Entertain the Concept of Health this Holiday Season

Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc

Tis the season of food, food and food. So how do we manage our health while entertaining and celebrating?  Instead of fearing weight gain or trying for weight loss during the holidays, let yourself maintain your current weight. Think slow and steady wins the race. However this is not a race rather an almost 2 month period of eating and drinking.  This year, vow to make the holiday season healthy with family and friends as the focus and these tips to plan a mindful season balanced between food and fitness.

5 Tips Celebrate Health and Holidays

  1. Focus on Family and Friends – Growing up in an Italian family I remember the holidays were about food and family. Instead of making food for 25 people, we made enough for 50 people. Instead of sitting around the fire, we sat around the table. If this was your family, start a new tradition this year. Celebrate you health and the holiday season by focusing on family and friends not food. Have family and friends come over to socialize rather than eat. You can serve food, but don’t center the evening on/around the food and the act of eating all of it.
  2. Plan Fitness – With limited time, shopping exhaustion and colder weather, our fitness routines get displaced. Since moving increases your energy, your mood and your metabolism, this is the last thing you want to give up over the holiday season. Instead, make dates with friends to go yoga together rather than getting drinks. Schedule spin class or any classes that you have to pay for if you miss. This is a great incentive to make sure you attend class.
  3. Make a date. Use you daily planner or PDA to schedule all activities, whether it is food shopping, meal prep, exercise or therapy. If it gets scheduled just like any important meeting, you will set the precedent to ensure this activity gets done.
  4. Slow down and Savor – Being a foodie, I know how hard it is not to celebrate with food. However, you can change your mindset of that of your guests too by hosting smaller more intimate holiday parties. Create small intense flavorful meals. Start the meal off with a prayer, a toast or even a moment of silence to allow you and your guests to refocus, create inner calm, and engage in mindful eating.
  5. Use Your Five Senses: Rather than race through your holiday meal and overeat, be sure to use all 5 senses while eating. Smell your food and think about memories the aroma may conjure up. Touch your food; Is your bread hot and crusty or naturally rough with seeds and nuts? Think about the texture and how it makes you feel. Really look at the plate. Is the food presented beautifully? Are there multiple colors on your plate, there should be. Listen to the food, yes listen to see if the turkey’s skin is crispy or the biscotti crunchy. And finally taste your meal!! Many people eat an entire meal and Can never tell you what it really tasted like. They were too busy talking, or shoveling the food in so they could either leave the dinner table or get seconds. This holiday season, be healthy mentally and physically by truly tasting your food and appreciating each bite. A small amount of food tasted will fulfill you more than a few plates of food you never tasted would.

 

 

How to Feed a Fast!

By Erin Potasnick, Nutrition Student at Yeshiva University and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Most people have heard of the term “fasting” before. And while we don’t encourage fasting for any reason other than religious holidays, like Tisha B’Av or Ramadan, we’ve come up with 7 Simple Pre- and Post-Fasting Tips to help you get through the process:

1.  Schedule accordingly! – If you’re fasting for a religious holiday, many health care professionals encourage you to adjust your medications to the appropriate fasting times.water glass

2.  Stay hydrated ahead of time! – Hydration is critical when fasting, especially when some religious fasts call for no liquids. Therefore, be sure to consume roughly 8-10 glasses (~64 ounces) of water in the days approaching your fast. It is vital for pregnant women to drink plenty of fluids during the designated times of their fast[1], making sure to have water at their side at all times.

3.  Eat a balanced meal pre-fast – Be sure to include complex carbohydrates, protein, and fats. This should allow you to begin your fast feeling neither hungry, nor full, but content.

4.  Rest and take time for yourself! – What better time to take a mid-afternoon nap than during a fast? Not only will this keep your mind off the impending hunger, but it will also allow you to wake feeling refreshed and re-energized. On Yom Kippur, those in observance fast to ask God for forgiveness, making the fasting period a great time to reflect and gain insight.

5.  Hydrate after fasting – When you break the fast, chose hydrating foods, like fruits, vegetables, and soups. It is important to rehydrate and take care of your digestive system post-fast. We encourage drinking herbal teas, like peppermint tea, with traditional post-fast meals, to help ease your digestion. We also suggest you to take a break, go for a walk, and think mindfully when eating to avoid eating in a binge-like manner and any stomach discomfort.

peppermint tea6.  Stay true to your fast – stick with a buddy! Traditionally families fast together when observing Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av. Sometimes having a partner or group of supporters can really help you stay motivated and stick to your plan!

7.  Be safe! – If you are sick or pregnant, you may want to meet with your healthcare provider to make sure that fasting is appropriate for you at the time.

 

How do you prepare and stay on track while fasting? Have any tips or tricks? Stay safe and enjoy!


[1] Pathy R, Mills K, Gazeley S, Ridgley A, Kiran T. Health is a spiritual thing: perspectives of health care professionals and female Somali and Bangladeshi women on the health impacts of fasting during Ramadan. Ethnicity & Health [serial online]. February 2011;16(1):43-56. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 8, 2013.

 

5 Candies That Won't Spook Your Blood Sugar

Or Send Your Children Into A Crazy Tizzy!!

 

 

1). Annie’s Organic Orchard Strawberry Fruit Bites

One pack of these fun fruit snacks are a great option for your trick or treating tots!

http://www.annies.com/products/Organic-Orchard-Fruit-Bites

 

 

2) YummyEarth Organic Lollipops

Enjoy 3 lollipops!! http://www.yummyearth.com/

If you want quantity, you can lick three of these pops without worrying about your blood sugar.

 

 

3). Tootsie Pop

http://www.tootsie.com/health.php?pid=168

Want something to crunch and chew?? Choose a tootsie pop.

 

 

4). Lindt Chocolate

http://www.lindtusa.com/product-exec/product_id/44/category_id/5/nm/Excellence_85_Cocoa_Bar

Fix your chocolate craving with 4 squares of Lindt’s 85% cocoa bar.

 

 

5). Hershey’s Chocolate Bar with Almonds

http://www.hersheys.com/pure-products/hersheys-milk-chocolate-with-almonds-bar/standard-bar.aspx

Yes, you can eat a bar of chocolate with almonds. The best option is to eat half of this and save the rest for another day.

 

 

Laura contributes to eHow.com – Olive oil is 26% cheaper

A cornucopia of ideas for a thriftier Thanksgiving and ways to give back are shared in www.eHow.com’sBountiful Thanksgiving Budget article. See your RD’s suggestions like “meals on wheels”, volunteering the week after the holiday for your soup kitchen and saving you heart & wallet with olive oil at eHow.