Christmas Survival Guide Part 2


Now that you’re at the party and everyone around you is toting a little plastic cup and a mile-high mound of sugary confection on their plates, what do you do?
Choose a small plate, fill up off of the crudités then move as far away from the table and bar as possible. Nibble away at your plate slowly and, when finished, sip on water or chew gum.

While everyone else is stuffing their faces, take charge of the conversation. You’ll warm up the party while refraining from plumping up beside them.

The holidays are about celebrating so celebrate your friends and family, not the food.

Watch what you drink. Stay away from the sugary sodas and punches, steer clear of the calories-loaded beer and pass up the fat-packed eggnog.

Don’t forget why you’re celebrating so relax, enjoy yourself, give thanks and keep all things in moderation.

Christmas Survival Guide Part 1

So you’ve been invited to a party, a party complete with drinks, a buffet and all the trimmings…what should you do before you go? How do you prepare yourself before Holiday parties and dinners? How do you prevent temptation?

DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING IN RECORD TIME. Try speedwalking when shopping to burn calories, rev up your metabolism, pass the food court in a blur and, as an added bonus, you’ll get the shopping done quicker

Just like any other day in the year, start your day with a good, wholesome, nutritious MMC shake. Keep your metabolism, energy and spirits elevated.

Staying hydrated will stave off aches and pains, maintain energy, and you’ll be less likely to fill your hands with little plastic cups of alcoholic drinks when you arrive at the party.

Eat a light, healthy snack of fresh, crunchy veggies (like cucumbers or peppers) before going to a party. This way you won’t be famished when you arrive and you’ll be more likely to resist temptation at the buffet line.

BE AN ANGEL…BE THE DD! Volunteer ahead of time to be the designated driver for your friends. What better excuse to not gulp down those liquid calories one glass at a time!

Make Your Holidays Healthier: Part 1 Take Control

Happy Thanksgiving!

I absolutely love Thanksgiving. I love the food, the cooler weather, football, food, especially the food. Did I mention food? I actually enjoy seeing those family members that I only see once a year.Thanksgiving can be a stressful time when you’re dieting or just trying to maintain the good work you’ve done. There are many temptations that can set off a food splurge from now until New Years.
Here’s how to take control of the holidays instead of the holidays controlling you!

Save the sweatpants for sweating.
Wear something fitted, you’re less likely to overeat when you feel your belt or button.
Don’t skip meals in order to "save up" for Thanksgiving dinner. You’re more likely to overeat.

Portion size is critical. Fill your plate with half of you normally would and add more green vegetables that aren’t swimming in gravy, butter or sauce.

Do limit the caffeine, alcohol, sugar and red meat a few days before the big day. You don’t have to eliminate them completely. These foods can cause bloating, blood sugar spikes, and digestive issues.

Stop eating when you’re full. This sounds simple I know, but there tends to be a lot of mindless eating around the dinner table as conversation starts to lag. It takes 15-20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that "it’s full". By the time that happens you’ve eating too much and may not feel so good. Give your body a little time to catch up to your brain.

My goal this year is to not gain any weight, but I think I’ve figured out I might actually lose a little.

Make Your Holidays Healthier Part 3 Made Over Meals

If your family is anything like mine, they cringe at the thought of their holiday meal traditions being "messed with". Well, my family doesn't cook Thanksgiving dinner, I do, and I've decided that what they don't know won't hurt them, it might actually help them. They'll still get their turkey and fixin's, they'll just get them a little healthier.

Check out these made over Thanksgiving menu ideas:

Marinated Turkey Breast Serves 6-8

How many times has the perfect turkey on the outside been something totally different on the inside? Let’s leave that perfect looking turkey to Norman Rockwell and make a perfect tasting turkey that will leave your family and friends "gobbling" for more....

1 (4-5 lb) boneless turkey breast
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme

In a large bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and thyme. Rub the turkey with the mixture, being sure to get under the skin, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6-24 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the breast in a roasting pan on a small rack to lift it off of the bottom. Cover with a tight fitting lid and roast 20-25 minutes per pound (about 1 hour 15 minutes) until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 170 degrees.

Nutrition Information per 6 oz Serving

Calories: 177, Fat: 2.4g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Protein: 38.3g, Carbohydrate 0g, Fiber: 0g, Sodium: 2434mg

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Serves 4-6

Brussel sprouts get a bad rap for a good reason. Most of us remember bitter, soggy, mushy, pale "bounce-able" balls rolling around our plates. Well, not this time. This recipe for brussel sprouts is sure to redeem their reputation wit ha sweet savory balance that features a Maple Flavored Pancake Syrup (made by Walden Farms) that has zero calories, sugar and fat. Too good to be true?

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb fresh brussel sprouts, cut in half through the stem (do not use frozen, they contain too much water)
2 shallots peeled and cut into half moons
2 tbsp + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Walden Farms Maple Flavored pancake Syrup
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp Smart Balance butter substitute
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until the oil is shiny. Carefully place the sprouts, cut side down, and cook until brown (5-7 min) stirring occasionally.

Stir in the shallots, 2 tbsp vinegar, syrup, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne. The cayenne does not add any heat in this dish. It helps the brussel sprout bring out its own flavor.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the sprouts are bright green and just tender, (6-8 min).

Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has evaporated (3-5 min).
As soon as the liquid has evaporated, remove from the heat, stir in the remaining tsp of vinegar and butter substitute and serve.

Better Than Usual Cranberry Sauce Makes about 2 Cups

No canned jelly cranberry sauce here. Fresh cranberries with a sweet/tart sauce, delicious.

1 medium bag fresh cranberries (12 oz.)
1/2 C Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 C water
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp orange zest
1/8 tsp cloves, ground

In a medium sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Bring to room temperature and serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information per 1/4 Cup Serving
Calories: 65, Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Protein: 0g, Fiber 1g, Carbohydrate 14g, Sodium: 0mg

*This recipe is for patients on the Nutriplus or Maintenance Program and not recommended for patients still losing weight. It is a healthier alternative to traditional cranberry sauce.

Make Your Holidays Healthier: Part 2 Step Away from the Table

The first thing my family thinks about when the word Thanksgiving is mention is FOOD! I'm working to change that word to FAMILY or FUN or anything else, it's difficult. I can't just drop that kind of change on these people, we have to work up to it, BUT I know my family and I'm learning how to take their attention off the table. Let's go fishing, usually does the trick. For your family, it may be the mention of a family football game, you know what clicks.
Here's how to get those "gobblers" (couldn't resist) off the couch and involved in some old fashioned family fun.

Step 1) Plan a group walk after dinner. Chances are, you'll have others that will want to go with you and once others have committed, it's hard to bail on them. Walk briskly, exert a little energy and you'll be in a better position to resist that piece of pie.

Step 2) Plan a family football game. A game of touch football is a great way to get your energy moving and have some fun.

Step 3) Take a drive to check out the changing leaves. If you can, get out of the car and walk through them, even better. If you have little ones, send them on a scavenger hunt (pine cones, feather, stick with 3 branches, acorn, etc.).

Step4) Plan a shopping trip for the next day. This might be my personal favorite. There is a lot of walking that happens in the mall and the parking lot the day after Thanksgiving.