Bodyism

Enjoy Holiday Feasting without Letting Yourself Go

Tonight you might be scarfing down swedish meatballs and several helpings of Auntie Mae’s special brownies, but come January 1st you’re getting a membership and losing 10 pounds. Afterall “Tomorrow is another day.”

So yes, at every party you’re going to help yourself to another glass of eggnog with an extra helping of sugar cookies. Already you’ve committed to a gym membership, a carb-free diet and a guaranteed horrible time working out to strip the extra holiday weight from your body. Isn’t that how every American starts their new year?

Maybe most of us succumb to gaining weight every Christmas more than we have to.  ‘Tis the season. But before facing the holidays feeling totally powerless to maintain some kind of restraint, or healthy mindset rather, when faced with a never-ending Christmas smorgasbord, here are a few suggestions to approaching Christmas and New Years celebrations without completely losing yourself.... (or gaining another self, rather.)

1.Eat when you’re hungry -

I know - groundbreaking. While it sounds like a obvious idea, those who actually eat 3 meals a day or more (snacks don’t hurt) are probably the minority. By eating before you’re famished you’re more likely to savor, choose wisely and actually enjoy your meals.

Some of us girls like to micro-manage the way we eat and for most guys it’s just convenient to skip a meal if you know there’s going to be free food in 3 hours. Overall there’s this idea that by skimping on breakfast or keeping lunch to a minimum of a bowl of salad, we’re somehow leaving room for a third helping of pecan pie later tonight. Trouble there is, you can’t really outsmart your gut. So try listening to it. Eat when you’re hungry, which is probably more often than not. Stop when you’re satisfied. Simple.

2. Don’t save the gym for Jan. 1st.

An effective workout doesn’t have to be a P90x sweat session with Tony Horton everyday (thank God!)You don’t need a trainer or gym membership to stay active through the next week. In 20 minutes you can get a decent workout at home on days when you’re crunched for time, though 30 - 60 is always ideal. Recently I’ve enjoyed short cardio circuit sessions by James Duigan. Wait til you get to the “burpee” on the link below and 20 minutes will be more than enough.

Here are some ideas for simple & quick workouts -

3. Forget about deprivation & diets

I can’t count the number of holidays I’ve faced thinking, “Ok, after vacation I’ll nix this and that and feel better.” I’ve done the whole no sugar, dairy, processed foods cleanse thing a handful of times and while there are endless benefits to this, the aftermath of supressing every urge for chocolate or cookies can get you in more of a mess than where you first began. You don’t have to be a certified nutritionist to grasp the idea of  healthy eating. Just keep it simple. Plenty of greens, lean proteins, fruits, whole grains, nuts and learn to moderate sweets and processed foods. Enjoy a variety. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.

Why is it that Americans revel in the extremes of holiday weight gain? The reason most of us continually fail or backtrack during these weeks is more connected with our train of thought than anything else. You can enjoy the holidays, those special brownies and a healthy lifestyle. Give yourself a Merry Christmas and don't give yourself up so easily this year.

For All You Salad-Haters

If you hate salads, chances are haven't had a good one. A bowl full of romaine drenched in fat-free ranch would sounds about as appetizing to me as munching on strafoam insulation as well. A few weeks ago I mentioned the "Clean and Lean" Cookbook I began using (now available in the states!), altering and cleaning up some eating habits, and the best reminder through it has been their simple but creative approach to salads and vegetable. Veggies should never be bland and boring, but delish! I know I sound ridiculous, but seriously these recipes are freak'n ridiculously good! Yes, I said freak'n (sorry Mom.) I'll still be trying out more new recipes from James Duigan's cookbook until I tire of them, so hopefully they'll appeal to all of you as much as they do to me! Thanks Bodyism for keeping eating clean and lean, scrumptious! Or as James Lipton would say "Scrumtrulescent."

Yummy. Eat your veggies...

 

Roast Squash with Feta, Pumpkin Seeds and Sprouting Broccoli

Serves 4 

Ingredients  1 large acorn or butternut squash  2 tablespoons olive oil  1 teaspoon chilli flakes  1 teaspoon cumin seeds ( you can also use about 1/2 of ground cumin - go light, cause this stuff is pungent! A little goes a long way)  sea salt and freshly ground black pepper  1 cup purple sprouting broccoli  (or cauliflower, asparagus, whatever sprouts are around) 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (I used sunflower seed) extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling  feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F

2. Peel and cut the squash into wedges or large chunks, then toss in the olive oil, chilli flakes, cumin seeds and salt and pepper. 

3. Transfer to a roasting tin and roast in the preheated oven for approximately 35-45 minutes or until slightly golden and cooked. 

4. Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli in salted boiling water for approximately 4 minutes, or until al dente. Once cooked, toss with the squash and pumpkin seeds. 

5. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the feta crumbled over the top. 

*Top Tips: This would go great with any grilled meat or oily fish. You can substitute the feta for goat’s cheese if you prefer.