Surviving the Christmas Feast

It’s the holiday season! It’s a very fun time of year. I love seeing my  kids get excited!

I have been working with an awesome group of ladies who are committed to making good choices during this food-laden season. It’s not about deprivation. I like how one of the ladies put it… “I can have that cookie if I want, but I can choose to not have it too!”

Plus I feel very strongly that life is more than food. Yes, even during the holidays.

Our new group starts tomorrow! In the spirit of giving, you can have a friend join our group for free. There are 2 join options.  Let’s chat and decide which option is best for you!

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Do you need a little help staying on track this holiday season?

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Saving and Sharing

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I enjoyed a few days of spending extra time with my favorites while visiting extended family.

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My oldest requested to go Black Friday shopping. It wasn’t terribly crowded! I got some good deals and had fun with my girlies! We have always tried to teach the girls about budgeting and Friday was no exception. They have really big hearts, and want to buy gifts for EVERYONE, so it presents a teaching moment. One of the reasons that we should want to save money is so that we can SHARE with those in need. Today, I thought I would share some ways that you can save money in the kitchen and still eat healthy… so that you have more to share!

Eat at home. Did you know that some sources report that the average American eats out 4-5 times per week?? We all know that most restaurant meals are very large and high in sugar, fat, and sodium. It also gets expensive. Let’s say you spend $8 per meal/ $32 per week or $128 per month, and that is for 1 person… with a conservatively priced meal. The actual average per month for 1 person is $232.

Go meatless at least once a week.

Purchase seasonal produce.

Frozen veggies are OK! They have been flash frozen at their peak, so as long as you don’t cook them to death – you’re good!

Decrease processed food. Most processed “food” is full of chemicals that your body will have trouble processing.

Join a CSA.

Make your own seasoning mixes and salad dressings.

Stock up when there’s a good sale or coupon. However, just because it’s on sale or you have a coupon, does NOT mean that you have to buy it. Sure, if it’s something you were going to buy anyway or need to purchase in the future, go for it. If not, put it back… you can even leave the coupon sitting next to it for someone who might need it (if it’s a paper coupon).

Green bean casserole

If you are accustomed to using condensed cream of _______________ soup for casseroles, give this a try instead. We love it!

Green bean casserole (Dairy-free and gluten-free)

Three 15 oz. cans green beans

4 oz. can of mushrooms (optional)

½ cup onions

1 T. olive oil

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. pepper

5 T. gluten-free flour (all-purpose blend or whole wheat flour if not gluten-free)

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 onion, sliced

½ cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place sliced onions on parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with oil.  Toss to coat.  Roast the onions until they are browned, 25-35 minutes.  Stir frequently.

Change temp to 400. Saute ½ cup onions in 1 T. olive oil or water saute until crisp tender. Add spices. Add flour to make a roux. Add broth slowly, stirring constantly to get rid of lumps. Add almond milk slowly until mixture is thick. Add green beans and mushroms. Place green bean mixture in a casserole dish. Top with onions. Bake for 25 minutes. Top with sliced almonds and bake another 5 minutes. Serve!

Do you like green bean casserole?

Healthy Holidays – Social Tips

We are entering the holiday season! It is a joyous, thankful time, but it can also be stressful and busy. Good nutrition is key to feeling your best. Here are few tips to get you started in those social situations.

  1. Plan to indulge – At a party, pick 1-3 of your favorite indulgences – maybe your favorite dumplings or pecan pie. Indulge in 1-3 of those and fill up the rest of your plate with fresh fruits and veggies.
  2. Make it a holiDAY not a holiMONTH. You will likely be going to multiple holiday parties. I realize we live in America and food is everywhere, but treats are no longer treats when we eat them every day. Holiday food will appear everywhere from the break room to the grocery store. If it’s at the grocery store… let it stay at the grocery store. At work, bring in some fresh fruits and veggies to share or a healthier version of your favorite treat!  If you are asked to take leftovers, kindly say no thank you if you know you will be tempted to over indulge OR take food that you can put in the freezer for future use. You can also take leftovers to a widow or someone else in need. Better yet, invite them over if possible!
  3. Don’t beat yourself up over one over indulgence. You would actually have to eat an extra 3,500 calories to put on a pound. It’s common to weigh in 1-2 pounds the day after a big meal simply due to water retention. You can get back on track the next day!
  4. The holidays are about so much more than food. Make the event about the people, not the food! If you start feeling tempted to go back for a second piece of pie, engage someone in conversation instead!  blog5
  5. Make new holiday traditions that don’t involve food, such as  making wreaths, homemade ornaments, or other homemade gifts/crafts. You could also volunteer, play games, or go for a walk or drive to look at Christmas lights. We run a “Turkey Trot” every year on Thanksgiving morning. Our town doesn’t have  one of its own, so we just create one ourselves. When the kids were really little, we could just run around the house. I remember carrying Miss Spunky on my hip the first year. Hunky husband even “surprises” us with prizes every year.
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    My sisters and I went to a Christmas symphony performance last year

     

What are your favorite holiday traditions?