BEWARE of “Hidden” calories during the Holidays
Holiday gatherings and eating go hand in hand that’s why most people gain weight between Thanksgiving, and New Years Day. Often this holiday gain lingers past the holidays and can lead to gradual weight gain over the years.
If you’re going to a party:
Choose small, low-calorie meals earlier in the day. This will balance out the calories you’ll eat at the party. Eat a piece of fruit to fill up before you go.
Choose boiled shrimp or veggies and a little dip instead of cheese or fried foods. And watch your intake of fat and “empty calories” in sweets, such as eggnog and pumpkin pie. A half a cup of eggnog has 9.5 grams of fat and 171 calories, while one slice of pumpkin pie packs a whopping 14 grams of fat and 316 calories. If possible, satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruits or angel food cake instead.
Foods on the dinner plate also may have hidden calories. For example, half a cup of stuffing has nearly 9 grams of fat and 178 calories.
If you drink alcohol, have only one drink then switch to water. Alcohol is high in calories.
Interval Training Could be for you!
Are you ready to shake up your work-out routine? Do you wish you could spend less time at the gym? Consider interval training.
Interval training involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with what is called active recovery, which typically a less-intense form of the original activity. The advantages of interval training are that it utilizes the body’s two energy-producing systems: the aerobic and the anaerobic. The aerobic systems are the one that allows you to walk or run for several miles, that uses oxygen to convert carbohydrates from various sources throughout the body into energy. The anaerobic system, on the other hand, draws energy from carbohydrates (in the form of glycogen) stored in the muscles for short bursts of activity such as sprinting, jumping or lifting heavy objects. This by-product, lactic acid, is responsible for that achy, burning sensation in your muscles that you feel after, say, running up several flights of stairs.
What can interval training do for me? Whether you’re a novice exerciser or you’ve been exercising for years; interval training can help you jazz up your workout. Consider the benefits:
You’ll burn more calories:
The more vigorously you exercise the more calories you’ll burn
You’ll improve your aerobic capacity
You’ll keep boredom at bay
The following is a typical interval workout. Alternating the same period of low intensity with the same period of higher intensity.
1. 3 – 5 minutes warm-up ( low intensity, gradually increasing at the end of the warm up period)
2. 1 minute moderate or high intensity followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 6 – 8 times)
3. 3 – 5 minutes cool down (light jog, low intensity, gradually decreasing by the end of the cool down period)
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) bell peppers, any color
- 5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2/3 cup whole-wheat elbow noodles or other small pasta
- 1 pound frozen mixed soup (or stew) vegetables (including potatoes, carrots, celery, onion), thawed, chopped
- 1 cup frozen baby lima beans, thawed
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
- 1/2 cup diced pepperoni
- 3 cups lightly packed coarsely chopped curly endive or chard, tough stems removed
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
***For added caloric reduction, replace pepperoni with turkey pepperoni
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add broth, oregano and thyme; bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions.
- Add mixed soup (or stew) vegetables and lima beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil until the vegetables are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, pepperoni and endive (or chard); return to a boil. Adjust the heat and simmer until the endive (or chard) is just tender, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper and garnish with Parmesan, if desired.
Per serving: 213 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 14 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 5 g fiber; 721 mg sodium; 352 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (50% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv).
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 fat