Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | November 10, 2007

For All: Healthy Holidays

Can you believe it’s already November?  How did that happen?  I swear that last month was July.  Hmmm…Well, here we are on the brink of the Holiday Season and for most of us that means panic in terms of staying fit.   After all, how do you tell your aunt “No” for the fiftieth time as she presses you to drink more Eggnog, or when your Mother piles more turkey and gravy on your plate than you should ingest in three sittings?  Seriously, do you suppose relatives think we don’t eat all year around?  And then there’s the multitude of business Holiday engagements during the entire month of December.  It’s like managing the schedule of Tony Blair just to get to the gym once a week! 

There’s hope people.  Here are some healthy tips to prepare for the Holiday Eating Season.  Have faith and you’ll get by! 

1. Eat before you socialize – If you need to hit a couple of business Holiday parties after work, plan ahead and eat some sort of healthy snack so that you don’t show up famished and clear out the fried shrimp plate.  A.  You’ll embarrass yourself gobbling up all that cocktail sauce, B. You’ll be able to fit into those jeans at the end of the month if you avoid all that fried stuff.  And for goodness sake, step away from the dessert tray.  You think you were exhausted before you left the office?  That sugar high will drop you like an ex and have you under a cocktail table in minutes.  Heather Rider, a fitness and health expert suggests the following, “The best thing to do here is to have one or two large glasses of water.  You won’t be as tempted by the evil goodies because the water will give you a sense of “fullness” and can help curb sugar cravings.”

2. Mind over Matter – Let’s face it, even when you’ve had a snack before the party your mind wants to fool you into thinking that it’s been on a hunger strike in the Saharan desert.  So, try to not pick up a plate and load it with food.  Constrain yourself to the passed hors d’oeuvres and your tummy will thank you for it!  Heather also suggests staying away from socializing around the food table to avoid temptation and overeating.  

3. Drinkable Calories – If you are going to imbibe, try to go for beverages sans mixers and if you do mixers, stick to the diet soda.  Try a Cuba Libre with diet Cola (White Rum & diet Coca-Cola) or a Vodka Soda instead of the Cosmo or spiked Eggnog.  “A couple of things to keep in mind,” notes Heather, “More than two alcoholic beverages usually amounts to the same number of calories for an entire meal, and stay away from the scale for a couple of days after drinking.  You can add three to five pounds after drinking and that will mess with your head if you weigh yourself the morning after!”

4. Seasonal Goodies – If seasonal desserts are your thing, don’t torture yourself with extreme restraint.  Go ahead, have the pumpkin pie, but go for a little piece and sweet talk your colleague into sharing it.  A little tip, by the way, pumpkin pie is typically less calories than pecan pie.

5. Veggies are your Friend – Seasonal veggies such as squash, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes are really good for you as long as you don’t have them swimming in gravy!

6. Healthy Gift Options – Instead of bringing a box of chocolates to your next Holiday get-together with friends, think of bringing a festive fruit basket.  Think a Harry & David type of ensemble www.harryanddavid.com.  They are healthy and unique.

7. Respect your Exercise Schedule – If there’s one thing that suffers during the holidays it’s your exercise routine.  So be kind to yourself and realize that you’ll need to make adjustments in other areas when you feel like your exercise is being constrained by social commitments and Holiday travel.  Cut back on other non-exercise related things such as watching TV so that you don’t kill your workout schedule. 

8. Implement Creativity – Your workouts may be limited during this time of year, so implement some creativity around getting exercise.   After the turkey dinner suggest a long walk.  I don’t know about you, but in my experience going for a walk always tends to alleviate any stressful moments that invariably surround Holiday festivities with the family.  If your family is more sports minded, how about shooting some hoops at the local park or playing some ball in the backyard during halftime (because we know it’s serious football-watching season).  Personally I always enjoyed skiing as much as possible during the Holidays and if you happen to live on the West Coast, rub it in that the weather is gorgeous and go surfing. 

9. Interval Training– Heather recommends incorporating interval training as a fantastic way to keep your workouts going during the Holidays.  They are shorter and more intense than your typical workout making them more effective while being efficient.  Try walking three minutes on a treadmill and then sprint for 30 seconds and up to a minute.  Do this for 20 or 30 minutes.  If you are weight lifting, intersperse some jump rope intervals throughout the workout.  That way you get some cardio and weight training.

10. I’ve Run Out of Healthy Tips – How can one have a list like this and not have a number 10?!  So here’s the last one.  Enjoy yourself, enjoy your family, and talk yourself into enjoying your colleagues (most of you won’t have a problem doing this…right?).  Use every excuse in the book to celebrate the Holidays.

Tip of the Week
Worst case scenario and you fail at all of the above.  I say “Bon Appetite, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Festive Kwanza, Happy New Year, etc!”.  Enjoy yourself and get back into the spirit of working out in the New Year.  You may need some gentle, or in my case, not-so-gentle encouragement to get back into gear.  With that in mind, I recommend a good support system in the form of a personal trainer.  If you already have a trainer that you like, make sure you are in her book for January and February because guess what?  Everyone else is trying to schedule workouts during those months too!!!  If you don’t have someone, I recommend Heather Rider who kindly offered some pointers in this Blog.  Her energy is infectious and she’ll make sure you reach your fitness goals in a realistic and healthy fashion (for those of you who are like me and want to reach runway weight in two weeks…not so smart and this is why we need the Heather Riders of the world to rein us in).  Heather is a certified fitness expert and has been quoted in magazines such as Self, Fitness, and Marie Claire. She has also released a fitness DVD and teaches at Sports Club Beverly Hills and Gold’s in Venice.  Mention that you are one of Viviana’s Fashionistas and she’ll offer you a special package of 8 sessions for $560.00 (usually $720.00). Or you and a buddy can work out with her for a reduced rate of $45 per person.  Email her at riderfit@aol.com or call her at 310.508.7827.

Happy Beginning of the Holiday Season!
Viviana M. Rueda
Creative Founder
Vivendi Fashionista

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Responses

  1. […] Vivendi Fashionista added an interesting post on For All: Healthy Holidays.Here’s a small excerpt:Implement Creativity – Your workouts may be limited during this time of year, so implement some creativity around getting exercise. After the turkey dinner suggest a long walk. I don’t know about you, but in my experience going for a … […]


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