Seven Personal Chef Tips to Beat Holiday Buldge
According to The Chicago Tribune, we gain an average of 7-15 pounds from holiday ovyer-eating (Its easy to visualize a pound of butter.
Now envision 15. That’s tip #1.) But, food and merriment are part of our holiday tradition and skipping out on the bacon wrapped blue cheese stuffed mushrooms at the cocktail party or the pecan praline french toast casserole on Christmas morning, I make that one, is sort of Scroogy. So with holiday bloat avoidance in mind, I’d like to offer the following personal chef tips to help you enjoy holiday eating while minimizing potential weight gain. Here goes…
You’ve heard it before, but it works. Fill up on water before the party, during the party and after the party. It will help clear your system, counter the excessive sodium holiday food often contains and fills you up so maybe you sample rather than gorge. To liven up your water add fresh fruit or a few slices of cucugmber. I keep a pitcher of water with sliced lemon, lime and orange in my refrigerator at all times.
Eat Smart Between Events
You don’t have to live off carrots and bone broth, but eating sensibly in between food events will help keep the bloat at bay. When my personal chef clients are trying to loose or avoid gaining weight, we include recipes from CookiLight.com and EatingWell.com. Many are easy to prepare, tasty and interesting enough to keep you excited about what you’re eating while staying on the zero weight gain track. Plus, you can do recipe searches focused on your chosen dietary strategy…low carb, low cal, low fat, gluten free, dairy free, etc.
Cook in Advance
If you make two or three healthy dinners on Sunday, assuming you’ll eat dinner and leftovers from each, you’ll have all of your weeknight dinners done and won’t be tempted to call for pizza delivery when you’re too worn out to cook. Also, freeze one or two single portions of each meal to take for lunch another time.
Plan Your Eating
When your day includes a donut breakfast from vendor #1, a pizza lunch from vendor #2 and happy hour with vendor #3, you have to plan your consumption. Think it though up front and skip the donut if the pizza is from your favorite place and go easy on the happy hour cocktails and nibbles. On days when you know the food at the dinner party will be spectacular, bring one of the delicious, healthy meals you set aside from your Sunday cooking to have for lunch. And alway, break up your eating with a glass or two of water…before, during and after.
Sneak in Healthy Eating
If you’re the one doing the cooking, lightening up holiday favorites doesn’t have to be complicated and most guests won’t notice. Make mashed potatoes with half cauliflower and half potato. Use half or less of the oil the recipe calls for. When I roast Brussels sprouts, I toss them in a zipper bag with a tiny bit, like 1 t per pound, of olive oil up front rather than drizzling globs all it over them on the baking sheet. Make smaller or fewer portions of the high calories recipes. You can’t overindulge if there’s nothing left to eat. And if leftovers are a must, set them aside and put them away up front so you won’t be tempted to take the second helping during dinner.
Skip Fat Free, Sugar Free Ingredients Unless Absolutely Necessary
I know it’s tempting to use fat free cream cheese or light butter, but unless it’s needed for a health issue, it’s a bad decision. Often the recipe won’t work properly or the taste will be sacrificed. You’re almost always better off to use less of the full fat ingredient or just avoid the recipe all together. There’s nothing worse than waiting all year to enjoy grandmas banana pudding only to be disappointed because it tastes like chemical sweetener.
I think this should cover it. If you have ideas to add send them my way and I’ll include them in another blog post. And, if you have questions or need help with any of my personal chef suggestions just ask! Happy holidays!