Holiday Tips From the Experts!

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Ask The Guyatitian

I received a press release yesterday from Ashley Koff, RD, a great nutritionist and bud, and felt that the advice given was excellent and might benefit my readers. Ive taken excerpts that I thought you would enjoy and would love your feedback and additional suggestions that you may have for surviving the holidays.

From Ashley Koff, RD

TREAT yourself right during the holidays…the holidays ARE a special time. Wanting to maintain your health regime is no reason to give up on treating yourself a little extra special during this time. But since when does TREAT= EAT…What puts the ‘TR’ in “TREAT” are things like: TRim your hair, TRy a new type of massage (I love Thai massage), TRek with a friend – blow off some work and go for a hike even through the snow, fly through the air on a TRapeze, and TRade your errands (with a spouse, a friend, a child). Enjoy your TReats this holiday season!

From Leslie Goldman, MPH, women’s health writer, author of Locker Room Diaries, body image blogger for iVillage, www.lesliegoldmanwrites.com

Yoga can keep you emotionally and physically grounded during holiday food chaos. Feeling overstuffed? Try Warrior Pose. Plank pose keeps you balanced. And any kind of workout will rev up mood-boosting endorphins.

From: Michael J. Balick, PhD, Vice President for Botanical Science, Director and Philecology Curator Institute of Economic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden, www.nybg.org

As the weather gets cold up here in the North, I usually start adding lavender oil to the washing machine. Long ago I gave up fragranced and heavily synthetic washing soaps, and just add a half-dozen to a dozen drops of lavender oil to the rinse cycle of the wash. Not only does it leave a hint of summer in the air, but moths seem to hate this essential oil as well. You can add lavender oil to a small jar containing dried flowers and leave it (open) in your closet, where it will help perfume your belongings as well as possibly helping keep moths away (depending how much oil you put in the jar) . Lavender has been used for centuries as a cleansing agent, for example, in bath water and for washing floors. If you have a tub at home, put a few drops of lavender oil in a hot bath in the evening–very relaxing!

From Kathy Kaehler, Trainer, Spokesperson, Author, www.kathykaehler.com

It is very easy to pack on extra pounds over the holidays.  It seems that preparing for all of the festivities invades our gym time.  To keep your weight at bay and your energy balanced make your exercise routine a priority.  Keep it in your calendar just like an appointment.  Get it done in the morning because you will find too many excuses not to exercise later on during the day.  Even if you can’t make it to the gym find things that you can do around your home that will charge up the calories.  Walk up and down your stairs, power walk around your neighborhood or dust off that old piece of equipment and get moving. Your body will thank you and you hopefully won’t be making that redundant New Year’s resolution again.

From Myra Goodman, Founder and Owner, Earthbound Farm, author Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook, www.ebfarm.com

While I don’t count calories, I like to know the calorie count of some holiday foods ahead of time so I can portion accordingly. One slice of pecan pie is over 500 calories, and I find I am just as satisfied with half a slice eaten at half the pace, savoring every bite. A whole slice after dinner would most likely leave me feeling too full and a little worried about holiday weight gain – making it less of a pleasure.

From Jovial King, founder and formulator, Urban Moonshine Organic Bitters + Tonics, www.urbanmoonshine.com

This holiday season make sure to have a bottle of herbal bitters within reach at your favorite holiday gatherings!  Bitters stimulate digestion and help to soothe any feelings of overindulgence, including gas, bloating and acid reflux. But the best part might just be bitters’ ability to stave off that sugar craving.  After a big meal reach for your bottle of (urban moonshine ) bitters instead of dessert.  It will keep your body feeling great and that waistline in check. (My comments – “bitters” used to be the “go-to” remedy for sour stomachs when I was growing up. So glad that Jovial suggested it – it really works!)

From Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, author Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches, www.cynthiasass.com

This season, simplify your menus. Enjoy season foods as close to their natural state as possible with just a few natural ingredients to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your meals. For example, core an organic apple or pear, drizzle with a mixture of water, organic pure maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and bake in the oven. Brush sliced root vegetables (carrots, turnips, and beets) with a garlic infused extra virgin olive oil, roast and garnish with sea salt. Melt organic dark chocolate, fold in fresh grated ginger and drizzle over slices of fresh pineapple. Simplifying your menus can free you up to spend more time with friends and family but you won’t sacrifice one iota of flavor.

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