Friday, December 30, 2011

Surviving the food, I mean...holidays

Since we are finishing up the festive fall/winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, New Years), I figured it might be appropriate to talk about how I survive the food holidays.

In an effort to survive the food holidays, one must have an ounce of willpower and a desire to stay the course.  When we get together with others for these festive times, we have to learn to enjoy the people and savor the food we choose.  So without further introduction, I give you...

My Top 10 Tips For Surviving the Holidays  *these will be based on if you are going to someone's home and taking a dish to pass.*

#1--Can you find out what is being served?  Friends and family shouldn't mind if you ask what is being served.  If you are contributing a dish or dishes, you can plan to make them friendly for you.  Often times you don't have to sacrifice taste by making it friendly for you.
#2--Now that you know what is being served *and what you are taking* this will allow you to plan ahead.  Make a decision on what you will have when you get there.  Are there things being served that are special that you don't get to have on a regular basis?  Maybe those things should be on your 'must have' list.  Plan for any drinks you may have alcoholic/non-alcoholic/coffee, etc.
#3--This one will sound weird, but you'll be patting yourself on the back after you do it.  Take tools for measuring.  What kind of tools?  I've taken a tablespoon and my scale.  I would take what you need to be successful.
#4--Be sure to drink some *read-at least 2 glasses* of water while you're there.
#5--Focus on the conversation at hand.  If you spend more time listening and sharing with others, you'll eat slowly, fill up faster, and will avoid eating a bunch of trash food you really don't need.
#6--If there are candy bowls, snacks you can't avoid, try to walk away from them.  If you want some, count it and move on.
#7--Plan to have a variety of foods on your plate.  Try to incorporate some veggies if you can.
#8--If the night seems to be going south, don't beat yourself up.  Count it.  Move on. *Are you seeing a theme here?*
#9--Get some exercise in.  You can't go wrong with a few extra exercise calories/activity points under your belt to help you out.
#10--If you are just overwhelmed and you've had your fill of conversation *not food*, thank your host/hostess and GO HOME!  No one has to continue to get bombarded with visual torture.

These really have helped me to survive the food holidays.

At Thanksgiving, I took my measuring spoons, my scale, a lighter pumpkin pie and light whipped topping, planned on drinking water only, and knew ahead what all would be on the table.  I also logged my entire meal before I went to our friend's house.

Extreme?  Maybe.  Smart?  I think so.  You have to do what's best for you and find what works best for you.  Tweak these and use them.  Maybe you can practice before the next big food induced coma gathering.  Ready?  Go!

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