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Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss

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In this Section....

First Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange!! - Click Here

Christmas is just around the corner, and one of the best parts of the holiday is all the wonderful baked goodies that you don't usually get year-round. The smell of cookies baking or pastry puffing up in the oven is enough to make even the most health-conscious individual say, 'Darn the pounds and full speed ahead!' Walking into my mother's kitchen would instantly add five pounds to anyone's waist!!! So, since everyone welcomes new cookie recipes and baking ideas, the staff of SSBBW Magazine are sharing their favorite Christmas cookie recipes with our readers. Maybe you will find a new Christmas recipe to use every year for your families or just for yourselves!! So we can start filling our homes with the smells of the holiday and enjoy!

December Recipes - Click Here

December means holidays and celebrations, and spending time with family. One of the greatest times of the year, December brings people together at Christmas and New Year's, and it doesn't matter what the reason, when family gathers together, there's usually some good food that shares the spotlight. This month, we have a great Christmas dinner with a Meditarranean take, with some fresh ingredients that will make your holiday tasty and good for you!! Of course, we haven't forgotten dessert, which also comes from overseas, and you don't even have to have a cup of coffee with it!!! Have a festive and 'feastive' holiday season and let's all look forward to the new year with hope.

And please send us your recipes. Be sure to put your name and where you're from and send them, and a picture if possible, to and we'll be sure to print as many as possible.

Eating Smart this Holiday Season

The holiday season can fill your nights with many “F” words. Family, friends and fun are among the printable ones. On the top of that list is food. Late night shopping, office parties and traveling home for the holidays all can turn healthy eating habits into a tailspin, leaving you feeling like a Grinch.

Let's start with holiday parties. Cocktail parties or beginning your party at the bar can lead to a full binge. They tend to kick off the night full of salty snacks that will increase your thirst and make you prone to drink more. Choose smart finger food and drinks. Try starting the night with a club soda or a light white wine spritzer. Shrimp with cocktail sauce is a great beginning. They are high in protein, iron and lycopene! Raw oysters and clams, vegetables and dip, and smoked salmon on pumpernickel all make additional starts. When the “meal” begins, start with a fresh garden salad or a non-cream based soup. If you give in to the bread basket, take a slice of whole wheat bread or crackers. The fiber is related to a reduced risk of diseases and contributes to a feeling of fullness.

During meal or buffet, eat smaller amounts of a variety of entries. Sampling can help you feel like you have not deprived yourself. Be aware of your choices; do not automatically go for extra helpings when you are catching up with Aunt Flo. Excellent entrees include seafood. Even the fattiest fish tends to be leaner than lean meats. Broiled fish in lemon juice or white wine is amazing. White meat poultry has half the fat of the darker portions, and do not forget to remove the skin. Pasta and rice based dishes can be good choices, but not more than a third of your plate and be wise about your sauces. Cream sauces (i.e. Alfredo) are loaded with excess fat and calories. Accompany your entrée with vegetables, again choose freshly cooked without creamy sauces. Baked, roasted or eve mashed potatoes are a better choice than fried. Be sparing with the butter and the sour cream. Try Worcheshire, Tabasco or mustard.

Dessert time! Save the rich desserts for an occasional treat. Pick one, eat one, enjoy! Sometimes it is better to have a slice when you are out then have a whole cake sitting in your house! The key is a small yet satisfying piece, Yes Virginia; you can have your cake and eat it too.

Now, enough about the food, that’s getting all of our mouths watering. Let’s think about a mental plan on how to handle your holiday events. Talk to yourself and visualize the scenario. It is now time to establish an eating and drinking “gameplan”. Before heading out for that cocktail party, eat a small snack. Studies have proven a snack of peanuts with a glass of skim milk can keep you satisfied. Arriving this way will allow you to think with your brain and not with your belly. This also goes for alcoholic beverages. Too much holiday cheer can make you prone to careless choices thought out the evening. Try having sparkling water in between drinks. Another tip is to make sure you are fully hydrated before arriving at your soiree. Many times food cravings can be triggers by mild-dehydration.

My last mental reminder is to stop behaving “perfectly” and strive for behaving “well”. This is the holidays. Do not go into I am “on” or “off” my diet frame of mind or you will set yourself up for failure. A piece of grandma’s dessert doesn’t mean you are “off” and you might as well eat the whole cake! It is still a wonderful time of the year.

So, be prepared, stay focused, and do not forget to eat, drink and be merry…..without going overboard or depriving yourself…you have earned it!

Poor ChoicesBetter Choices
Egg Nog with Rum 409
4 oz Calories
Red or white wine 80-85
4 oz Calories
French Onion Soup 220
8 oz Calories
Garden Salad with 120
2 tbs Italian dressing Calories
Prime Rib 600
8 oz Calories
Sesame Grilled 398
Salmon 8 oz Calories
Marble Cheese Cake 492
2” Slice Calories
Peach Sorbet 210
1 cup Calories

Written by: Marianne Westervelt

Surviving the Festive Season

Christmas is a time to celebrate and of course, food and alcohol is very much a part of every celebration. All the fun however, can turn into grief as we cope with that awful hangover or those few extra kilos that were so much fun putting on but are so much harder to get off. To help you enjoy the festive season without ending up looking like Santa Claus, Nutrition Australia has put together some simple tips to help you survive the festive season:

Follow this party food guide:

Foods to Choose Foods to Limit
Vegetable sticks for dipping
Oven baked pita chips
Pretzels, rice crackers, rice crisps
Chips, Corn chips
Nuts (whilst OK for cholesterol, they're high in calories)
Baguettes, focaccia or bread or bread rolls
Fruit salad and a slither of the best dessert
Open sandwiches, kebabs, fresh seafood

Garlic Bread
Large pieces of cheesecake, mud cake, caramel tarts
or anything available topped with copious quantities of cream!
Deep fried foods

At Christmas and at any time fill up on the foods at the bottom of the Healthy Eating Pyramid. That means eating plenty of rice, pasta, vegetables and fruits. Look at your plate. If it's stacked full of these foods with only a little meat, cheeses and sauces, then you’re looking at a pretty low fat meal. Listen to your body and stop eating when you feel full. Join in the Christmas backyard cricket game or go for a stroll with some long lost relatives. Keep active. Remember you're aiming for 30 minutes of physical activity. Chat and mingle. If you are bored at a party you’re more likely to hover around the food table or seek out the serving platter. A good conversation should distract you from the food. Drinks can add to the calorie count very quickly. Dilute your drinks. Try a spritzer (½ wine, ½ soda). If you mix your spirits, try a diet mixer. Remember soft drinks, 100% juices, punches, tonic water and flavoured mineral water all have similar calories. While alcohol does not have fat it does have plenty of calories that can add up. Lite beers are lower in calories.

If you do really overdo it, take a deep breath and start the next day afresh with a healthy eating and exercise day. No fasting - just sensible eating, after all it's not the "feastive" season. Remember, a few parties doesn’t make you overweight, it’s what you do the other 360 days of the year.

For more information visit

Written by: Maria Albus

Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.

Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.

Click here to read about our readers journey with weight loss surgery.

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