If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! This is never more true than during the holiday season! Here are a few ideas to help you stay ahead of the game and plan wisely.
Spice it Up! Use spices and herbs to flavor foods instead of heavy sauces. Many herbs and spices have been shown to have amazing health benefits, and they taste great!
- saffron: improves memory and helps to support positive mood.
- curry: is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent and helps to decrease the plaques thought to be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
- oregano: potent antioxidant and may help with PMS and insomnia.
- basil: potent antioxidant, improves blood flow to the brain and may help memory.
- cinnamon: improves working memory and ability to pay attention
- garlic: improves blood flow to the brain, increases immunity
- ginger: potent anti-aging properties, anti-inflammatory
- thyme: Increases DHA (an important fat) in the brain
- sage: improves memory and overall mental functioning
- rosemary: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Minimize alcohol consumption. Alcohol not only contains a lot of calories (in the form of sugar), but it decreases your judgment and impulse control. Next thing you know, you’ll be flirting with that second piece of pie… And regretting it in the morning.
Swap This for That Human beings are not designed to seek pain and deprivation. If you make this journey one of deprivation, you will guarantee failure. Being healthy and taking care of the body gave you is an honor. With a little creativity, you will find this is about abundance. Here are a few suggestions for some healthy alternatives:
- Green tea with a few drops of Stevia instead of coffee.
- Sugar free, steamed almond milk with a bag of “Green Chai Tea” and a few drops of cinnamon flavored Stevia. This is guilt free “Tea Latte. ”
- “Light Coconut Milk” in your tea or coffee instead of half and half or soy creamer.
- Drink sparkling water sweetened with root beer flavored Stevia instead of diet soda.
- Try sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a few drops of lemon flavored Stevia in place of wine. This is a great drink for parties when you want a “drink” to be social but you don’t want to consume alcohol.
- Try almond milk instead of dairy milk and soy milk.
- Replace ice cream with “Avocado Gelato. ” Recipe online.
- Eat ½ apple with almond butter instead of cookies and candy.
- Eat ¼ cup raw, unsalted nuts and 1 piece of 70% low-sugar dark chocolate instead of muffins, cookies and candy.
- Try salsa or sugar free catsup instead of the catsups and barbeque sauces that are filled with sugar. You also can look online for great sugar free catsup recipes.
- Use Vegannaise, guacamole or hummus instead of mayonnaise.
Stay hydrated! Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. This is not only healthy for your brain, skin and body, but it will help you not to feel hungry. Often, we feel hungry when we are actually thirsty. Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Plan ahead and Prepare in Advance Always have an ice chest prepared with healthy, nutritious food. Have one day each week that you prepare some short cuts for your week. If you are busy, this can help you and your children make healthier choices.
- Boil a dozen eggs so they are ready to grab for your ice chest. They are also a great snack for your kids.
- Chop up vegetables and fruit a couple days each week and keep them in an air-tight container- ready to snack on.
- Prepare a couple healthy treats for the family, so they don’t cheat during weak moments. I usually try to have some “Goji Nut Truffles” or “Avocado Gelato” in the freezer.
- Prepare enough food for dinner so that there are always “leftovers.”
- Immediately pack left over food from dinner in small, “to go” containers and put them in your ice chest when you are cleaning up from dinner. Put the ice chest in the refrigerator so all you have to do is grab it in the morning.
- My ice chest always has raw nuts, chopped vegetables, fruit, lean protein (either a hard boiled egg, fish or chicken), hummus or guacamole and a protein bar.
- I always pack whatever salad and food I have left over from the previous night.
Cheat with PROTEIN AND HEALTHY FAT! Cheating with sugar sets you and your hormones up for a vicious fall, sending the signal to your brain that you are still hungry, even though you just finished gorging! But if you eat lean protein and healthy fat (even if you eat too much of it), hormones are released that tell your brain that you are full and satisfied.