This is the season of gluttony. We begin with Halloween and enter the slippery slope that runs past Thanksgiving, all of December and right toward Valentine’s Day. We Americans don’t stop eating for most of the winter, starting off with several holiday events that practically beg for excess intake. This little series of blog pieces will focus on this Season of Gluttony. Don’t be mistaken, I am not a stay-away-from-everything-yummy type of person. Not that dietitian. I do have some tips, however, for getting you and your family through this season without some tag-along extra weight that needs to be burned off next spring. The cycle of gain and loss – emphasis mostly on yearly gain – is not healthy. The truth is, you can participate in the culinary fun and come through healthy and happy.
The first recommendation for the entire season is to create an exercise plan and stick to it. Don’t let your winter be the season of couch potato-ing. Being out in the cold, even in the rain or snow, is actually exhilarating if you are dressed for it, and if you work out. Get some gear for being outside – some running pants, a sweat wicking shirt, a water/wind resistant jacket, etc. Plan for continuing through whatever weather, and go for it. (I got a real taste for this when we moved to Alaska. I started by deciding I could not run if it was less than 20 degrees. Since that come in October that year, I knew I needed to thicken my blood, buy some long underwear, and plan to just get out there if I was going to be active all winter. ) If you really hate being out in the cold, make a plan to walk at the mall, walk during your lunch break, go to the gym or SOMETHING! Don’t stop exercising.
The second recommendation for the season is to plan for food excesses by planning lighter meals. I know that the cold weather makes us think of stick-to-your ribs food, but work on lighter options like pasta fagioli (pronounced “fasool” or pasta chi chi) is a vegetarian pasta with beans. Other soups are good options if you don’t overdo the portions, or accompanying bread. Think smaller, simpler meals during this time when you know excess is around the corner.
I’ll post throughout the holidays and the winter with ideas about how to navigate the minefield that is ahead of us. Post your comments, your own suggestions or issues that I might attend to. Above all, consider that with a bit of preparation and forethought, you can relax and enjoy the bounty of the season. Cheers!