>> Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Those of you who know me in real life know that I have little regard for portion sizes. I can down half a large pizza with the best of them. Then manage room for dessert. A beer or two. Etc.

To compare me to Adam Richman may be a stretch, but only a gentle one.

I work hard.
I play hard.
I eat . . . a lot!

But during the holidays, there's so much food around. And it's not exactly nutritious. Yeah, all that flour, butter, and sugar even gets to be too much for ME! Which is why this season, I'm vowing to think before I NOM my face off at the dinner table.

The One Drink Rule.

Booze is what gets me -- always. I don't drink a ton, but if I get into the 3 glasses of wine/beer range over the course of an afternoon/evening, I notice something about myself. Yes, I sound way more clever and look way better to my alcohol-steeped self than I do in real life. But I also eat mindlessly. For hours, if it comes to it.

So, I'm planning to stick to one adult drink per evening -- max (with a couple exceptions) -- throughout this next week-long period. And, really, in life. All the more excuse to chug our good friend H2O.

Avoiding Creeps.

Just because I'm attending a holiday party at night doesn't mean I can't eat well the rest of the day. But I've been eating cookies for breakfast like they're bran flakes. From this day forward, I plan to avoid the sugar-creep by eating a well-balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Even if it means passing on some stuff (though, we'll get to this in the next tip), I'd rather feel good at the end of the night than like a bloated, dazed version of myself with a headache (can you tell I speak from recent personal experience?).

Being Selective.

How many times have you tried something just because your grandma wanted you to? Or stuffed an extra cookie down your gullet because it was, well, there? I want to be more selective. Choose a couple meal and dessert items that really sing to my taste buds. If all of it looks amazing, I'll take it all -- but in small portions. Eat it slowly. Listen to my brain alert me that I'm full.

Because stuffed shells can always be frozen. Soups and other side items as well. And if grandma keeps pestering me about that lonely piece of pecan pie (I'm not a fan), I will politely say "No, thank you. I'm full."

Remembering Good-For-You Friends.

Like whole fruits and veggies. They, too, can have a place on the holiday dinner table. Even as dessert! Last I checked, I'm not a kid. Far from it, in fact. So, that plate of carrot sticks and broccoli? Pass 'em over. Even if I eat an entire gingerbread house afterward, I've gotten my good stuff in for the day.

So, if you really can't abstain from all the goodies . . . be sure to keep a steady flow of whole (living) foods in your body. The vitamins and minerals will help keep you healthy. You may even fill up on the green stuff first! Crazier things have happened.

Saving Room for Dessert Exercise.

OK. You can also save room for chocolate. But consider starting your Christmas morning with a short, brisk jog around the neighborhood. "Uhm, Ashley -- there's no time," you say. "It's the HOLIDAYS. Plus, my gym is closed!" Think about it: A 15 to 30 minute jaunt in the cold will only invigorate you. It's all good. Because as much as moving your body will help burn calories -- you'll also release some pent-up stress.

If you're with family, get them involved, too. Maybe some yoga with your mother-in-law. Push-ups with your brother. A quick basketball game with your cousins. Even a plain old walk is better than nothing.

What do you do to keep yourself in check over the holidays? Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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