HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
Our Fifth Annual Holiday Cookie Recipe Exchange
December Recipes - Click Here
It's Christmas time in the city. . . and the country and in town and everywhere!!! Tis the season and one reason to celebrate is all the yummy food this time of year!! We have Christmas cookies in abundance and desserts that will tempt even the most die-hard dieter around! This month, we give a nod to vegetarian and carnivore alike with a menu that includes a traditional Italian meal with fish and pasta both taking a bow as entrees. Included are some Italian staples like olives, garlic, and rosemary, and yummy sweet bread that can be eaten before dinner, after dinner, even at breakfast!! And don't forget the
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
December Exercises - Click HereEach month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.
Holiday Food Horrors
'Tis the season of temptation -- and the evidence suggests most of us give in. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows the average person puts on a pound during the holidays and never loses it. This adds up to serious weight gain over the years. For those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, land mines abound on the dinner table. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid the holiday food trap. While Santa makes his list and checks it twice, you can study WebMD's list of foods that are naughty and nice.
Naughty: The skin of turkey and chicken is loaded with saturated fat. Per gram, all fats are higher in calories than
protein or carbs, and they contribute to high cholesterol. Dark meat has more fat per bite than white meat.
Nice: Serve yourself turkey breast or other white meat without the skin.
Naughty: Alcohol, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar make a frightening combo -- a single cup of egg nog contains about
340 calories and 19 grams of fat.
Nice: Make low-calorie egg nog with skim milk, egg substitutes, and artificial sweeteners.
Naughty: Cocktails can be surprisingly high in calories. One serving of a white Russian made with light cream has
about 350 calories.
Nice: Mix up a wine spritzer by adding a splash of wine and sparkling water to pomegranate or cranberry juice. This not only shaves calories, but also contributes to your fruit servings for the day.
Cakes and Cookies
Naughty: Carbohydrate cravings may increase during fall and winter. You don't want to give in by reaching for too many
sweets, but it's not good to ignore the cravings either. Carbs taste good and make you feel good triggering the
release of serotonin, a brain chemical that boosts mood.
Nice: The solution is to control portions or snack on complex carbs, such as whole-grain cereal or crackers.
Naughty: Milk chocolates are high in fat and low in the disease-fighting compounds found in purer forms of dark chocolate.
Caramel or cream-filled chocolates are also lacking in the health department.
Nice: Solid dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is most beneficial, but only in small amounts. Choose dark chocolate with heart-healthy nuts.
Avoid Naughty Holiday Foods
Knowing which foods are naughty is only half the battle. Help yourself resist temptation with these tips:
- Engage in conversation to slow the pace of eating.
- At parties, sit far from the buffet table.
- Excuse yourself from the dinner table once you've had enough to eat.
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to reduce the desire to nibble.
Submitted by: Maria Albus
Eating Healthy this Holiday Season
This time of year can be incredibly stressful and difficult when it comes to eating and being in control. The following are some tips for getting through the season and feeling great about how well you managed! Realize that you will be faced with many challenges; pre-plan how you will react to those challenges. Thinking ahead is absolutely essential when it comes to feeling in control and making good decisions during an event. Allow yourself flexibility - remember: feeling discouraged and beating ourselves up creates a vicious cycle that is difficult to get out of. If there's a situation that happens and you feel "out of control," KNOW, without a doubt, that you will get back in control at the next meal or snack.
General Holiday Eating Tips
- Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your weight.
- Don’t forget to exercise – it can help with holiday stress relief and keep off weight. Exercise also motivates people to be more conscious of what they eat.
- Honour yourself by eating until satisfied, not until you are stuffed.
- Enjoy your favourite holiday foods while eating small portions.
- Don’t skip meals to store up for big holiday dinners.
- Keep your focus off the food by mingling with friends and family.
What to Eat
- Have a healthy, high-protein breakfast and a high-protein lunch or snack right before going to a party that will have a big buffet. Having some protein (i.e. meat, cheese, egg, beans, nuts, etc.) will make you feel satisfied before the party so that you won’t overeat.
- Try making healthier versions of traditional favourites (e.g. mashed cauliflower instead of potato, different types of dips served with lots of veggies, Florentine cups made with deli meat instead of pastry, etc.).
- Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Decide what you are going to eat in advance and make only one trip to the buffet and fill your plate with healthy vegetables & meats, with smaller portions of things like stuffing or potatoes.
- Select only “special” or favourite foods at a holiday buffet – leave standard fare like chips, nuts and rolls for the other guests. Make sure you choose a food or treat that you REALLY love and is special for this time of year.
What to Drink
- Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating, many beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
- Limit the eggnog, whether a latte or spirited drink. One cup of eggnog is more than 300 calories without the alcohol.
- Space the party beverages by having a glass of sparkling water after a glass of wine or eggnog.
How to Prepare
- Offer healthy hors d’oeuvres such as raw vegetables with dip or hummus, cubed cheeses, deli meats, etc.
- Substitute roasted almonds or other nuts instead of croutons in salads.
- Make a crustless pumpkin pie.
- If you are hosting a party with a lot of extra food, give your leftovers to guests.
- If you receive boxes of chocolates, donate them to others.
In the Office
- Make a pact with co-workers to minimize food that comes into the office by limiting potlucks and gift-snacks to one day a week.
- Don’t decorate your office with holiday candies.
- Avoid bringing bulk-sized containers of holiday treats to the office. These could include cookies, pretzels, snack items, nuts or fruitcakes.
Remember - you WILL get through this busy season; think ahead, pre-plan, and always get back on track, no matter what. Never, ever give up on your journey to better health! You can do this! Wishing you a wonderful & happy holiday season,
Written by: Dr Doug