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November 2005 Newsletter

Healthy Holidays


Dear Fellow Business Traveler,


The holiday season is in full swing, with parties, buffets, and fruitcakes galore. The average American gains eight pounds during the holiday season! This month's article is filled tips to help you beat the odds.

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squareHealthy Holidays


Our Healthy Holiday tips focus on several different areas: goal setting, cooking healthy at home, surviving parties and dining out, and finding creative ways to stay fit during this busy season.

Goal Setting

The holidays are a busy time. Set a realistic goal to maintain your fitness level and weight, rather than trying to improve upon it during this hectic time of year.

Stress can easily lead to overeating and cause you to skip workouts. Keep your stress level low by declining activities and events that make your blood pressure go up. If you’re hosting an event, take short cuts like using healthy prepared foods and serving with paper plates and plastic utensils.

Remember to make time for yourself. Take a brisk walk alone or retreat to a secluded corner of the house with a good book and cup of tea.

Travel Fitness Blog
Skip the Sauces
Return the Bread Basket
Be Picky
Cooking and Eating at Home

Look for ways to make high-calorie dishes healthier by improvising and modifying the recipe. My husband came up with a great alternative to the traditional green bean casserole with mushroom soup: green beans mixed with a little olive oil, almonds, French fried onions, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Replace traditional recipes with lighter versions and fare. We like Food Network's Healthy Recipes.

If you simply must bake goodies, keep a small quantity for your family, but package the rest up and give them to neighbors, the mail carrier, or take them to your local police or fire and rescue station.

If you receive food gifts, don't open them. Take them into the office and leave them for your co-workers.

Keep to your regular eating schedule and healthy meals when eating at home. Skipping meals in an effort to "save" calories for the big party will slow your metabolism and make you more likely to binge at the main event.

Parties and Dining Out

If you’re attending a family dinner or pot-luck event, bring a health, low-calorie dish. At least you’ll know that there will be one item there that you can eat without guilt!

If you’re hosting a dinner or if you can find a willing friend or relative, simply cut down the number of foods and quantity that you serve. My family eliminated rolls and yams from our family feast last year, and cut back to a single pie.

Eat a healthy and balanced low-calorie meal before departing for parties. You'll be less likely to binge on high-fat, sugar-laden foods if you have a full stomach.

Take a small salad plate or bread plate through the buffet line, rather than a dinner plate.

Move away from the food table at parties serving hors d'oeuvres!

Try diet tonic, seltzer water, or ginger ale with a splash of fruit juice as a festive alternative to alcohol. You'll save countless calories and won't have to worry about drinking and driving.

Arrive on time at parties and gracefully exit early, so that you feel fresh the next day and can maintain your regular workout schedule.

Remember not to deprive yourself of all the goodies. Complete self-deprivation often leads to binging.

Staying Fit

Look for ways to combine family activities with fitness:
  • Bundle everyone up for a walk after dinner to look at the neighborhood holiday lights and decorations.
  • Insist on visiting the department store at the far end of the mall.
  • If you live within walking distance of a nice café or restaurant, walk to lunch or dinner. If not everyone wants to walk, let someone drive and meet you there.
  • Take the kids ice-skating or roller-skating and lace up!
  • Park at the farthest corner of the lot at the mall.
  • Schedule a family tennis, basketball, or badminton tournament.
  • Build a snowman or go cross-country skiing.
  • Take everyone for nine holes of golf at a par three golf course.
  • Do two laps around the mall before shopping.
Staying with family over the holidays makes it especially challenging to find time (and equipment) for exercise and eating healthy. Plan ahead and be creative.
  • Check online for nearby fitness centers. Most usually have a nominal fee for a day pass. Try http://www.healthclubs.com/.
  • Plot out a walking or running route. Check out http://www.runtheplanet.com/ for routes in cities throughout the US. Didn’t find anything nearby? Then plot your own route and submit it to the site!
  • Bring exercise bands and an “in-room” workout program such as the Travel Fit Kit.
  • Plan on early morning exercise, before everyone expects to see you at the breakfast table.


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