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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Enjoy Holiday Parties While Maintaining Your Weight

We have all heard the statistic that the average person gains 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This is somewhat exaggerated; the actual number is a 1-pound weight gain. However, this pesky 1 pound usually hangs on year after year, so over 10 holiday seasons that is a 10-pound gain! The goal during this time of year is to maintain your weight, which is definitely a challenge with all of the extra food gatherings.

7 Tips for Holiday Eating

Here are some tips to help survive the holiday parties and make sure
your weight is the same on January 2 as it was on November 28.84468673

  1. Restrict the number of alcoholic drinks at holiday parties. At a minimum it is 100 calories per drink, and depending on what you are choosing, can be as high as 400 (eggnog!). The recommendations are one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Instead of adding all of the empty calories from alcohol, save those calories for filling food!
  2. Have just single servings of your favorite foods. If you are super excited to have a food that comes around only once per year, enjoy every last bite of the single serving, wrap up some and enjoy it the next day, too.
  3. Don’t skip meals to “save room” at the party! This can lead to out-of-control eating. Instead, make sure to have balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, aiming for fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. You can even grab a snack before the party to help with the desperation eating. An apple with peanut butter, Greek yogurt and fruit, or a stick of string cheese with a handful of nuts would be a perfect filling and nutritious snack option.
  4. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and at the party. This can help keep you full; and if your hand is already occupied with a 178360614beverage, it will be more challenging to reach for the food!
  5. Remember that you can have some foods all year long, such as crackers, cheese, and pretzels. Choose the foods that are the most interesting and unique, and come around only once per year. Then frame it positively and say, “I want to save my appetite for the best” instead of “I am not allowed to eat these foods.”
  6. Repeat these words: “No, thanks, on the seconds. It was delicious, but I have had enough.”
  7. Instead of focusing on the food, put effort into enjoying the people and conversations, and really connecting.

Need a little extra help surviving the holidays? NIFS My Nuttrition Coach App, can help you keep track of your diet while receiving daily feedback from our registered dietitian, Angie Scheetz. To learn more click here.

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This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: nutrition motivation healthy eating snacks holidays weight management

No-Equipment-Needed Workouts for Holiday Travel

With the holiday season upon us, we can almost guarantee that at some point we will be expected to travel. Sometimes we only have short trips that make for a nice recharging, but other trips can last much longer. Couple that with limitations on equipment and less-than-desirable food options and we have an instant cause for concern. Because that workout your trainer prescribes relies heavily on bands, ropes, foam rollers and weights, you may think you are without a workout plan. But don't give up on your workout just yet, here are some ideas on what you can do with little to no equipment.

Do Stretching Exercises

To maintain flexibility, stretching through dynamic movement patterns is ideal and can be done in a small area. Inch Worms, Knee Ups, and Jumping Jacks are all good examples of dynamic movement patterns.

Perform Simple Exercises That Use Multiple Muscle Groups

To simplify your workout, you can focus on a few great exercises that work multiple muscle plankgroups. These exercises can range from beginner to advanced, with the functionally basic movement of sit and stand at a chair to the more challenging Burpees (add a pushup and squat jump for even more workload). The Plank exercise is also one of the best exercises for building endurance in the abs, back, core, glutes and hip flexor. To make the Plank easier add an incline or lower knees to the floor. For a greater challenge increase the period of time you hold the plank or add movement such as leg lifts or arm extensions.

Cardio Exercises at the Hotel

suitcase carrystairsThere are other “tools” you can use while on the go that you may not realize. For a cardio option, most hotels have a staircase. Use it! Avoid the elevator and take the stairs instead. For a challenge, run the stairs for ten minutes (and because most people use the elevator, it should be mostly empty for your use). Suitably known as a suitcase carry, your suitcase can be used for a one-sided farmer's carry walk that pinpoints your oblique (like a side plank), and a bathroom towel can be used to create an isometric static hold for countless upper-body exercises.

Whether or not you are on the go for the holidays, be sure to exercise the next time you travel; it’s easier than you think. See a health fitness specialist or personal trainer to help design a workout plan that is right for you.

Be sure to sign up for upcoming NIFS exclusive programs geared toward your goals (such as Maintain Not Gain, Slim It to Win It, or Summer Showdown).

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Specialist at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.
Topics: exercise cardio staying active healthy habits Thomas' Corner holidays muscles Summer Showdown

How to Add Superfoods to Your Holiday Meals


We have all heard about holiday weight gain from eating too much of those delicious celebratory foods. However, a lot of the foods that we typically only see around this time of brussel sproutsyear can be very good for us. Here are some superfoods and recipes to incorporate into your annual holiday feasts!

