It's October so Halloween decor now adorns store shelves, counters and walls. Turkeys and cornucopia will soon follow the parade and then, with pomp and circumstance,
the enormous celebration of Christmas trees, ornaments, Menorahs, jolly Santas and holly embrodered pillows will saturate every nook and cranny possible. All of these items arrive with good cheer, fun, sentiment and of course- FOOD, yes glorious FOOD. Cue the mouth watering response.
This time of the year is a foodie's paradise. It begins somewhat simply, with the giant Kit Kat bar and jumbo sized portion of a Milky Way, throw in a few apple cider donuts and one solid candied apple to the mix and FALL has begun. Thanksgiving takes the reverie to another tier when it brings with it a plethora of goodies that range from marshmallow candied sweet potatoes to over stuffed turkeys. When December begins, pandemonium ensues and there is no return in the forseeble future. Where's the eggnog? Pass me the fruit cake!
"Nothing says holidays like a cheeselog." Ellen DeGeneres
We have all been there, sitting at the table (or at least what you believe is a table under the array of delectable choices) feeling stuffed, overwhelmed and eventually, frustrated and perhaps even a tad guilty from overendulging.
I think that I just gained a pound while writing that sentence.
Don't worry. This year can be different. With the right mindset and a few proactive steps, you can prepare yourself to make better choices. Yes you can! Write that down in big red letters and keep it in view. Keep your room to expand pants at home at prepare.
Five things to do this holiday season to avoid the gift of extra pounds:
Don't go anywhere hungry! It's human nature to save up for those calories for Aunt Susie's annual soiree, however, if you go anywhere hungry, you will be less inclined to make good choices. So, before you head to that party and take your hanger out on a bowl of cheese puffs, eat a salad or have yogurt and fruit, grab a handful of raw almonds and goji berries and don't leave your house hungry.
2. Drink water and tea. Every festive holiday spread includes soft drinks (why are they soft?) and alcoholic beverages. Sure, have one if you must, but know that every processed beverage comes with sugar and empty calories that will only make you hungrier.
3. Fill up on the good stuff first. Look for clean food. A fruit or vegetable tray falls in this category. Green salads work too. Seafood and poultry choices that are not fried or covered in cheese would also work. Avoid anything that can not be traced back to its original state UFOs (unidentifable food object) and stop eating when you are full.
4. Avoid the ORANGE family. If after you indulge your fingers are orange, then that "food" is designated for the ORANGE family. Avoid or limit processed snacks, colored candies and anything else that was made in a factory. If resisting is impossible, take a small dessert plate and enjoy a single serving amount.
5. Take some home for later. It's been a whole year since you relished Uncle Jim's chocolate chip Heath Bar cookies and what a year it's been. You really don't want to leave those cookies (the ones that he's begging you to take because they're your favorite) on the table. Afterall, you will make him happy by taking those cookies! Conundrum. Take a few cookies, pop them in the freezer and enjoy them slowly.
Most of all, enjoy being with the people you love. Spend time with family and friends and share love, share joy and share good food too. There are NO limits on the first two, but be smart about the last.