Holiday Food: Enjoy More while Eating Less
Here are 10 ways to maximize your joy at the holiday table while minimizing weight gain:
Be the best conversationalist (i.e., slowest eater) at the table.
Cut your food in smaller pieces.
Use all your senses: Savor the sights, sounds and smells of the season.
Prepare nice responses to food-pushers, so you don't overeat just to please someone else.
Plan active fun, especially right before or after dinner, when it will help blunt a blood sugar spike. A short walk or game of Twister can make all the difference.
Prioritize. Remember that consuming alcohol and dessert at the same meal pretty much guarantees you'll gain fat. If that's not worth it to you, choose only one or the other.
If a big splurge IS worth it to you, then listen to your taste buds and appetite. If you've been eating cleaner recently, you'll notice that you get satisfied much more quickly than you used to.
Have an attitude of gratitude. It's good for your mental and physical health and has also been shown to make people eat healthier without even trying.
Expect that splurges may blitz your taste buds or stretch your stomach, making it harder to eat right for a few days afterwards, when clean eating tastes bland and under-satisfying. It's part of the price you pay, but so long as you expect it, it's not such a big deal.
Focus on the people more than the food. Try to get even more enjoyment out of connecting with others than you can out of the food. See if you can bond with your table-mates and make a memory that lasts longer than the taste of rich foods.
Happiest Holiday wishes to you!!
Jill, Amy, Catherine, Joyce, & Mike
What happens on Thanksgiving...
My advice this holiday is "What happens on Thanksgiving STAYS on Thanksgiving."
In my experience, the real nutritional damage of any splurge is NOT in the splurge itself, but in the after-effects, like:
These small-but-ongoing factors adds up to much more damage than the one-time splurge.
I see this frequently, like when clients return from a vacation or after a holiday. Their eating habits are just 5% worse ever since "the big splurge" and it causes them to gradually gain weight without understanding why. Take pains not to let this happen by being extra vigilant in the few days afterwards.
The price you pay for that splurge may be that:
It's just your biology adapting back, and it usually takes a few days. It's like the hangover you might endure after a wild trip to Vegas.
If you don't want to pay this price, consider not splurging so much in the first place. If you are OK with paying this price, then go ahead and enjoy your Thanksgiving like a wild trip to Vegas...where you will leave all traces of it there.
I'm ever-so-grateful to be part of your life and to have you as part of mine. Chew slowly, savor, and have a wonderful holiday!
-Your DfH Family, Jill, Amy, Catherine, Naryne, Joyce & Devon
Better Than Oatmeal
Oatmeal is great and all, but as long as you are boiling a pot of starchy nuggets, consider some of these just-as-easy and often higher-fiber, more-nutritious, lower-glycemic and less-processed alternatives:
Lentils. Try all kinds, either plain, or with Indian spices, such as cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, curry powder and other youth-promoting spices.
Beans. There are dozens of kinds, to be eaten plain or with salsa or more spices or mixed with brown rice.
Split Peas. Ditto!
Quinoa. The highest protein grain, with a fun texture.
Non-White Rice. Try wild rice, red rice, black forbidden rice, brown, or other fun varieties.
Other Whole Grains. Browse the bulk aisle of Whole Foods and discover all kinds of options. Wheat berries, bulgar, buckwheat...
Some of these are even easier than oatmeal, because they can be made once a week, then last nicely for several days. Try branching out!
Have a good week,
The Lance Armstrong Food Lesson
Until recently, I really thought Lance Armstrong was clean. I believed that his supposed extreme dedication to his sports nutrition was his edge. All serious athletes KNOW the same sports nutrition principles, but he was reputed to being the most committed to following them...day in and day out.
OK, so that wasn't his edge, but here is what I know for sure:
My experience with clients has proved time and again that while most people skim over the details of exactly what/when/how much to eat, attending to them makes a HUGE difference!
I'm not trying to imply that everyone should get obsessed with the nutrition details, but I am saying that engaging with them--and treating them like they are important--can often triple or quadruple the speed of results. ...even though it feels like you may be only working a little bit harder.
