by LORI-ANN MARCHESE
As the season of our favorite indulgences and festivities are approaching, it is important to remind yourself that there is always a possibility of losing sight of our daily regimens that exist now.
With the busiest time of the year just around the corner, we must make sure that our healthy routines do not get lost within it. Finding realistic ways to avoid the holiday pounds is key to maintaining that figure that you have worked for all summer.
One of the most simple and easiest ways to make sure you are staying loyal to your commitment is writing in a journal. This journal will allow you to keep track of what you eat, drink and do for exercise each day. You may also schedule out your day using this journal, which allows you to reflect on the decisions you made, and create opportunities to grow and improve in areas you find necessary in order to accomplish your goals.
With the holiday season, comes parties and get-togethers. If you are the hostess of the evening, send people home with leftover food and desserts. Having that extra food around the house will make it a lot harder on yourself. When you are hosting an event, modifying the recipe to one that allows a serving that is just the right amount for each person will prevent those leftovers.
If you are not the hostess, but attending a holiday festivity, you have responsibilities as well. Before you arrive to the party, make a promise to yourself that you will have self-control. Limiting those high fat, high carbohydrate and high sodium foods will allow yourself to maintain your body’s physique. However, that does not mean you are prohibited from indulging into your favorites, but it is crucial that your intake is one of an appropriate serving size. Everything is best in moderation, so dining wisely will make the difference in sticking to your pre-seasonal goals.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the options at the table, sit back, and only pick a few items to have. Having a taste of everything may lead to unintended overeating, so only take it if you really want it. Another tip that you must try your hardest on, is avoiding seconds. If you only have this dish or dessert offered once a year, wait an hour until you grab your next serving. Not only will this allow your food to digest, but it will also aid in veering away from those temptations. In that time that you are waiting, find some other activity to be invested in. This will help pass the time, and may even distract you from the thought of hunger or wanting that particular food.
Drinking water can be your lifesaver. Not only is it very important to stay hydrated, but drinking water will give you that satisfied, full feeling. That feeling of being “full” allows you to think about your level of hunger, and can affect your next decision in what you put into your mouth next. If you attain an overwhelming temptation, drink some water, and then decide later if you actually want more.
Monitoring your nutrition is the main focus, but if you truly want to avoid these holiday pounds, prioritize exercise on your to do list. Just because it’s the holiday season, does not mean you can make excuses to avoid your healthy regimens! Stick to your workouts, and find ways that will keep you motivated. Since the weather is getting colder, it may seem more difficult to stick to your regimen, but don’t give up. In a case in which you don’t have a workout partner, or you need further assistance, find a gym that offers specialized workouts that are created each day, and all you have to do is show up.
Having your favorite dishes and desserts are certainly allowed, but watching your portion sizes is the most important concept to remember. Embracing that splurge should be a once in a while occurrence, and keeping to your fitness regimen is critical. Don’t let this holiday season ruin that summer body that you have worked on. If you truly want to avoid the holiday pounds, self-control is the only way to achieve that goal.
Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 cups Onion (Finely Chopped)
2 cups Celery (Finely Chopped)
1/4 cup Garlic (Minced)
1 loaf Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread (cut into cubes)
1 2/3 cup No Salt Added (Unsalted) Chicken Broth
4 tsps. Fresh Parsley (Minced)
1/2 tsp. Sage Powder
Pepper for additional seasoning
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat. Add the chopped onion, celery and garlic. Cook while stirring frequently, until golden brown and soft for about 8-10 minutes.
Place the cut bread cubes into a large mixing bowl, and add the cooked onion mixture. Toss to mix well and coat the bread in the onion mixture.
Pour the chicken broth over the cubes, and gently mix until they are moist.
Add in the fresh parsley, sage powder and pinches of pepper, and gently toss to mix the spices. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
Bake until the top of the stuffing is lightly crisp and golden brown for about 50-60 minutes.
Garnish with additional fresh parsley, if desired.
Lori-Ann Marchese is the owner of Body Construct LLC in New Britain. She is a former cast member of the reality TV series, “Game of Crowns.”