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Holiday, Vacation & Weekend

 

Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating

When the holidays arrive, many people forget all about their diets and healthy eating. Weight gains of 7 - 10 pounds are common between Halloween and Christmas. To make the holidays easier, these tips will help you with healthy eating through the season and not gaining weight.

Most traditional foods can be made low fat. Turkey is very lean without the skin, and gravy can be made without any fat. Potatoes that are served without butter can be very healthy. The beloved pumpkin pie is nutritious, although it can be made into a fatty dessert with the adding of whipped cream.

Even though the holidays are in, don't forget about the exercise. Keeping weight off during the holiday season is burning off the extra calories. You should plan a walk after meals, park farther from stores when you shop, and take a few walks around the mall before you begin shopping.

During holiday parties and at family dinners, feel free to sample foods although you shouldn't splurge. Decide on what you plan to eat in advance, then stick to your plan. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dressings, and slices of lean meats. Before you go to a party, eat a small snack to help curb your appetite.

If at all possible, avoid alcohol. Having too many drinks can cripple your will power, and also add excess calories to your diet. In the place of alcohol, drink water with lemon. Water can help to limit your appetite and keep you from binging. Also make sure to avoid eggnog, as each glass can have up to 300 calories.

Be flexible with your healthy eating, as one bad meal won't ruin your diet. Try to balance your calories over a few days and don't just look at one meal or day.

 

Tips For Healthy Eating During The Holiday Season

The time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day has to be the hardest few weeks to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle or any diet for that matter. We are constantly tempted by sweats, treats and just way to much food in general. I would like to share a few tips with you that have helped me in the past to stay on track between now and the end of the year.

1) Make sure you eat before you go to any holiday gathering. You know you will be tempted by all sorts of unhealthy but y...

The time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day has to be the hardest few weeks to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle or any diet for that matter. We are constantly tempted by sweats, treats and just way to much food in general. I would like to share a few tips with you that have helped me in the past to stay on track between now and the end of the year.

1) Make sure you eat before you go to any holiday gathering. You know you will be tempted by all sorts of unhealthy but yummy foods. Make sure you don’t go overboard by eating something that is good for you before you go. Try to make sure you are not hungry when you arrive, or you will be much more tempted to overeat as well.

2) Drink some water before you go and alternate higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog or hot chocolate with water while you are at the holiday party. Drinks can have a lot of hidden calories in them, so watch out. Diet sodas are another good option.

3) Fill you plate with some “good “ foods first. Pick some raw vegetables, but go easy on the dip. Turkey breast, and lean ham or pork roast are other good choices. Don’t forget a nice plate of salad with a low fat dressing and some fresh fruit for dessert.

4) Don’t cut your favorite holiday treats completely out. If you don’t allow yourself the occasional small indulgence, you will be much more likely to break down and binge on all those cookies and treats. The key is to enjoy small portions or bites of your favorite foods. If you have a soft side for chocolate chip cookies then go ahead and indulge, but limit yourself to one a day or every few days. Of course the same applies if you prefer cheesecake or gingerbread men.
Eat several small meals a day. This old tip holds especially true during the holiday season. We tend to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner with the entire family. Don’t starve yourself all day. Get some snacks in and most importantly start your day with a good, healthy breakfast. You will be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar. You don't want to spend the day being grumpy from not eating for hours, or be the first ready for a nap after overeating.

5) Use the busy shopping season and burn some extra calories. If you are heading to the mall, park a little further away, or take your time and do a round of window shopping all through the mall before you buy. Every few extra steps that you take count. Just don’t reward yourself afterwards with food. For extra motivation to get more walking in, consider wearing a pedometer. See http://www.walkingofftheweight.com for more information on walking and using a pedometer.

6) Take some time to relax. The holidays can be a very stressful season if we let them. Many of us (including myself) tend to overeat or medicate ourselves with food when we are stressed. Work in some extra time just for you. Sit in front of the fire with a good book or your favorite magazine, go get your nails done, take a bath or go for a walk. Do whatever works for you to calm you down and help you distress.

