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SBC-Bob Evans Holiday MerchandisingToday’s nutrition post comes from Brooke Schohl, MS, RD. Thanks for sharing your expert advice, Brooke!

You know it’s the holiday season when…

  • Mounds of brownies and cookies loom around every corner.
  • You have 4.5 parties on the agenda each weekend.
  • Brie wheels become your primary dairy intake.
  • Everything is chocolate covered.
  • Peppermint and pumpkin make their way into your favorite coffee drink.
  • An adult beverage of some sort accompanies every meal.
  • Vegetables are escorted by cream and butter everywhere they go.
  • Your mantra becomes “I’ll start over January 1st!”

The holidays are the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family, enjoy food and drink, reflect on the good, bad, and ugly of the year, and to give thanks for everything great in your life. It is NOT the time to embrace an eating free-for-all, swear off all physical
activity, and pack on a bunch of pounds. Here are some totally manageable tips to get you through this magical season trim and healthy, while still enjoying your favorites and feeling satisfied:

Eat your holiday favorites… but keep it in check.

Stay balanced here – don’t go crazy, but also don’t eliminate foods that you wait all year for. Take one piece of pumpkin pie, and really enjoy it!

Makeover holiday favorites.

Just because grandma’s green bean casserole recipe calls for a stick of butter and 4 cups of cheese doesn’t mean that yours has to. Challenge yourself to come up with alternate ingredients that cut the fat but keep the flavor. Example: substitute applesauce for oil while baking, or yogurt for sour cream in dips.

Stay active.

Turkey Trots, Reindeer Runs, walking your pups around the block. Don’t let exercise become a thing of the past over the holidays! Especially if you plan on enjoying some favorite, not-so-waistline-friendly foods. Maintain your cardiovascular fitness and self-confidence by being active.

Maintain a balance of carb, protein, and fat at each meal.

(Plus fruit and vegetables.) A sure-fire way to minimize unwanted weight gain is to eat a wide variety of foods. Example: Salmon (protein/healthy fat), brown rice (quality carb), and sautéed spinach (vegetable), or grilled chicken (lean protein) with wheat pasta (quality carb) and pesto sauce (vegetable/healthy fat).

Choose healthy snacks at parties.

It is possible to find healthy options at most parties… really! Shrimp cocktail, vegetable platters, chicken skewers, and hummus are great choices. Watch out for high fat creamy dips, sugary alcoholic beverages, and high calorie desserts. You can also save yourself the temptation altogether and eat at home pre-party.

It’s EASY to eat unhealthy during this season – CHALLENGE yourself to stay on track with a healthy diet.

Junk food will be at every turn this holiday season – pick and choose your can’t-live-withouts and make the rest quality choices. Half the battle is simply being aware of what you’re eating!

Follow these tips and reap the benefits. Feel better, avoid the guilt of holiday overeating, maintain weight and fitness, and ultimately be better prepared for next year’s training/race season!

For more information on Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching, contact Brooke at [email protected]