Category Archives: holiday eating

Holiday Eating Tips – Mirror Post

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat.. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
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Filed under Exercise, healthy eating, healthy living, holiday eating, holiday weight gain

Holiday tips on healthy eating

I think it is always a good idea to have a game plan. Hopefully, this will help you to enjoy your holiday eating more.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eat less; move more; live longer. Those words are the mantra of this blog. I realize that they are also easier said than done especially at this time of year – holiday season.
nugget-markets-holiday-meal-20121
We seem to be hard-wired to celebrate by eating. Maybe it goes back to the time we had to hunt for our food. When we managed to kill something edible that was reason for celebration and we did. We ate our fill because we didn’t know when our next meal would be. But, times have changed and a trip to a supermarket is enough to feed an entire family for a week. So there is no need to eat till we are bursting at any single meal or event.

The holidays are a particularly trying time. There are various family celebrations along with parties at friends and neighbors. Each is a special form of temptation that we have to deal with. Continue reading

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Some midweek holiday food funnies …

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a limbo period. It’s shortened by the holidays and we are preoccupied by the social turmoil. So, here are some humorous items on holiday fare.

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Happy holidays!

Tony

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Filed under holiday eating, holiday weight gain

13 Ways to keep free radicals away and why you should

I have always entertained a hint of confusion about free radicals and antioxidants. For one thing they are counterintuitive. Free is good normally and anti is against. Yet, we need antioxidants and don’t want free radical accumulation. What’s up with that?

So, I was most pleased to run across the following informed discussion of that very subject in The Conversation.

The holiday season is in full swing, and with it comes time for family celebration while gathering around tables full of delicious foods with seasonal spices! But it can also be a stressful time of year, with substantial meal preparation as well as stress in the gut from digesting highly caloric and rich foods. Your food choices can help reduce stress in your body.

Traditional holiday meals are laden with salt, fat and sugar, which can spike blood glucose and insulin levels when eaten in excess all in one day. They also, alas, can increase the amount of free radicals, or molecules with unattached electrons, in the body, which can do serious cellular damage.

We hear a lot about antioxidants, and we are encouraged to eat foods that are rich in them. But what exactly are they, and why do we need them? As a researcher who examines cellular damage, I will explain the oxidative process and why it’s important to curb it. Continue reading

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How to battle holiday weight gain – Rush

In deference to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday which ushers in the holiday season, I published yesterday my post – Healthy eating tops for the holidays.

I thought this write up from Rush University Medical Center was a worthwhile follow up. The Rush dietitian has some good detailed suggestions and examples.

Trying to lose weight during the holiday season may be unrealistic, given that the average American gains one to five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a six-week span marked by celebrations, eating and drinking.

This is especially true for people who are already overweight.

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A review of studies evaluating holiday weight gain determined the average gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to be only 0.8 pounds. However, people who were already overweight or obese gained as much as five pounds. A more recent evaluation also found that obese people experienced greater increases in body fat over the holiday season compared to people in the normal weight range. Continue reading

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Filed under holiday eating, holiday weight gain, Weight, weight control, weight loss, weight mainetenance

Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

I think it is always a good idea to have a game plan. Hopefully, this will help you to enjoy your holiday eating more. This is a reblog from a previous holiday season, but I think the ideas are still worth reading.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Eat less; move more; live longer. Those words are the mantra of this blog. I realize that they are also easier said than done especially at this time of year – holiday season.
nugget-markets-holiday-meal-20121
We seem to be hard-wired to celebrate by eating. Maybe it goes back to the time we had to hunt for  our food. When we managed to kill something edible that was reason for celebration and we did. We ate our fill because we didn’t know when our next meal would be. But, times have changed and a trip to a supermarket is enough to feed an entire family for a week. So there is no need to eat till we are bursting at any single meal or event.