Above all, enjoy the holidays and remember they are not only about food, but more importantly about family spending quality time together. Treat yourself to some new holiday candles, listen to your favorite Christmas tunes, or go for a drive through a lit up neighborhood this year. Have fun during this special time of the year and enjoy that occasional cookie.

Happy Holidays!

 

Safe Food Handling For The Holidays

Did you know that the turkey you thawed on the kitchen counter, instead of in the fridge, could now contain bacteria levels high enough to harm human life, even though you can’t see, smell, or taste it?

There’s nothing better than a home cooked meal during the holidays. But, with all the special effort that goes into making one, everything will be for naught if the food has not been stored, prepared, or cooked properly.

Food experts agree that the safe handling of foo...

cooking, recipes, gourmet, cruisine

Did you know that the turkey you thawed on the kitchen counter, instead of in the fridge, could now contain bacteria levels high enough to harm human life, even though you can’t see, smell, or taste it?

There’s nothing better than a home cooked meal during the holidays. But, with all the special effort that goes into making one, everything will be for naught if the food has not been stored, prepared, or cooked properly.

Food experts agree that the safe handling of food should be the top ingredient in any recipe.

While they may not turn you into a gourmet chef, following these simple food-handling tips will keep your family and guests safe from unpleasant, and sometimes life-threatening, food-born illnesses.

When buying raw meat, keep juices, which may contain bacteria, from contaminating your hands or anything in your grocery cart. Plastic bags work great for this purpose.

Meat should also be picked up at the end of your grocery shopping and should not be placed in the same bag as fruits and vegetable.

If you plan on storing your meat for 2 to 3 months in the freezer, make sure you buy some freezer proof wrap. The wrap that the store uses is designed to allow air into the meat product and is, therefore, not good for freezing. This is because beef products turn from a purple color to a bright red when exposed to air, making them look fresh, but if left too long will promote bacteria growth.

Defrosting should be done in the refrigerator or in a sink full of water, changing the water about every 45 minutes. A refrigerator allows the meat to defrost in a controlled atmosphere, slowing down the growth of bacteria. Never defrost your meat on top of the counter at room temperature. This can quickly become a bacteria breeding ground. The growth rate of bacteria multiplies rapidly between 40F (4C) and 140F (60C).

Once meat has been thawed it must be either cooked immediately or placed in the refrigerator and then cooked within 24 hours. Never refreeze meat. Most meats and poultries only have a safe fridge life of 2 days, whether stored after thawing or purchased fresh.

When handling raw meat, wash your hands before and after. Also, wash counters or plates you plan to reuse in the preparation process if they have had raw meat on them, as they will also contain harmful levels of bacteria.

As humans, we also carry harmful organisms on our skin which, when spread to food, produce a toxin that normal cooking cannot destroy. Therefore, it is essential to wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water prior to handling food, as well as cover open cuts.

While beefsteak can be cooked to varying degrees of redness, turkey must be completely cooked. At the innermost part of the thigh, the temperature must reach 180F (82C) for a stuffed turkey and 170F (77C) unstuffed. Stuffing in the cavity should read 165F (74C). Cooking times vary with the weight of the bird.

It is important not to keep the thermometer inside the oven with the bird as it could be affected by the oven’s hot air and provide a false reading.

Plan your cooking ahead of time. Do not partially cook the bird, refrigerate, and then complete the cooking process, as this will produce dangerously high levels of bacteria.

Cooked food must be refrigerated within 2 hours, which means that you need to plan your meal so that it can be eaten shortly after being cooked.

Refrigerated leftovers should be eaten within a couple of days, which includes turkey gravy, fish, and eggs. Meat casseroles and pies, rice, potatoes, and cooked noodles will last 2 to 3 days, while cooked meat, chicken, turkey, turkey stuffing, and many soups may last up to 4 days before bacteria levels reach critical points.

Using safe food-handling practices allows for healthy eating. The rest is a matter of taste.




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