Brussels Sprouts:

  • Loaded with 15% of your RDA for fiber to help keep cholesterol low.
  • Lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants like Vitamins C, E, and A.
  • Contain one-third of the inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids your body requires per day.
  • Over 200% of the RDA of Vitamin K, which is essential for proper brain and nerve function.

Pomegranate:

  • May help keep plaque from forming on artery walls.pomagrante
  • Antioxidants in it have been found to slow prostate cancer growth.
  • Improves blood flow to the heart and reduces the risk for heart disease.

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Bacon

Makes 3 to 4 side-dish servings

5 to 6 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1.5 lbs.), cleaned and quartered

2 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon, cut into small pieces

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

¼ cup pecan halves, roughly chopped

⅛ to ¼ tsp. sea salt and pepper, depending on preference

  1. Begin by cooking the bacon over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  2. Once the bacon is almost all browned, add the Brussels sprouts. Cook and stir at least once a minute. When most of the Brussels sprouts have browned a little bit and are softened
    (about 5 to 7 minutes), pour into pomegranates and pecans.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the entire mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes.

(Recipe from www.eatliverun.com.)

Turkey:

  • Lean source of protein with all of the essential amino acids.
  • Contains selenium, which is helpful in thyroid and immune system function.
  • Is a good source of Vitamins B3 and B6.

Turkey Pot Pie SoupTurkey

Makes 8 servings

¼ cup flour

2 cups turkey stock

4 cups fat-free milk

2 large celery stalks, chopped

1½ cups chopped onion

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

Fresh ground pepper

2 TB. chopped parsley

8 oz. frozen peas and carrots

1 tsp. turkey bouillon (or more to taste)

2 medium (12 oz. total) potatoes, peeled and cubed small

16 oz. cooked turkey breast, diced small or shredded

  1. Create a roux by combining ½ cup of the cold broth with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Pour remaining broth and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, parsley, fresh pepper, frozen vegetables, and salt and return to a boil.
  3. Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, add potatoes, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add turkey, and slowly whisk in roux, stirring well as you add.
  6. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until soup thickens.
  7. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.

(Recipe from www.skinnytaste.com.)

Sweet Potatoes:sweet potato

  • Rich in beta carotene and meet the daily requirement for Vitamin A.
  • Provide one-third of your daily dose of Vitamin C.
  • Packed with fiber to help keep you full.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Makes 12 servings

1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato

½ cup orange juice

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 egg whites

Topping:

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

  1. Mix orange juice, sugar, vanilla and egg whites. Add to sweet potato.
  2. Place sweet potato mixture in a casserole dish.
  3. Mix topping ingredients until mixture is mealy. Spread on top of potato mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped pecans on top (optional).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Pumpkin:pumpkin

  • A serving contains more than 200% of the RDA of Vitamin A, which helps with vision.
  • Loaded with the antioxidant beta carotene, which is a cancer fighter.
  • Plenty of potassium to aid in the body’s electrolyte balance.

Cinnamon:

  • Has been found to help reduce blood sugar levels of individuals with diabetes.
  • Can help fight against bacterial and fungal infections.
  • May help against the destructive process of multiple sclerosis.

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Makes 12 servings

15 oz. canned pumpkin

8 oz. Cool-Whip

1 package sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding mix

½ TB. pumpkin pie seasoning

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

Sliced apples for dipping

  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together except apples.
  2. Chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.
  3. Serve with sliced apples.

 Red Wine:red wine

  • Can have a significant positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels.
  • Resveratrol, a compound in red wine, can help keep your brain sharp.
  • Studies have shown it can prevent you from getting the common cold when drinking red wine in moderation (5 oz. per day for women and 10 oz. per day for men).

Pot Roast with Dried Fruit and Red Wine

Makes 6 servings

1 well-trimmed boneless beef rump roast (2 pounds), tied

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup beef broth

1 cup dry red wine

½ cup orange juice

½ teaspoon ground allspice

2 large red onions, cut into wedges

2 cups pitted prunes

2 cups dried apricot halves

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Rub the roast with the salt and pepper.
  3. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, bring the broth, wine, orange juice, and allspice to a boil over high heat.
  4. Place the roast in the pot and return to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the oven.
  5. Bake, turning the roast several times, for 2 hours. Add the onions, prunes, and apricots and cook for 1 hour, or until the roast is very tender.
  6. Place on a cutting board, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the strings from the roast and cut into thin slices.
  8. Arrange the meat on a platter and spoon the pan juices and fruit over top.

(Recipe from www.prevention.com.)

Happy Holidays, and make sure to incorporate some of these superfoods into your meals this season!

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, wellness coordinator at NIFS, She also organizes the Mini Marathon Training Program, Dealing with Diabetes, and Lite ‘N Up classes. To contact Angie about Personal Nutrtional Coaching sessions email her at ascheetz@nifs.org or call 317-274-3432.

 

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes holidays