The holidays are a particularly trying time. There are various family celebrations along with parties at friends and neighbors. Each is a special form of temptation…

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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

Eat less; move more; live longer. Those words are the mantra of this blog. I realize that they are also easier said than done especially at this time of year – holiday season.
nugget-markets-holiday-meal-20121
We seem to be hard-wired to celebrate by eating. Maybe it goes back to the time we had to hunt for our food. When we managed to kill something edible that was reason for celebration and we did. We ate our fill because we didn’t know when our next meal would be. But, times have changed and a trip to a supermarket is enough to feed an entire family for a week. So there is no need to eat till we are bursting at any single meal or event.

The holidays are a particularly trying time. There are various family celebrations along with parties at friends and neighbors. Each is a special form of temptation that we have to deal with.

I think one of the most important concepts to keep in mind in the holiday season is that weight control is a lifetime job. You can’t do it one day and then forget about it, or worse, celebrate by binge-ing on sweets as soon as you lose a pound or two. You also cannot wreck your progress in one day any more than you can solve your weight problem in one day. Think of it as a long continuum. Most importantly, during the holidays, don’t get down on yourself and wallow in guilt because you overdid it on one occasion. The damage from that is much worse than just an extra pound or two. Guilt hurts your heart and makes a positive outlook more difficult.

If you carry the sense of continuum with you in the holiday season, it may help you to steer an even keel through these difficult seas. First, when you are at a party with ‘a spread,’ snack on the carrots instead of the chips. You can work on filling your belly that way and not jam in a bunch of empty calories. Second, if you do overindulge try to eat light the next day. Give your system a chance to reset and find normality. Remember the continuum. Strive for balance. Third, keep portion sizes in mind. You can enjoy the taste of something without eating a plate full of it.

Finally, keep active. Don’t let your exercise program slip. Two reasons: It will help you to burn excess calories and your body needs to work every day. Use it or lose it is the irrefutable law of the body.

I hope this helps you to enjoy the holidays a little more and feel a little less guilty about your eating.

Tony

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Healthy Holiday Eating with Ayurveda

Over the past few years I have become more and more impressed with Ayurvedic medicine. I am less than a novice at it, but I was impressed with the common sense suggestions in this.

I hope you will be, too.

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Tony

 

 

Source: Healthy Holiday Eating with Ayurveda

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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips #5 – At Home

Having covered holiday eating situations in which you are the guest, what about the one(s) in which you are the host(ess)?

Here are some suggestions from a presentation by Holly Herrington, MS RD, before Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Transitions Program®.

Experiment with Recipes

Don’t feel like you have to make all the traditional food with 100 per cent traditional recipes and ingredients.

Roast Turkey and Stuffing

Feel free to swap high calories ingredients out and put low calories ones in.  For example, you can use low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt vs sour cream, mustard vs mayo, applesauce vs oil, cinnamon vs sugar.

Most pumpkin pie recipes call for at least one cup of cream or evaporated whole milk and two eggs. Use evaporated skim milk and three egg whites to cut about 300 calories and 30 to 38 grams of fat from your pie.

Buy brown and serve bread rolls instead of the higher-fat crescent rolls to cut about 1100 extra calories and about 100 grams of fat per dozen.

Use light cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese in your dips, spreads and cheesecakes to cut about 16 grams of fat per cup of cream cheese.

Make a little less so the temptation is not so great to overeat.

Go easy on the gravy and opt for canned cranberry sauce on your turkey for a nutritious and fat-free option.

Replace the bread in your holiday stuffing with canned chestnuts, a nutritious and different alternative. To further lighten your stuffing and add valuable nutrients, mix in canned, chopped vegetables, too.

Serve meals in the kitchen instead of family-style on the table to avoid reaching for seconds out of convenience.

Put any leftovers in the freezer before sitting down ot eat so as not to be tempted for second helpings.

If you are baking for friends and family, spend a little extra time and money on individual packaging so you are less likely to dip into leftovers.

I hope these suggestions prove helpful to you in your holiday meal preparation. Please feel free to send in your own suggestions as well as substitutions.

You can read the entire Healthy Holiday eating series starting with Tips for Healthy holiday eating and scrolling backwards.

Happy and healthy holiday eating!

