Tis the season, again. A time for festivities, buying things none of us can afford, time for decorations and getting out the hand-full of CD’s we have of the same songs covered over and over again by different artists. Tis the time of year for those old but wonderful classics about the talking snowman getting locked in a greenhouse and melting to a puddle of water. I am telling you that traumatized me for life! I should take out a class action suit on Rankin-Bass for traumatizing me and thousands of other children! It is the first show/movie I ever cried as I watched Karen crying over a puddle of water with coal, a carrot and hat, lying in the puddle, as the sad reminder of what was just moments earlier a frolicking, happy snowman friend! But never fear, Santa pops in and tells Karen it is “Special Christmas Snow” and all is well that ends well as Frosty is back up to his old self in no time! Me and every other teary eyed third grader far and wide can smile once again! It is also “that” time of year again…. you know what I am talking about….. the time for the MOST dreaded word….. CALORIES!!!!!. This is the season to be on overdrive with parties. Do not get me wrong! It is fun! A lot of fun! However with each of these tantalizing events, there are loads of good, wonderful, rich and very tempting foods. There are the never ending baked goods at work brought in by co-workers. Then there is the best of all, family. And if you are like me, and sadly my daughter is now being faced with similar obstacles , with a ‘branched out’ family meaning one or more of the original sets of parents may have divorced at some point, that means 2, 3 or even 4 Christmas’s if there is maybe a ‘big’ and then ‘smaller’ within the same family get together.
So I am just going to put some pointers I have found helpful over the years.
1. DO NOT say, “It is the holidays, I will eat what I want and start on Jan. 2nd”. Do you know how many Jan 2nd’s I had? More than I can count! First of all, if you follow my line of thinking, the word ‘diet’ should not even exist in your vocabulary. Getting weight off is about making sure your thyroid is in check, eating good quality foods, instead of crap; i.e. natural foods, etc. I cannot even eat fast food (without getting sick on my tummy) anymore with the exception of Burger King $1 burger (they charbroil and sits with me quite well), I can eat Wendy’s chili and their newest salad with the fruit and blue cheese crumbles, Taco Bell and Subway. Just stay with your healthy eating, continue your exercise regiment and when you are at a party or you do happen to eat a couple cookies someone brought to work, don’t say, “Oh, I blew it for the day (or the week)”. Does a runner stop running the race just because he stumbles? No, nor do I stop eating the way I do when I have had a few days of crap food. By that time I am CRAVING celery and Laughing Cow Swiss.
2. Get A Little of all the things you like that are more fattening and load more heavily on the lighter things (vegetables & dip, meat balls, cheese cubes & crackers, soups, green salads, etc). This does not mean you cannot have the ‘heavier’ things; just less. I promise, you will not notice! Most people go to so many gatherings, etc, it is inevitable to put on a few pounds. I know I usually do! And I am OCD about my weight. However a few days around Christmas is the one time of year, for me, it is pretty much a ‘free for all’. Now this would be about the 23rd, 24th, 25th. By the 26th most of us are repulsed at the sight of a cookie with frosting and sugar sprinkles. That is same cookie that we could not stop eating a few days earlier. Eat, relax, enjoy…. if you just try to lean a bit harder on the healthy foods, give yourself a 2-3 day ‘free for all’ right around the actual holiday (Christmas and other holiday’s celebrated this time of year), and just jump right back on it!!!!!!
3. Make Meals Light This Time Of Year as I type this, I just finished the most delightful bowl of homemade vegetable soup imaginable. I love soup in the winter months. I guess you could call me a soup junkie. There are so many types of soup. Soup just hugs you like a warm blanket. It is generally low in calories and high in nutrients as well. So around the holiday’s is not the time to plan things that are higher in the food chain. Homemade soups, salads, chicken & veggies, fajitas, spaghetti marina (lower on the pasta, higher on the marinara), fish (if you like fish, I don’t with the exception of tilapia), etc. If you eat low key on your meals, that gives you more in your calorie bank. Think of your daily food as a bank. What you consume vs. what you use. If you use less, you are in a positive balance, more you are in a negative balance, and equal, well you even out, obviously. So if you eat lighter meals, eat Subway for a while instead of Mc Donalds, etc, you will have a ‘savings account’ to get used at the holiday’s and other special occasions. You still may gain a few lbs, but it should not be10-12 lbs!
4. HAVE FUN!!!!!! Don’t fret if you gain a few pounds over the holiday’s. Most people do, including myself, how can you not? The important thing is NOT to say, “I am going to start my *diet* at the New Year”. If you eat healthy as your normal routine, simply slip back into that and if there is lingering cookie or a lone piece of fudge that needs a home, go ahead. The holiday goodies will go away and we will be in the doldrums of January will set in soon, so enjoy!
In the meantime, from our house to yours, may your holiday’s be Blessed and Bright!
***************************************************************The Recipe I am going to share this time is a lovely and easy Vegetable Soup. I love this recipe because it is easy!
Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup
1/2 cup of chopped onion (but I usually just use a small vidalia sweet)
2 tsp margarine or butter
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 Medium Carrots, peeled, sliced and halved
2 Medium Potato’s, peeled & chopped
1 cup Green Beans
1 Tbsp. Parsley
1 tsp Dried Tarragon Leaves
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (optional)
Cook: Onion in butter in large saucepan on medium-high heat until tender.
Add: Chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, green beans, parsley, tarragon and pepper.
Bring: To boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 mins or until vegetables are tender. Serve hot with crackers.
Early Post RNY: Can Puree/Blend tho the vegetables are very tender and easy to eat. This is very ‘easy on the tummy’.
Later RNY : Nothing Notable