rinks: The holiday season is the holiday party season, and what's a party without drinks? It seems like everything, from eggnog to apple cider, is spiked during the holiday season. Unfortunately, alcohol is caloric and contains 7 calories/gram (as a quick refresher, carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories/gram and fat has 9 calories/gram). Additionally, the more alcohol we drink, the easier it becomes to let loose and indulge in more high-cal holiday fare- a double whammy! Satisfy your thirst before having an alcoholic drink by sipping on water, tea or seltzer, and make a rule that you drink 1-2 glasses of water (or tea or seltzer) between alcoholic beverages. If you still crave a drink treat yourself in moderation. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men.
Exercise: When we get busy, exercise is usually the first thing to go by the waste-side. It is important to keep your routine as close to normal as possible to maintain focus (and emotional stability). When time gets tight (as it always does!), and you don't have the time to go to the gym, try to walk more (to finish your holiday shopping and errands) and
customize your own circuit workout at home. For added fun, get a family member or friend to join you!
- Pick 3-5 exercises: push-ups, sit-ups, planks, lunges, burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squats, etc.
- Do 3-5 exercises, each for 1 minute with a 30 second rest in between.
- After completing the 3-5 exercises (1 circuit), rest 1 minutes before doing 2 more circuits.
- Adjust length of exercise and rest depending on your abilities
heer: One of the reasons people love this time of year is because there seems to be a certain feeling, buzz, or happiness in the air. This holiday "cheer" doesn't last too long, so now is the time to take advantage of it. Luckily, NYC makes it easy for you by offering a wide variety of events and attractions that will get anyone into the holly merriment. There are countless famous trees, shows, ice skating rinks, and holiday markets within Manhattan that are only here for the holiday season. Get out and enjoy it!
ating: Unfortunately, holidays are often synonymous with eating. Whether it is going out to eat or going to a party, you will likely find yourself surrounded by not only the people you love but also the food you love. There will be plentiful baked goods and comfort food, but remember to be conscious of what you are eating. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy your favorite cookie occasionally, but try to remind yourself that we eat for enjoyment AND both our health and fuel, so it is important to also eat quality fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods-even in December. Try to eat mindfully, as it is never fun feeling badly or guilty after overindulging. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables in season right now including Brussels sprouts, oranges, pears, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, and leeks that are all delicious.
The holidays can be stressful and hectic for everyone. The stress of shopping, traveling, and family can be overwhelming this time of year. More than ever, it is important to take some time to work on yourself and manage your stress. Fundamentally, all management strategies focus on relaxing the mind and body. Commonly used techniques include: writing for fun or writing about what is bothering you; letting your feelings out by talking with friends, family, or even your dog; doing something you enjoy such as getting back to your favorite hobby, volunteering, or going on a walk. Smiling is an easy way to improve your mood, and even faking a smile can have a positive impact within a minute or two, so put on your favorite funny movie or song. Focusing on the present, taking a yoga class or using meditation or guided imagery can help you feel a bit more calm and relaxed. Any of these can be done quickly and well help you feel more in control. Why not try?
ring your own dish:
With all the parties, it is only a matter of time before you are asked to bring a dish or side for a potluck. We suggest the focus of your dish be a vegetable. Feel free to give the sweet potato and black bean taco filling recipe a go (located at end of the newsletter). Bringing your own healthy dish is more personal than store bought food, you will feel better about eating it, and we promise there are plenty other party goers looking for veggie centered party dishes to eat up! PS-you can always make and bring a veggie side, main or app even without being asked, just to ensure there will be at least one healthy dish to enjoy ;)
It wouldn't be a Nutrition Energy December newsletter without a quick blurb on a eggnog! So what exactly is eggnog? Eggnog is a drink made from milk or cream, sugar, whipped raw eggs, spices including nutmeg and vanilla, and an alcoholic spirit if desired. There are numerous ways to lighten up traditional eggnog, and it can be a fun family activity to try and make a homemade eggnog version everyone loves. You can use soy milk instead of regular milk, swap cream out for rice or almond milk, and reduce the sugar content. If you want a vegan option, milk can be swapped for a cashew milk and coconut milk mixture while eggs can be swapped for raw cashews. Or go a completely different route and try an Eggnog Smoothie (recipe below)!
esolutions: Each January many of us make resolutions that we forget about by February. Why not make 2017 different, and make resolutions you can stick to for the entire year? To be successful, you need to set a realistic long-term goal. Therefore, completely restricting a food or food group or going on a "crash diet" is not going to cut it. We think the point of a resolution is to vow to help yourself feel better, not deprived. For example, deciding to add more variety to your diet, eating more fruits and vegetables, or making a point to try a new food every week are great ideas. Likewise, if you don't frequent the gym now, vowing to go to the gym every day is only setting you up for failure. Again, the idea is to set realistic goals that
can sustain for a whole year. If you are now going to the gym 3 days a week, try to make it 4 days by February, and then 5 days come March. Small increases will allow you to be successful. Remember, you don't need a gym to stay active. Bundle up and get outside for a walk most days, sign-up for a yoga or Pilates class, get off the subway a stop (or two!) early and walk the rest of the way home, or
customizing your own circuit workout
. The ideas are as endless as your imagination. While we have some bias towards health resolutions here at Nutrition Energy, resolutions are not exclusive to diet and exercise. Anything that is realistic and improves your well-being in general is a great idea. Other ideas include improving your metal health, career, finances, education, and/or spending more time with the people that matter most to you. It is never too early to start thinking of your 2017 resolution.
Please tweet us @NutritionEnergy or post on our FB page when you make your healthy December decisions, and 2017 Resolutions.
Happy Holidays from Nutrition Energy!
1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or you could try coconut milk)
2 frozen bananas
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon clove
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons high quality
1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup, optional
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, say cheers, and drink!
Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco Filling
3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 T olive oil, divided
1/8 plus 1/4 tsp salt
1 large onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 T chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges, optional
1. Preheat oven to 400
F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place sweet potato cubes on top. Toss with smoked paprika, 1/2 T olive oil, and 1/8 tsp salt. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 ½ T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saut
for 6 to 8 minutes, until onion is translucent, stirring frequently. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt, and saut
for 60 seconds, until fragrant. Add beans, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook beans for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add cilantro leaves and lime wedges.
3. Serve with corn tortillas, pita chips, or simply in a bowl.
Recipe adapted from February 2015 edition of Today's Dietitian