Oh, the mistletoe, the garland, the outside lights ... it's the Holidays! And it's "eating season," the time that can derail us and create those annual stressors.
According to a recent survey on the Today Show, 2 out of 3 people will gain 6 pounds over the holidays. Here are some tips to help you stay calm, fit, and happy through the New Year.
Don't postpone your fitness program during the holidays.
This single decision can leave you with unwanted extra pounds and more stress. While you may not stick to your usual regimen, the key to keeping your exercise in your routine is to book it as a meeting in your calendar. So, make sure you actually schedule time into your day for your exercise and create a reminder on your phone to alert you to your commitment to yourself!
Feeling the holiday stress? Try something new!
Do you have every gift wrapped? Is your home ready for the holidays? Certain triggers can create "holiday stress" resulting in sleepless nights and more. To get your balance back, try a new physical activity such as yoga, Pilates, or aerobics. At home, pop in a fitness DVD or surf the web and download a workout to get you going. And, since the kids are home, invite them outside to a game of Chase! They'll benefit as well. And, for you, the benefits offset stress, calories, and make you feel so much better!
But, it's the Holidays!
Remember to enjoy the festivities of the season as well and to keep a balanced perspective. After all, it's time to have fun and enjoy your family and friends. So, do allow yourself a few holiday treats in moderation. And remember that the what matters is the overall total calories consumed and the overall total expended through physical activity over the entire holiday period. One or two splurges aren't going to derail your efforts! So, in the spirit of the Holidays, we are including some fun recipes you can take to an office party or serve to your guests at home.
Pistachio Guacamole (source: Martha Stewart)
6 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
In a bowl, mash avocados and lime juice together with a fork. Fold in all but 3 tablespoons pistachios; season with salt. Top with remaining pistachios and serve immediately with tortilla chips.
Pear-Almond Tart (source: Fitness Magazine)
A lighter crust lets the pears take center stage in this delicious dessert.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 firm Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 12 wedges each
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mist a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice and brown sugar.
In a food processor, pulse together the almonds and granulated sugar until mixture is light and fluffy; add flour, baking powder and salt. Add the egg and lemon zest and slice in the butter. Pulse until the mixture just begins to come together.
Turn the dough into the pan and press it over the bottom. Arrange the pears over dough in a circular pattern. Brush the fruit with a teaspoon of the brown sugarlemon juice mixture remaining in the bowl, reserving any leftover liquid.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until dough is puffy and golden brown. Brush fruit with brown sugarlemon juice mixture after 40 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan before serving.