Tony

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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips #4 – At Work

So far I have confined myself to holiday dining with family and friends, but the holiday season contains another diabolical source of bad food – the workplace.

A little personal anecdote here: I worked for a philanthropic organization for my final 10 years before retiring. Holiday time was a very happy period as we were deluged with huge tins of various kinds of popcorn, carmelcorn, kettle corn, etc. We would receive ten pound chocolate bars which were left in the break room with a knife for cutting off a piece. I’m sure it is no surprise to anyone that I weighed upwards of 180 pounds in those days compared with my low 150s now.

One of the reasons I no longer have a weight problem is the 180 degree change in my attitude toward food. I don’t think of food as a pleasure source in itself to be mindlessly consumed like I did as a child. I now think of food as a source of good health and fuel for my body and my activities. You can read further on Whether food is an end or a means in that blog post. I still enjoy the taste of food, but I don’t stop there.

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One way to look at office snacks is that those little Snickers Bars only amount to 100 calories. What’s the harm? The harm comes from eating a dozen of them for a total over 1000 calories, or more than half of your daily calorie budget of 2000 calories. As it takes 3500 calories to put a pound on your body weight, it wouldn’t take too many days of snacking like this to pack on some weight and waist.

Burning off the holiday treats

Burning off the holiday treats

Another way to look at it is: what do you need to do to burn off 1000 calories.
– One hour on the elliptical machine = 500 calories
– 60 minutes of lifting weights = 300 calories
– One hour of yard work, or stringing up holiday lights = 200 calories
– Or the equivalent of three hours of physical activity.

Maybe seeing the price you pay in physical activity to burn off a snack binge will help to put workplace holiday snacking into a clearer perspective for you.

Eat less; move more … and enjoy the holidays.

Tony

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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips #3 – Turkey Dinner

To continue the series begun several blog posts back, herewith a breakdown of the average Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

Roast Turkey and Stuffing

The average holiday dinner contains 4,000 calories and 229 grams of fat, according to a presentation by Holly Herrington, MS RD, before Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Transitions Program®.

Herrington broke down the meal’s main offenders:
Pecan pie – 500 calories per slice
One cup stuffing – 350 calories
Six ounces of dark meat 350 calories
Clearly, just these three elements amount to more than half of a normal person’s daily calorie allotment of 2000 calories.

Here are some calorie estimates to work with:

Turkey
– four ounces = 160 calories, with gravy 260 calories
Sweet potato
– one medium = 110 calories
– candied = 305 calories
Mashed potatoes
– one cup = 210 calories
Biscuits
– one = 250 calories, without butter

Here are Nurse Herrington’s suggestions for a healthier Thanksgiving dinner.
Turkey white meat with skin – one cup diced = 276 calories
Bread stuffing – 1/2 cup = 190 calories
Mashed potatoes (whole milk and butter added) – 237 calories
Whole kernel corn (canned) – 1/2 cup = 60 calories
Turkey gravy (canned) – 1/2 cup = 60 calories
Dinner roll (white) – one roll = 120 calories
Butter – one tablespoon = 100 calories
Pumpkin pie (Libby’s recipe) – 1/8 of pie 319 calories

Total calories for this dinner = 1050 with 63.45 grams of fat – 102 grams of carbohydrates and 97 grams of protein.

Clearly this attention to portion control cuts the holiday feast down to manageable proportions. It still amounts to half of a 150 pound person’s 2000 calorie per day budget, but it lets you enjoy the day without blowing up your calorie allotment.

Tony

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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips #2

As I said in the first Healthy Holiday Eating Tips focus on weight maintenance in this period. Give yourself a break and take some pressure off. On average, people gain at least five pounds over the holidays. Over a 10 year period with no weight loss, that comes to 20 more pounds. So, strive for maintenance over weight loss in this period.

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It helps to see the period in perspective. December 1 through 24 and 26 through 30 are not holidays. You can allow yourself to enjoy the day of the holiday. Just exercise control on the remaining 29 days of December.

