It's coming: The onslaught of delectable holiday treats. Right now, there's a plate of "stained glass cookies" that my daughter made last night sitting on my kitchen island. I can virtually guarantee that my neighbor will soon be stopping by with the delicious homemade chocolate peanut-butter balls that she makes every year. And later today, my kitchen will be humming with the production of raisin squares, brownies, cookies and a traditional Scottish steak-and-kidney pie (yes, some family traditions are a bit disgusting...).
In the past, I'd have simply given up and surrendered to the temptations of the season -- no matter what they were. But now, my stay-healthy strategy is simple and effective:
1. If it's not special, skip it. I save my splurges for the things that really come along once a year. Brownies? No way -- I can get those any old time. Homemade chocolate peanut-butter balls? Sign me up!
2. Savor the traditions. Sure, that steak-and-kidney pie is just about one of the most unhealthy foods on the planet. But my Scottish grandmother made it every year, as did my mother. Though they're long gone, one bite brings them both right back to the table for me.
3. Pump it up. Though time is short right now, I still get in my workout -- even if it's dancing around the kitchen to funky Christmas tunes or letting my dog chase me around the island at top speed (really, that could be my daily workout -- he never gets tired of it).
4. Remember the protein.A nice pumpkin pie protein shake makes a great breakfast and makes it easy to get some protein in to counteract the crash that comes from eating too many fatty treats.
5. Leave the leftovers. I'm not hosting this holiday, so all treats will be left behind for the hostess and her family to enjoy. Not having to face down leftover cookies makes it much easier to avoid overindulging.
6. Relax (or as my 12-year-old would say, "Chillax"). The holidays are all about family and friends. Who wants to spend them worrying about every bite?
I won't be blogging on Thursday, so I'll simply say Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. May you all enjoy a wonderful time with those who are dear to you.