Tuesday, November 22, 2016

10 Ways To AVOID WEIGHT GAIN During the Holidays


CAUTION:  Recognize that the holidays are coming.  This could potentially be a time when you might gain more weight because of the overabundance of sugary and fatty foods.  The time period for this weight gain is generally from Halloween (Oct. 31st) up to New Year’s Day-~8 weeks.  Typically, many can easily gain 10 lbs. during this time.  This is not hard to do because all you have to do is gain ~1 lb. a week and at the beginning of the year you could be 10 lbs. heavier.  And if you don’t do anything about it, after 5 years of this you could easily be 50 lbs. heavier.   Putting you at risk for some major health issues.

10 Ways To AVOID WEIGHT GAIN During the Holidays

1.       Decide if you want to avoid gaining weight.  You need to make a conscious choice that you will work extremely hard to avoid gaining weight

2.       Know where you stand.  Weigh yourself and/or try on a piece of clothing to have a baseline.  Try on this garment or check your weight regularly during this time period.  If your garment is becoming tighter or if you notice a 3-5 lb. weight gain, this is your warning that you may need to cut back on some foods.  Because it is usually colder during this season and you are wearing more clothing it can become very easy to not notice the results of unhealthy eating.

3.       Keep your same eating style (or eat healthier) during these times.  Eat the same portion sizes, even if you are eating sweet treats.  So this may mean eating a lighter breakfast in order to include an additional dessert for instance.

4.       Plan on doing additional workouts (movement) prior to social engagements where there will be unhealthy foods.  It could be as simple as going for a few walks during the week prior to the event.  This will help balance out some of the eating if you choose to indulge.

5.       Use a food calculator.  It will help you see how much you are eating and help you make better choices.  It will even allow you to eat those desired foods without additional weight gain.  I like Myfitnesspal or Caloriecount apps/websites.

6.    After eating an unhealthy meal add some activity.  Playing games with children/family like using the Wii game Just Dance or again taking a walk.  It helps with food digestion and burns off some of those extra calories.

7.       Don’t eat unhealthy for more than 2 consecutive days at a time.  So after 2 days try to incorporate healthy eating i.e.  fruits and vegetables to help achieve balance.  Additionally, avoid taking home unhealthy leftovers and overcooking during this season as much as possible.  Basically don't overindulge for 2 months.  

8.       Eat vegetables/fruits/lean proteins FIRST when you are attending these social eating functions.  This again will help fill you up and satisfy you so that you do not overeat.  This does not mean you cannot eat the treats at the event but it will again aid you in creating balance.

9.       Avoid going to these social functions hungry.  When you are hungry you tend to make poor food choices.  You will eat things that you would otherwise bypass were you not famished.

10.   Be selective.  If you don’t like a dish or if an unhealthy dish is not your favorite, try to avoid it.  It is the holidays and you may have been looking forward to some of your favorites.  But try to limit it to your favorites instead of spending your calories on other foods that are not as desirable to you.

Based on above:  Make yourself a few promises during this time, because you are worth it.  You do not have to do all ten, just pick one or two.  Examples could be…
1) Promise to take a walk or do some form of activity at least _____  times per week.  
2) Promise yourself to eat ____ healthy dishes a week.  
3) Promise not to go over _____ lbs.

Remember the holidays are about more things than food, so focus on them too i.e. family, fun, fellowship, friends, etc.

Eat to live, don't live to eat!

To learn more about us visit www.realfoodisrealgood.com

Friday, November 18, 2016

Stock Up On Squash

Now is  the time of year when winter squash is very inexpensive.  A lot of people use squash for decorations during the holiday and fall season.  For this reason squash can be very reasonably priced because it is currently in season.  So I suggest you stock up on the squash.  The squash can be used for two purposes.  You can use them to decorate your home.  For example they make great table decorations.

Tablescape:  Decoration and Dinner

Once you are done with your tablescape you can also use the squash for food as well. The great thing about winter squash is that they will keep for months without going bad.  The common choices are pumpkins, acorn, butternut squash, and others.  So when you see these items at a reasonable price, stock up! The other day I bought 4 and they were .79 each, not per pound, but each! Therefore size was not a factor, so that's a great deal.  You can stock up, cook and freeze some of your prepared meals for later.

So once you buy them what can you do with them?  Well there are many ways to cook squash. Below is a recipe for a great squash soup.

Squash Soup

2 small to average size squash (I used 1 butternut squash and 1 acorn squash, so you can even mix them)
3-4 small apples or pears peeled and sliced
1 tsp. of each nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon each
1 tbsp. coconut oil (optional)
1-2 tbsp. sweetener like maple syrup or honey (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Bake your squash by adding the squash to a glass dish with approximately 1-2 inches of water for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
3.  Cut open the squash and scoop out the seeds and stringy material and discard.
4.  Add squash to the blender.  Do not add the out layer skin, discard that as well.
5.  Add the apples to the blender.
6.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender.
7.  Blend well.  Taste.  If you want more flavor add more seasonings in the same amounts as above.  Be careful of adding too much nutmeg and allspice
8.  Serve warm.
9.  Optional:  Top with glazed or roasted chopped nuts.

*This recipe can be made and frozen to eat later.

For more great recipes check us out on www.realfoodisrealgood.com.

Tablescape picture from Jenniferbrouwerdesign.com/blog, used by searching bing for free commercial pictures available.