I'm so impressed with this effect in everyday people that I thought it easily accounted for Lance Armstrong's superiority.
Oh well...it wasn't his edge, but it can be yours, if you want.
I swear! The attitude that "Every Bite Makes a Difference" can hugely improve results even when you were already pretty dedicated.
So do this experiment for me: For one week, take the attitude that EVERY SINGLE food choice (other healthy deed) makes a big difference...even if you know it doesn't. ...and even if you don't have the will power to be perfect. Just take on this attitude and see how much it affects your results. I bet you'll be surprised.
In my experience, this one mental shift is almost as powerful as Lance's EPO.
Have a good week!
Happy Healthy Easter
This weeks's tip is brief:
Be mindful on Easter!
That cute little Easter Bunny can bring loads of weight gain. In fact, since I've been doing this (1997) Easter is the #1 weight gain holiday of the year! It beats out Christmas, Thanksgiving and even Halloween! I can't explain why, but I suspect it has something to do with brunches, candy and not being as "on guard" as on other holidays. So strategize now and make me proud.
Super Snacks for the SuperBowl
Sitting watching football--hours of sedentary high adrenaline--is the optimal condition for storing fat if you aren't careful. Both adrenaline and inactivity make it easier for your blood sugar to spike, which makes you store fat, then get hungry again, all while promoting unhealthy inflammation.
So skip the chips and pizza and choose these snacks instead:
If skipping your favorite junk food bums you out, take heart: Research shows that most people mindlessly much on anything within reach during the SuperBowl, and enjoy it the same whether it's raw veggies or fried lard balls.
So make me proud Sunday! And please send me your healthy snack ideas. We can never have too many.
My Healthy Valentine
What special things will you be doing this Valentine's Day? Most people will be celebrating in ways that clog their arteries and those of their loved ones. But not YOU! Forget the steak and chocolate souffle and try something more creative, like...
Healthy Dates & Outings
Playing video games side-by-side
Top Healthy Romantic Meals
Sushi & Sashimi
...and what else am I forgetting? I can't wait to hear YOUR ideas for proving that you don't need junk food to show your love or have a good time.
Have a good week!
The Super Bowl is well established as America's #1 junk food fest of the year. It beats Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving for excess calories consumed and here's the worst part:
They are mostly mindless.
The chips, pizza or whatever, get consumed without being savored or even noticed, in some cases. That's a crime!
So make a vow right now to either:
A) Savor any junk you choose to eat. Make it worth it. Smell it, taste it, eat it slowly and enjoy, or B) Serve healthier snacks, like:
Or how about both?!
Have a good week,
Lose or Gain Weight with the Cold
Hello and Happy Cold Spell!
As the temperature drops, there is both a fat-related risk and opportunity:
So pay attention to your eating habits, keep a sweater on hand, stay warm with physical activity and fill up on hot tea or brothy soup when your appetite starts going "Wisconsin" on you.
Have a good week!
Motivation or Will Power Problems?
You ate. You drank. You had a great holiday. You are tired of decadent food. And yet you are having a hard time getting back on track with nutrition and exercise.
Is that you? I hope not, but if it is, you aren't alone.
After speaking to lots of folks in this situation, I've noticed a common problem: The fun and excitement of the holidays is finished and now you feel you have nothing exciting happening for weeks. It's back to work or school, nose to the grindstone, short days, no spending sprees and relative drudgery.
What's to look forward to? Not much except for...
EATING: The reward that never fails.
If your main rewards right now are edible ones, look out! If you work hard all day with only dinner to look forward to, beware. If your only break from work is to snack, take note. This situation will leave you fat or miserable or both.
The solution is to have plenty of non-edible delights. Every day. Especially at night, when it's time for some well-deserved relaxation and reward! Even if it is just watching a tv show, hugging your pets, reading a good book or taking a bath, you need something besides taste bud stimulation as a reward. That makes it infinitely easier to pass on dessert.
Happy New Year!
p.s. Two more days of our $100 off special at our NEW La Canada location.