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Challenges to Eating During the Holidays




The Holidays are a fun time of year to enjoy family, friends and yes food.  However; for many people (athletes included) this time of year marks the beginning of a two-month long Holiday eating season (Halloween-New Year’s) that can end up in a few unwanted pounds.

In addition to the abundance of food that is available, runners may also be cutting back on mileage during the winter season.  Many runners I have worked with can hide poor eating habits with higher calorie needs.  When the holiday eating season begins, it is very difficult to manage eating.  

Besides being organized and planning meals, there are a few other ways you can prepare yourselves for the holidays.  Here is what I think are some of the challenges we face during the holidays:

1. Exposure to Challenging Foods

If you can, keep these foods out of sight.  The more times you have to see the food, the more likely you are to eat it.  You can also keep foods in the freezer or some place that isn’t easily accessible.  Even at the office, see if you can manage to avoid the “food room” or have co-workers bring goodies in unclear containers.  Seeing the food is most of the battle.  

Pre-package foods- putting some foods into smaller containers or snack baggies can help avoid the decision about “how much”.  Examples might be chex mix (1/2-1 cup servings), nuts (1/4 cup), cookies- 2/bag, etc.  

2. Stress

Many people cope with anxiety and stress by overeating.  Notice when you are stressed, this is not the time to clean the kitchen.  Avoid places where food is prevalent until you are in a more relaxed state.

Boredom can also be a form of stress to many people.  It is hard for many athletes to relax.  Do try to make time for “doing nothing”.  With practice, it becomes easier.  Catch up on some training books you have been wanting to read!

3. Expectation of overeating

It doesn’t feel good to overeat.  Don’t let people push food on you, set your boundaries.  

Make sure if you are attending multiple eating activities to pace yourself, you do have control over what you eat, quantity may be your best friend.  Go for smaller portions and notice how good it can feel to avoid overeating.  

4. Getting too hungry

Because of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, some athletes find they skip meals or snacks and then are too hungry to make good food decisions.  To help stabilize blood sugar, eat foods that contain fat, fiber or protein.  Healthy fat is found in peanut butter, nuts, avocados, salad dressings, oils (this food group is also high in calories so a little goes along way).  Protein is found in meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and beans.  Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.

Start breakfast with a good dose of protein found in dairy, eggs or nuts.  Fiber is also found in oatmeal, whole wheat bread and high fiber cereals (those with 5 or more grams of fiber/serving).  

Lunch and dinner can also include a vegetable plus a whole grain and fruit.  

Here are a few of my favorite holiday recipes that I enjoy making this time of year.  

 

Healthy Chex Party Mix

 

¼ cup of canola oil (or olive)

5 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

2 2/3 cup Corn Chex

2 2/3 cup Rice Chex

2 2/3 cup Wheat Chex

2 cups nuts (peanuts, mixed nuts, walnuts)

1 cup pretzels

  1. Set oven at 250 degrees.
  2. Place cereals, nuts and pretzels in roasting pan.
  3. Combine oil and seasonings, pour over cereal mixture in roasting pan, and stir to coat evenly.
  4. Bake 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper to cool.
  5. Store in large plastic zip-lock bag.

Makes 12 cups

 

White Chicken Chili

 

4 cups chicken broth

2 (19-ounce) can cannelloni beans (or white kidney beans), drained and divided

1 (16-ounce) can white navy beans, drained and divided

4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

1 cup chopped onion

1 (16-ounce) package frozen white corn

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, undrained

1 tsp. Ground cumin

¾ tsp. Dried oregano

¼ tsp. Ground red pepper

  1. Place 1 cup broth, 1 cup cannelloni beans, and ½ cup navy beans, in container of a food processor, cover and process until smooth.
  2. Place bean mixture, remaining broth, remaining cannelloni beans, remaining navy beans, chicken and remaining ingredients in a Dutch oven or soup pot.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Ladle chili into individuals bowls.

Makes 8 (1 ¼ cup servings)

Nutrition Facts per serving: 311 calories, 4 grams fat, 1.0 grams saturated fat, 33grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 365 mg sodium.

Recipe from Low-Fat Ways to Cook One-Dish Meals by Susan McIntosh, M.S., RD.

 

Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce*

 

Serves 8

8 medium Granny Smith apples or other tart cooking apples, cut into fourths (peeled or unpeeled)

2/3-cup sugar

¾ cup apple juice

1 Tablespoons margarine, melted

1-teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Mix all ingredients in 3.5-6 quart slow cooker.
  1. Cover and cook on high heat setting 1-½ hours to 2 hours or until apples begin to break up.  Stir well to break up larger pieces of apples.
  2. Serve warm or chilled.  To chill, cool about 2 hours, then spoon sauce into container; cover and refrigerated until chilled.

* Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker’s Slow Cooker Cookbook.

Julie Hansen – M.S., R.D.N, C.S.S.D., C.D.

Julie Hansen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an Exercise Physiologist.  She is also a Certified Intuitive eating Counselor and a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.   Julie has been working in this field for over 30 years and she loves it.

Her experience providing nutrition counseling and exercise prescription enables her to help a variety of clients, from competitive to recreational athletes;  from individuals wanting to lose or gain weight and from those of you with eating disorders.  I use the Intuitive Eating principles in all of my counseling.

ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENTS:

  • Running- 5K to Marathon distances including Boston.  Master’s Track-middle distance
  • Triathlons- Sprint distance
  • Course records- Triathlon-Huntsman Senior Games

wsueatrite@msn.com
http://www.juliehansennutrition.com

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017 at 5:05 pm and is filed under Fall/Winter 2017, Nutrition, Utah Running. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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