Continue to purchase healthy foods, control your portion sizes and eat on a regular schedule. DON’T FORGET to exercise. Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but in modest portions, eat slowly and savor the taste and texture.

Try to practice moderation.

Tony

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Holiday Healthy Eating Tips #1

As the holiday season extends for several months, I thought it might be useful to publish a number of items on eating healthy in this period.

Back in October I wrote a general guide on holiday eating.

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Herewith the first of a series.

Because of the extra emphasis on celebrating with food in this period focus on weight maintenance rather than weight loss. This will be more easily achievable and will reduce the stress level for you. This way you won’t set yourself up for failure with unrealistic goals.

DON’T plan starting a diet in the New Year. The anticipation of restrictions on your eating can set you up for binge-type eating over the holiday period.

Make sure you get in some exercise. Don’t let your exercise program evaporate.

Tony

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Filed under calories, holiday eating, Snacking, Weight

Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

Eat less; move more; live longer. Those words are the mantra of this blog. I realize that they are also easier said than done especially at this time of year – holiday season.
nugget-markets-holiday-meal-20121
We seem to be hard-wired to celebrate by eating. Maybe it goes back to the time we had to hunt for  our food. When we managed to kill something edible that was reason for celebration and we did. We ate our fill because we didn’t know when our next meal would be. But, times have changed and a trip to a supermarket is enough to feed an entire family for a week. So there is no need to eat till we are bursting at any single meal or event.

The holidays are a particularly trying time. There are various family celebrations along with parties at friends and neighbors. Each is a special form of temptation that we have to deal with.

I think one of the most important concepts to keep in mind in the holiday season is that weight control is a lifetime job. You can’t do it one day and then forget about it, or worse, celebrate by binge-ing on sweets as soon as you lose a pound or two. You also cannot wreck your progress in one day any more than you can solve your weight problem in one day. Think of it as a long continuum. Most importantly, during the holidays, don’t get down on yourself and wallow in guilt because you overdid it on one occasion. The damage from that is much worse than just an extra pound or two. Guilt hurts your heart and makes a positive outlook more difficult.

If you carry the sense of continuum with you in the holiday season, it may help you to steer an even keel through these difficult seas. First, when you are at a party with ‘a spread,’ snack on the carrots instead of the chips. You can work on filling your belly that way and not jam in a bunch of empty calories. Second, if you do overindulge try to eat light the next day. Give your system a chance to reset and find normality. Remember the continuum. Strive for balance. Third, keep portion sizes in mind. You can enjoy the taste of something without eating a plate full of it.

Finally, keep active. Don’t let your exercise program slip. Two reasons: It will help you to burn excess calories and your body needs to work every day. Use it or lose it is the irrefutable law of the body.

I hope this helps you to enjoy the holidays a little more and feel a little less guilty about your eating.

Tony

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Filed under health, healthy eating, healthy living, holiday eating, portion control, portion size, Weight

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Christmas season is in full flourish now in the first week of December. Shoppers are shopping and holiday get-togethers are being planned and taking place. This is the red zone for weight control weakness.

With that in mind, here are helpful tips on dealing with the holiday social events from Dr. Griffin Rodgers Institute Director of the National Institutes of Health.

1. Holiday pressures can interrupt a person’s routine and make it even more challenging to follow plans to stay healthy.

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2. Don’t “save up” for big meals, rather have a light snack beforehand; keep an eye on the drinks, alcohol in particular adds calories and enhances appetite; and go easy on dessert. He also recommends being realistic.

3. Regular physical activity during the holiday season may boost your energy, clear your mind, manage any health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure, and help get some items checked off your holiday “to do” list.

4 The holiday season is not the time to abandon healthy eating and exercise habits.

5. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity. If you do overindulge in eating too much, don’t be too hard on yourself up. Get back on track at the next meal.

6. Share your family health history. Ask questions. Talk about common health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure and whether anyone in the family has these conditions.

You can have happy holidays and still remain aware of your body’s real needs. Doctor Rodgers offers some useful advice. I hope you can put it to good use.

Eat less; move more. Words to live by.

Tony

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