Last Weekly Tips for 2011

Posted on 26. Dec, 2011 by in Uncategorized

Well, 2011 is on its way out. If you feel like me, it never really took off, did it? Seemed like a repeat of 2010! Nothing really spectacular this year. OK,  I know I will get comments so I will acknowledge the “Royal Wedding”, the OMG and TMZ updates, the “K” family who I cannot stand/watch/tolerate, the war and conquers in the Middle East and the rise/fall of the economic status. But in reality, we are healthy, happy and a loving family — most of the time. So as we say good bye to this year and look forward to the next, reflect on the good, forget the bad and ignore the ugly.

This week’s tips are not so dedicated to previous formats but more of interesting articles and thoughts I have had over the past few weeks. 

TOP OF THE LIST = OVER INDULGING! AARRGGHH

As much as we try, consciously think, remove the temptations, those darn Italian cookies, Austrian sweet bread and other holidays treats just jump right into our mouths before we know it! I am all for don’t deny yourself because you will just want it more, so give in and have a small taste or sample. But lately those small samples have turned into half a pan of something oh so fabulous to taste and oh so nasty to digest and deal with the food hangover! So here are some ideas or call them tips to help yourself when you have overindulged:

Walk it off: No need for a brisk, speed-walking session, but around 20 minutes after your meal, a leisurely walk can assist in dispelling gas from your abdomen. What walking does is help to relieve overall intestinal pressure and therefore will reduce that uncomfortable bloating feeling. Walking also helps to get the blood flowing, which aids in the overall digestion process. Fresh air in itself can make you feel better too! Not able to head out into the fresh air, get to the mall and walk on the inside of the aisles to keep moving. One of my favorites is to briskly walk through a Super Target or Costco, some of them are huge. One day I wore my pedometer to see how far I walked — from my car, in the store, and out back to my car was 1 mile. Seriously, 1 mile!

Bloating-busting foods: About a half hour after you’ve indulged, if you can still stomach some food, try eating a small portion of either papaya, pineapple, or yogurt, since all of these food items are great in aiding in the digestion process. For instance, pineapple is high in the enzyme bromelain, which helps break down protein, making it easier for your body to digest your food.

Drink green tea: Help your body cut fat accumulation and cholesterol levels by drinking green tea during or after your meal. Controlled studies have shown that green tea contains certain polyphenols, or plant-based antioxidants, which help break down fat, thus helping to lower cholesterol level and BMI. Also Peppermint tea is a great aid in helping with abdominal discomfort.

Refrain from lying down: You may be tempted to hit the sofa for some post-party relief, but don’t! Wait at least three hours after your meal to avoid acid reflux since all those gastric juices will be working hard to help digest your food.

 Next time, don’t over eat!  Stick to your plan! Eat a big healthy meal before you attend that party, dinner or get together.  Take a small plate and nibble at the healthy stuff, but don’t pull the “I am not eating all day because of this party and then eat like a cow when I get there” scenario. You will feel terrible for hours!

INEXPENSIVE DATES THAT YOU CAN EVEN DO FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE.

You don’t need to break the bank for a fun, thoughtful date. Try these alternatives to a big-ticket night out:

 

1. Book it. Whitney was impressed when her now-husband suggested they hit the books. “In order to get to know each other better, he took me to a bookstore one afternoon,” she explains. “In each section, we both chose a book of interest and shared why we picked it, what was fascinating about that topic, etc. It was a great way to get to know each other’s tastes.” And while reading you can celebrate London New Year!

2. Go local. “Go on a sightseeing tour of your own city,” says Emily K. “Many times, people never take the time to see the historical or quirky landmarks in the city they live in unless an out of town relative is visiting, etc. So go to the library, grab a tourism book for your own city and put together a walking tour. It’s an easy conversation-starter and a good way to get some exercise, too.” There are also themed tours in major cities. San Diego has the “Brothel and Brew tour”. Check out your city’s tours.

3. Game the system. Board-game nights are popping up in cities and towns all over the country, and who doesn’t like to play? “These are becoming quite popular, and this is a fun activity that will give you insight into your date’s personality,” says Ian Coburn, author of God Is A Woman. “Like, does she cheat? Is she a stickler for rules? A poor winner or loser?”

4. Hit the streets. “One of the best first dates I went on, I was taken downtown where we walked around and got food from the carts set up along the street for about $6,” recalls Laura. “Then he took me to an arcade and handed me five dollars’ worth of quarters. We battled each other and actually got to talk and have fun.”

