1/2 cups Spelt flour (plus ½ tsp sea salt and 1 to 1.5 tsp baking powder to make it rise)
1 cup stevia for baking
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 TBSP oil (I use olive or coconut)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons milk (use coconut, soy, almond or rice milk to make dariy free)
2 eggs or use 2 tbsp flax soaked in 6 tbsp water to make egg-free
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 8×4-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
2. Add oil, milk and eggs; blend well. Stir in sweet potatoes, pecans and raisins until well mixed. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

I hope everyone has a FABULOUS Holiday & New Year!!!

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