Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How to Survive the Holiday Season

It is once again the Holiday season, the best and worst time of the year.  The best because of the memories and fun and of course all the amazing and wonderful food we get to eat and prepare.   I love the holiday season and look forward to it all year long.  The reason I love the holiday’s is simple, the food.  Life is all about food and the holidays are a perfect example of how important food can be to us in our traditions and lives.  
With all the parties, activities, family events, concerts, church activities, the list goes on, how do we keep a balance in the mad food rush.  It becomes the worst time of the year because of all the stuff we eat and weight we seem to gain.  It is not uncommon to put on an extra 10 to 20 lbs during the holiday season.  The suffering begins in January as we all start out our new year’s resolutions with get back in shape goals, from eating less to joining the health club, only to fall short a few months later.  Oh now nice it would be to be able to drop the pounds as easy as it is to put them on.  
I have put much thought into the “holiday free for all eat it all and pay later” life we all live.  It really can be quite simple.  One of the things that really hurts us is that most of the year we practice low control over the foods we eat and then as we add it up on the holidays, we pay a higher price.   I have found that if we practice moderation and healthy eating habits all year long we can pass through the holidays with hardly any problems.  But if you haven’t been good all year I would like to share some practical helpful holiday hint to get you through the holiday without lots of weight gain and lets face it, the uncontrolled eating tends to put a damper on the fun.
#1  Eat lots of whole grains.  Starts the day out with a hot whole grain cereal, not just oat meal, dress it up by adding other grains, like amaranth, or teff.  (Available at the local health food store)  There is also some great nine grain or other whole grains cereals that will give you a head start at the beginning of the day.  
#2  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  Snack on them during the day.  Our bodies can handle sugar better if we are eating more of the right foods.  Fruits, vegetables, and grains keep us clean on the inside and they help the body flush bad fat.  
#3  Eat foods high in fiber during the day,  grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  Healthy foods in the body will lessen the craving for foods high in sugar, and when we eat foods high in sugar it will help the body cleanse.
#4  Drink lots of water.  Water keeps the body in balance and really helps keep us clean.  When we eat lots of sugar it is hard on the organs in our bodies and we need to make sure we are drinking lots of water to keep things from clogging up.  Water is so important and especially since we are drinking lots of other things during the holidays it is even more important that we don’t forget the water.
#5  Practice the 80-20 principle.  Eat 80% healthy during the day and really enjoy the 20 percent of whatever you want.  The problem is we eat the other way, 80% or worse and then make a stab at eating something good, like an apple and think we are ok.  If we eat the majority of good, it is amazing how our bodies can handle some of the things we really love.
#6   Above all else, enjoy all the foods you eat.  We are so blessed to have so many choices and so much to choose from.  As we practice moderation in all things, including the foods we eat we will find greater joy and enjoyment in the foods we eat and those we share them with.
May you have a joyous food filled holiday and may your holiday season not be filled with regrets over the foods you should not have eaten.  As we practice some simple principles, we can have great joy during the holidays and all year long.  
The holiday season is all about food and family and we need to practice moderation and wisdom is the things we do so we can be around for a long time enjoying the holidays season.  Happy holiday to you and your families.

Chef Brad~America'a Grain Guy 

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