5. Plan carefully. “Here’s how to keep it inexpensive, without looking like a total cheapskate,” says Hal Elrod, author of Taking Life Head On! (The Hal Elrod Story). “Say, ‘I’m having an early dinner with some friends, so why don’t I pick you up after that and I’ll take you to get some ice cream.’” Then you can stroll together and chat. Cheap, yes, but very charming!

If you invest more in thinking about activities that will interest your date and give you time to get to know each other or re-introduce yourself to your mate, you’ll get a better return on your investment than if you go all out on an expensive evening.  (Margot Carmichael Lester is author of The Real Life Guide to Life After College and co-author of Be A Writer: Your Guide to the Writing Life.)

10 MOST IMPORTANT FOODS TO ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN

It’s midnight and your dinner seems like a distant memory. It’s much easier to keep your late-night nibbles low in calories if you have a few healthy ingredients on hand. Stock these 10 foods in your fridge at all times so you’ll always be ready to whip up a guilt-free meal or snack. No excuses. Only 10 here, but Jan. 2 Dr. OZ will have over 1000 staples for you to have at home.

1. Whole-Wheat Tortillas

Most of the carbs in whole-wheat tortillas are complex carbs, so you don’t have to worry about a spike in blood sugar levels. If you’re in a savory mood, sprinkle low-fat shredded cheese over a tortilla and toast for a deliciously melty snack. If you’re craving something sweet, indulge in a toasted tortilla drizzled with agave syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

2. Bananas

Sweet and satiating, bananas are a nutrient powerhouse abundant in potassium and fiber. Bananas are best eaten on their own, but you can concoct a million quick and simple snacks with the creamy yellow fruit. Slice a banana over oatmealor dip slices in almond butter for a flavor-packed, healthy bite.

3. Miso

Miso, a fermented soybean paste popular in Japan, may be an unexpected item to store in your fridge, but you’ll get tons of use out of this immunity-boosting spread. Mixed with hot water, the zinc-loaded paste dissolves into a tasty soup. Blended with other ingredients, it transforms into a full-flavored marinade for fish and meat entrees or a yummy salad dressing over leafy greens. Just be sure to choose a low-sodium variety at the grocery store.

4. Eggs

Protein-packed eggs are one of Mother Nature’s most versatile low-cal foods. One large egg costs you approximately 75 calories, though various ways of cooking it will change the total. Keep a dozen in your fridge and use these easy egg ideas when you’re stumped at supper or snacktime.

5. Milk

It’s always helpful to have a carton of calcium-laced milk on hand, whether it’s nonfat, soy, or almond. In minutes, whip up a healthy hot cocoawith chocolate and agave or a good-for-yousmoothie.

6. Almonds

A handful of raw almonds offer a wholesome alternative to greasy, crunchy snacks (read: potato chips and buttery crackers). But the sweet nuts also make a great addition to smoothies, cereals, and nonfat yogurt. Chuck your almonds (or other healthy nut) into the fridge to prevent its natural oils from oxidation, as oxidized oils have harmful free radicals. **A way to put 5&6 together? Unsweetened Almond Milk. It tastes great and very decedant.

7. Peanut Butter

Velvety smooth peanut butter often gets a bad rap as a fatty food, but eaten in moderation, it’s much more nourishing than plain butter. Peanut butter is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and folate, a B vitamin that produces new cells. Spread some on whole-grain pita or a few celery stalks for a filling snack, or opt for one of these healthy peanut butter recipes. Other nut butters, like almond, cashew, or walnut, serve as delicious options, too.

8. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is packed with casein, a protein that keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. Dip raw veggies in fat-free or reduced-fatcottage cheese when you want a tasty nibble, or mix in almonds and your favorite fresh fruit for a refreshing low-calorie dessert.

9. Mushrooms

Dense in antioxidants, mushrooms are a nutritious but often overlooked food. Whether you favor white button mushrooms or more exotic varieties like shiitake, keeping a bunch in the fridge will tide you over very well. They can be enjoyed on their own, folded into a simple eggomelet, or used in a scrumptious stir-fry.

10. Edamame

Do yourself a favor by snacking on steamed edamame, which are full of calcium, iron, and tons of other vitamins and minerals. The Japanese soybean, with its mildly sweet, nutty flavor, is one of the most versatile all-star ingredients. Blend the green beans into an easy veggie dip or toss in a light salad.

 

So much information and so little time. Take it and read it at your leisure, then be sure to check back and give us your input and feedback.  Have a very fabulous New Years and be safe!

 

 

 

 

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