Archive for December, 2011
Tomorrow night we ring in the New Year. Some of you will celebrate in a big way and others will welcome 2012 in a low key fashion. Whatever your style, chances are good that at some point most of us will find a glass of sparkling wine in our hand. That’s not a bad thing!
Just keep a few facts in mind and you’ll be able to make better choices. A serving size of “champagne” is considered to be 4 ounces and average 90 calories. Most flutes hold 6 ounces. Considering a second glass? Sure, but chase it with a glass of water and not a cookie and you’ll feel hydrated rather than derailed.
Studies suggest that the equivalent of 2 alcoholic drinks can cause a person to consume up to 30% more calories. An extra trip to the buffet table isn’t the worst thing you can do under the influence (drive through chapels spring to mind) but knowledge is power. Just know that those drinks are going to increase you appetite while lowering your inhibitions. Enjoy your celebration but make it about more than the food and drink. You can live with intention in 2012. Kick it off responsibly !
We talk a lot about setting up your environment. This is a good week to think about a few tasks that sometimes fall by the wayside. Here are some ideas that work well at this time of year:
- Update your address book. You might want to pick up a new address book for the new year. A helpful tip is to use a sharp pencil rather than a pen. When people change their address you can update it without making a mess of your book. (Be sure to go through your holiday cards and add addresses to the book before you dispose of them.)
- A closet adjustment. You may not have time for a full blown closet makeover but this is a good time to lay out all the winter sweaters. Some will need a trip to the dry cleaner and others might need to be donated. If you haven’t worn something in the past year be sure to wear it one day this week. If it feels like a “find” then add it back to the rotation. If it makes you remember why you stopped wearing it then donate it where it will be appreciated.
- Recycle holiday cards. Go through the cards and decide which ones you will keep. (Handwritten notes from good friends, elderly relatives etc.) A pair of blunt scissors and a housebound child can turn the rest into next year’s gift tags.
- Next year’s to-do list. Was there something that came up over the holidays that caught you off guard? Teacher’s gifts? Drop in guests? Take out your 2012 calendar and make some notes in the margins. Next year you’ll feel proud of yourself when you aren’t scrambling to find a gift for the groomer at the last minute and you have a freezer ready with hors doeuvres for a last minute get together.
- Make a nasty weather check list. For those who live in more extreme climates prepare your home and cars BEFORE a storm is predicted. A shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight and a warm blanket should all be in your car. At home be sure you have a shovel for your walkway and driveway along with salt and sand or kitty litter. Be prepared with gas for your snowblower and flashlights or rechargeable lanterns for your home. Once a storm is predicted the stores will have a run on most of those items.
- Blues chaser. If the winter months get you down plan something now that you know you’ll enjoy. Having something to look forward to will keep your mind busy and your spirits up, especially if it involves activity on your part. Planning a trip or a get together will keep you occupied and make the winter pass more quickly. Treating yourself to a concert or show will give you a bright spot to break up the long wait for spring. And trying a new winter sport might give you a new appreciation for the season
The Total Health Makeover is based on 10 steps which, followed as a lifestyle, will improve your health and energy levels and make it easier for you to manage your weight. These will all be covered in depth beginning January 2nd in the member’s area. Here’s a sneak preview:
1. Watch for chemicals in the foods you eat.
Our first class of 2012 begins in the member’s area on January 2:
BACK TO BASICS….BECAUSE IT WORKS !!
Join Marilu and coaches Beth Miriam and Kim as they lead us through the principles of THM. Each day will concentrate on an individual step. We’ll learn the how’s and why’s of a healthy lifestyle AND learn how best to incorporate them in our lives.
This class will help you personalize the program to suit your needs, your schedule, your personality and lifestyle.
Enrollment is automatic and free when you become a member.
GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF HEALTH IN 2012
3/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
1 Tablespoon grated tangerine zest
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 head escarole (about 12 cups)
1 large bunch watercress, stems removed(about 6 cups)
1 (5 oz.) package mixed baby greens
2 persimmons, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup hazlenuts, toasted, skin rubbed off, and coarsely chopped
In a heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the tangerine juice and zest until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the oils, vinegar, salt, and cinnamon and season to taste with pepper. Place all the greens and half of the persimmon slices in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Divide among ten plates and top with the hazelnuts and the remaing persimmon slices.
Even if your holiday season is low key most of us are living in communities that are not. A trip to the gym or the grocery store can find you stuck in a traffic jam. A check out line can snake around the store and, sadly, patience might be at a premium.
Allow extra time for anything you need to do and add an item to your to-do list: TIME FOR YOURSELF. Time at the gym? Don’t just try to get there…make an appointment with yourself. Put it on the calendar and plan your day accordingly. Think of what you need to do to feel centered. A half hour with a cup of tea and a book. A walk with your dog. A visit with a friend. Creative pursuits. Painting. Playing an instrument. Sex.
Giving yourself a “time-out” can re-charge your battery and make the rest of your day go more smoothly.
No one likes a brat at the holidays. When you head to the buffet table your inner brat might start behaving like a kid in a candy store. Taking a minute to go over the game plan ahead of time will help you stick to your goals.
If you absolutely MUST have the eggnog keep it to a very small serving. A half a cup can be as many as 340 calories. Better yet try a dairy free version at nearly half the calories and minus the dairy. An even smarter choice..sparkling cider at 120 calories a flute.
Nuts are a great healthy choice, (especially if they’re not loaded with salt and sugary coatings) but mindless nibbling can add up to 450 calories in a half cup of mixed nuts. Try 1/2 cup raw mixed veggies at only 25 calories !
Fruitcake packs a wallop at 324 calories a slice while a tangerine is only 40 calories.
We don’t want anyone getting hung up on numbers. Some healthy food is highly caloric but they carry nutrition and flavor that you can’t get in any processed food.
We’d much prefer you have the calories in an avocado than have the chemicals in a zero calorie diet drink. This is about health, not numbers. But it’s also about making wise choices and not heading down a path that will leave you discouraged when the new year begins.
Yes you should indulge a little, but always try to balance it out with fresh whole foods.
On January 2nd we’ll be starting the New Year getting BACK TO BASICS !
Don’t worry about eating fried food when you serve these latkes. It’s not an every day thing so relax and ENJOY !
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 to 3/4 cup flour
canola oil for frying
Grate peeled potatoes into a large bowl and cover with cold water while you finely chop the onions. Drain potatoes well, and add remaining ingredients, using just enough flour to hold the pancakes together.
In a hot fry pan add enough oil to cover the bottom and just start up the side of the pan. When oil is hot drop 1/4 cup of pancake mixture onto the hot oil and flatten with a spatula. Fry on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
You’ll taste the first batch (yes you will) and can adjust the flame and the seasonings if necessary.
Serve with applesauce.
Entertaining tip: Make some bite sized and freeze them for your next party. They re-heat straight from the freezer and work well as an hor doeuvre, served with soy sour cream and caviar.