Some people have been preparing for months to dazzle at this season's holiday parties. Others are just realizing that December is here, which means it's that time of year again to fit into your holiday best. Regardless of how prepared you are, it's never too late to incorporate some last-minute nutrition, hydration and fitness practices to help you feel (and look) great at your next soiree.
What you eat can have a big impact not only on how your clothes fit, but also the condition of your skin and your energy levels. In the weeks before an event, stick to "lean and clean" meals that like grilled fish, chicken or turkey, complex carbs of brown rice or red potatoes, and lots of vegetables and fruit for dessert. To avoid bloating, keep sodium to a minimum, cook your own foods and monitor what goes in them. The days before a big party, restrict starchy carbs such as breads and pastas that can cause bloating, and loading up on vegetables and lean protein. On the day of the party stick to my 321 Nutrition Plan rules of eating three meals, two snacks and drinking a minimum of one liter of water to keep metabolism cranking and prevent overeating. During the holiday season, it's important to remember to enjoy your favorite holiday foods but in moderation. I recommend that if you're bringing a dish to a party, that you try to substitute ingredients to cut down on fat or calories where possible -- so you can enjoy more of the foods you do love. Are you in charge of bringing a dessert? Well, one of my clients, Jessica Alba, loves Blueberry Tofu Pie (recipe below) as a substitute for cheesecake. Try it -- you and your friends will not notice the difference in taste!
Proper hydration has numerous health and beauty benefits. You've probably heard that sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger. So, this holiday season, if you find yourself grabbing for a snack, try drinking water first. This way, you don't snack when what your body really needed was some water. Not only can water keep you from overeating, but it can also help your skin from feeling dry, tight and flaky during the cold, windy winter months. If you prefer flavored water, try one of my favorite Vitaminwater Zero flavors -- vitaminwater zero glow. It's strawberry-guanabana flavored, naturally sweetened and contains a bundle of nutrients including vitamins A, C and E to help support and maintain healthy skin. At zero calories per eight fluid ounce serving, it will also keep your holiday nutrition plan on track.
During this busy time of year, don't ditch your gym workout! Instead shorten the sessions to 30 minutes and increase the intensity from start to finish. Get in the fitness spirit with an uptempo, holiday-themed playlist. Head outdoors and make time for your favorite, seasonal activities like ice skating, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. You can have fun while getting in your cardio! Don't let the dreary weather get in your way. If you're reluctant to head outdoors to even go to the gym, bring your workout to your living room. Rock your favorite holiday frock and winning smile to be the star of any holiday soiree this season!
Don't have time to follow all of this advice, but want to start making small life changes? Work to focus on one area, such as hydration. This is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle because it benefits your body both on the inside and out. Also, proper hydration often leads to a more balanced appetite and can help sustain cardio workouts.
Enjoy the holidays and here is to a healthy 2012!
BLUEBERRY TOFU PIE
A healthier substitute for cheesecake.
Crust is Graham Cracker pre-baked pie crust
- 2 packages firm tofu, drained in water
- 2 capfuls of vanilla extract
- 2 packages of Splenda
- 2 tbsp. of honey
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 tbsp. of flour
- 1 capful of vanilla extract
- 1 package of Splenda
For filling: Blend all together in a blender until it is creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary so that all ingredients are blended. Pour filling into the crust.
For topping: Simmer blueberries in a small pot, mashing them into a puree. Add flour and stir in remaining ingredients for the topping. Pour berry topping onto the tofu filling, then refrigerate for an hour or until firm before serving.
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