10 Holiday Survival Tips
1. Eat a light, healthy snack such as soup, fruit or cereal before parties. This will help you curb hunger and make better choices.
2. Limit alcohol. Enjoy one alcoholic beverage if you must and then switch to diet soda or soda water with lime afterwards.
3. Bring a low-fat holiday dish to the party. Better still, go home empty-handed!
4. Keep minimal baked goods on hand this year. Only bake enough to give away or use for one festivity. After baking goodies, immediately fill the mixing bowl with hot soapy water; sampling batter packs on extra calories.
5. Try to eat a large salad before most meals. Make sure vegetables take up half the room on most of your plates.
6. Substitute healthful ingredients. Splenda works great in baked dishes. Cut the sugar to half the original amount in the recipe and replace the remainder with Splenda. FMI?see www.splenda.com.
7. Make a goal with a friend to lose 5 pounds or to maintain weight during the holidays. This way you have a valuable support buddy.
8. Remember that the holidays are truly only 3 real days, Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Kwanzaa or Chanukah which is 8 days) and New Year’s. Which means if you blow it only on 3 days, then you really won’t cause much damage. It’s the vicious cycle of not enough exercise and too many calories on the other days that causes weight gain during this time of year.
9. Sign up for a 5K or fitness walk or other event to keep your mind focused on fitness goals. Keep up with your exercise during holidays and try to be more active.
10. Finally, celebrate and focus on what the holidays are really about – spending time with family and friends. Find creative activities or ways to get your family and friends to play a game or be active instead of eating. Pick a time to get together that does not revolve around a meal.
By Amy Abedi, RD.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.