With Christmas just around the corner all I can think about is FOOD. My brain says that’s not a bad thing, but my body says otherwise. I haven’t made my menu just yet, but all the possibilities are endless. Ham, Leg of Lamb, maybe gumbo, dressing, cakes, pies, and cookies galore. Growing up, the holidays were all about eating and fellowshipping and I haven’t wanted to change that until recently because what could be better than good food with good people. The people are great, but the food is adding quite few pounds to my already extra large rump.
Now don’t worry this isn’t a post geared towards changing every single recipe you have into an entrée you’re not even sure is edible anymore. Instead I have a few tips to help with controlling your calorie intake.
1. Exercise – I recently read about a lady who walks a few miles with her father every Thanksgiving morning. Why not add a family walk or run to Christmas morning festivities? I’m sure that it will make you feel a whole lot better about the calories you consume later on in the day.
2. Breakfast – I notice I tend to skip breakfast during the holidays to make room for all the food I’ll be eating later on in the day. By the time the food is ready I’m ravenous and want to eat everything in sight. Instead try a light breakfast like a yogurt parfait or a breakfast wrap.
3. Drink Water – I’m not the best water drinker. I try…I even have an app to remind me to drink water. When I do remember to drink the correct amount of water daily I notice a huge decrease in the amount of snacking I do.
4. Healthy Snacks – Drinking water doesn’t mean you need to omit snacks all together. In between dinner and dessert try eating fruits and raw veggies instead of junk food. Green Smoothies can also attack a monster sweet tooth.
5. Vegetable Sides – Try adding more vegetable side dishes to your meal. A fresh a salad or steamed veggies are sides that have a lot of nutritional value instead of a lot of calories.
6. Portion control – Sometimes it’s not what you eat but how much of it. Instead of consuming that humongous pie slice alone grab two forks and split it with a loved one.
7. Limit Alcohol Intake – This is another hard one for me. I love to drink! I like to try out a few new holiday cocktail recipes that I find online. I’m not saying you have to skip the bubbly all together but try to limit how much you drink and also try low calorie versions.
8. Stop Eating – Every year I pile my plate and with about a third of the plate left I start getting that full feeling, but I keep on eating while repeating “whew I’m stuffed” after every bite. When you feel full…stop eating. You’re not obligated to eat everything you see.
The holidays are survivable without giving up everything. I hope that these few tips that I plan to use myself this year will benefit you as well.
Try my pumpkin bread recipe below with some tea or hot apple cider for a quick and easy breakfast
Orange Honey Pumpkin Bread
1 ½ cup flour
¼ cup ground flax seed
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon (try McCormick Roasted Saigon Cinnamon)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. allspice
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tbsp. orange zest
½ tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup honey
1 cup pureed pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk all dry ingredients together and set aside. Combine orange juice and vanilla in small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl cream together butter and honey. Beat in 1 egg at a time and pumpkin until mixed thoroughly. Slowly alternate adding flour mixture and orange juice. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about an hour).
“cuz every kitchen needs a cutie”