Friday, November 12, 2010

Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

This holiday season be prepared. This is the time we catch up with family and friends.  It's also the time we eat more, drink more and spend more.  Just a few precautions can make a difference to your diet and to your budget.

1. If going out make sure you eat a healthy snack before you go out even if you are going out to dinner. Consider fruit, nuts, popcorn, organic cheese and homemade crackers.

2. Alcohol flows freely during the Holidays with all the different parties and get-togethers we have.  If you are drinking wine add filtered or mineral water (at least half and half) and try the low alcohol beers.  You just have time to brew a batch of beer for Christmas. Home brewing has come a long way and there are some really great home brew beers available.  One of our favourites is Coopers Mexican Cerveza.  Coopers recommends using their Brew Enhancer 2 instead of sugar. This makes it more expensive but it makes a great tasting brew. To make a low alcohol beer use only 500g instead of the 1kg.  Keep away from the ‘pop’ alcohols. If you drink spirits, mix your own drinks.   Add fruit juice (no added sugar) and soda water to your champagne.  

3. For non-alcohol drinks, try fruit juice (no added sugar) with added filtered or mineral water.  Try to keep the ratio to 25% fruit juice and 75% water.  Or try some homemade cordials like Old Fashion Lemonade.

4.  Snacks at parties can greatly increase calorie intake, unhealthy fats and food additives.  Try to keep away from purchased chips, biscuits etc.  and go for the dips that are home made.  Try roast garlic dip, salsas and vegetable base dips.  Have these with bite size pieces of raw fruit and vegetables.  Consider fruit, nuts, popcorn, organic cheese and homemade crackers.

5. When out, keep a supply of healthy snacks with you. Again, consider fruit, nuts, popcorn, organic cheese and homemade crackers. Eat these at the first signs of hunger instead of going for the unhealthy, expensive packaged alternatives.

6. If going out for a meal skip the entree course unless you are very hungry. 

7. Select meals that have a high vegetable content.
8. Avoid meals with creamy or high fat content sauces.  Ask for the sauce to be put on the side.

9. When ordering salads ask for the dressing to be put on the side.  Otherwise you may find you salad is covered in oil (unhealthy types) and sugar. 

10. For desserts, go for those that include fresh fruits, ricotta, yoghurts, yoghurt cream cheese or coconut milk.  Try Pineapple Freeze

11. Often at this time of year we are meeting friends for coffee.  Keep your coffee intake to no more than 3 cups per day. Or better still go for herbal teas.  Like peppermint or black adder tea.  If you drink decaf coffee please make sure it is decaffeinated through natural filters and not by chemicals. Try to resist the temptation of cake with your coffee.  If you can’t resist go for something with lots of fruit.  Better still invite your friends to coffee at your place then you can control what you eat and what you spend.

12. Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water per day. 

13. Go to the for more great ideas and recipes.

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