Friday, December 25, 2009

How To Survive the Holidays and Other Special Occasions ~ Your Guide to Healthy Eating All Year Long~

The holiday season is a special time to gather with friends and family, but as we know the holidays can play havoc on your wallet, your nerves and your waistline.  While this is a time for celebrations and watching and attending sports events it can also be quite stressful.  And many times stress leads to overeating or over indulging.  During stressful times the key is planning and preparation ~ this goes for the holidays and any other special occasions throughout the year.

While there are many mouthwatering meals and tempting appetizers at the center of these occasions, you don't have to avoid all of your favorite foods to eat healthy.  The key is to choose  a variety of healthy foods and limit your portion sizes.  Here are some tips to help you stay within your guidelines:

  • Have a snack ~ Eating a healthy snack before the party will keep you from overeating.
  • Plan Ahead ~ See what the food options are before you start eating then make a mental note of what you want to eat and how much you will eat.
  • Move away from the Buffet~  After you fix your plate, move away from the table - chatting with friends can often cause unconscious 'grazing'.
  • Enjoy the Flavor of the Dishes ~ Slow down - eating slowly and enjoying the flavors can reduce your chances of overeating.  Remember it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to realize that it is full.
  • Trim it Down ~ Eat smaller portions and trim off extra skin and fat from meats.
  • Contribute Healthy Dishes ~ Bring a healthy dish to the party and you can feel good about eating your healthy contribution and sharing it with others.
  • Practice Portion Control ~ You can eat a wider variety of foods including your favorites by controlling the amount you eat.
  • Drink plenty of Water ~ Water is a no-calorie beverage that will keep you full.
Whether you are the party giver or the party goer - Plan ahead; get your shopping done early, stay active and maintain your cool ~ this will help control your stress.  Also you must enjoy yourself; get caught up in the festivities, the decorations, the music the people and yes even the food (but the food on your terms!)

And finally, stay active; staying active will help you burn the excess calories.  Exercise is central to your overall health, especially during the holidays and other special occasions when calorie laden food is all around.  Maintain an exercise plan to avoid gaining weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas and those other special times of the year.

"Eat to Live Don't Live to Eat"

Your Continued Health and Success!
Miss Juilia

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How to Improve Your Eating Habits and Manage Your Weight ~

You can improve your eating habits tremendously by making the right choices and doing  things just a bit differently. Healthy eating and an active live style can also reduce your risk of becoming overweight and obese which increases your risk for developing other chronic health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and many forms of cancer.

Consider These Tips for Healthy Eating
  • Consider Starting your Day with Breakfast ~ Breakfast fills up  your "empty tank" ~ also known as "breaking the fast".  Breakfast gets you going after a long night without food..  Eating breakfast will  give you better endurance, strength, and concentration throughout the day.
  • Eat a Variety of Foods.  Please don't feel like you have to give up things that you really like and enjoy-such as hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs and ice cream.  Understand you just have to be smart about how much you eat of these and how often you eat them.  Your body needs nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins as well as vitamins and minerals.  You can get these nutrients from a variety of different foods but you must balance your food choices to stay on a healthy course.
  • Whole Grains, Fruits and Vegetables (Must Haves!!) ~ These foods give you energy, they also give you vitamins, minerals and fiber and quess what? ~~ They taste good too..  Try foods like brown rice, or whole-wheat bread.   Strawberries, bananas, blueberries  and melons are fantastic tasting fruits.  These fruits and vegetables are amazing in salads or on a sandwich.  And remember they come in a variety of forms ~ fresh, cooked. frozen, canned, dried.  So, no excuses not to eat your veggies and fruits.
  • Watch You Portion Control ~ A portion is the amount of food a person eats.  Portions and servings are different.  A serving is a specific amount of food,  and it is probably smaller than you may think. Check out these examples:
    • A serving of meat is two to three ounces this is roughly the size of the palm of your hand, a deck of cards or an audiocassette tape.
    • A serving of fresh fruit is one medium piece and that would be about the size of as baseball.
    • A serving of cooked pasta, rice or cereal is 1/2 cup or half a baseball or a rounded handful.
    • A serving of nuts is 1/3 cup, or a level handful.
    • A serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons or abut half the sixe of a golf ball
Eating the right amount of food at each meal is just as important as eating the right foods.  Consider these other tips to improve your eating habits.

~  If you normally use or drink whole or 2% milk try using low fat or fat free milk.
~  Instead of drinking soda drink water or other calorie-free drinks.
~  If you tend to always have a second helping, try putting the food away after you serve instead of placing serving dishes on the table.
~  Instead of white bread and pasta- eat a variety of whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread, low-fat popcorn and brown rice.
~  Pack sandwiches, yogurt and lowfat crackers instead of buying fast food on the road.
~  Instead of snacking on chips and junk food- keep graham crackers, peanut butter, low fat cheese and and crackers along with fresh fruits and veggies on hand for those 'snack attacks'.
~  Try grilling and roasting instead of frying.
~  And remember ` Don't Skip Breakfast'.

Remember the saying "Eat to Live ~ Don't Live to Eat" ~

To Your Continued Health and Success ~
Miss Julia


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