Friday, November 25, 2011

Healthier Holidays

Healthier Holidays

Healthy Holidays

You know those times after you’ve eaten Christmas lunch and gone a little overboard? There’s that moment you wish you’d mastered bulimia so you didn’t have to undo your pants (and also so you could maybe eat some more). You kind of splay yourself somewhere until your body manages to process the embarrassing quantities of food you just ate. Quantities that would make an obese person do a little jig. Don’t look away – you know what I’m talking about.  We all do, which is why it’s time to separate yourself from the gluttonous mass consuming swarms this festive season and try something different.

No expanding your gut to Father Christmas-style proportions at the table deal? You don’t have to be a saint, just consider a few simple alternatives:

Go easy on the snacking. We all know Christmas lunch takes eons to prepare but, just like you would on any other day, have a sensible breakfast in the morning;  maybe even a snack midway through.

If you’ve already eaten something by the time lunch is served, you’re less likely to unhinge your jaw and swallow the entire table from hunger.

If you can’t resist a snack bowl, skip the piles of crisps lying around.

Do a U-turn if someone offers you nacho chips with sour cream. Punch someone in the face when they say you simply have to try the three cheese dip.

Run! Wait!!! —   this is your house and you can do whatever you want, so don’t even serve this stuff in the first place. Rather, put out some sliced veggies with a hummus dip, bowls of olives, gherkins and pickled onions, or strips of toasted pita bread with a sweet chili and avo dip —  way healthier.

If you’re making mash potatoes, try preparing it with sweet potatoes instead of regular ones, which are higher in kilojoules. The sweet potato option is low GI too, so it’ll impress that old, sickly aunt of yours that feels faint all the time.

Skip the meat. You’re not a Viking okay? It won’t kill you to skip the piles of pork, turkey, chicken and whatever other animal you tear into every Christmas to opt for something a little less greasy. Look at your cousin at the end of the table, yeah, the vegetarian. Sure she’s a little pale and cries a lot, but she’s skinnier than you — ever wonder why? Try a vegetable dish or a vegetarian meat substitute and skip the skin on the chicken.

Aaaarrrgh! You’ve got to be drunk to survive but it will help. Try sticking to stuff like whisky and water instead of sugar filled cocktails and coolers. It goes without saying that you’ll need to get a little sloshed to make it through the day with so many family members around, but if you stick to a light white wine and drink slowly, you should be fine. If you’re mixing drinks, stick to diet soda and avoid telling everyone at the table you hate them it’s just embarrassing.

Jacky Letard is an experienced online content writer who enjoys writing about various topics such as natural health practice, festive foods, nhp omega 3 plus and holiday exercise.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vegetarian Holiday

 

Vegetarian Holiday

Vegetarian Holiday

 

Vegetarian Holiday

Christmas dinner is a glorious time to eat everything in sight. Turkey, goose or ham graces the table with other meat dishes. For most of the diners, this is wonderful. For a vegetarian, most of the traditional dishes leave very little for the plate. Uninformed people think that vegetarians are regulated to eating only vegetables and jello molds. This could not be further from the truth. Here are five vegetarian substitutes for the traditional Christmas feast.

 

Meat Substitutes

There are several commercial meat substitutes such as Tofurkey®, Quorn Turk’y Roast, “Vegetarian Plus” Whole Turkey, which is shaped like a turkey, and Harvest Celebration Field Roast. These products are made using soy, wheat, tempeh, and other meat substitutes. Cooking directions are on the package, and these products are seasoned just like the real thing. Vegan ham is a great tasting substitute, and is shaped like a ham. Prepare and slice the same as the real thing. Make a turkey substitute at home from tofu. Recipes abound on the internet. Since tofu has no taste of its own, season the same as a turkey.

 

Textured Vegetable Protein

Use these dehydrated protein granules instead of meat in greens, green beans and other dishes otherwise flavored with bacon, salt pork and other meats. For flavor, rehydrate the granules in water containing seasonings.

 

Serve Different Main Dishes

Instead of a turkey, goose or ham, serve a vegetarian lasagna or stuffed cabbage rolls. Some people eat the turkey out of politeness, but don’t prefer the taste. These dishes allow the vegetarian as well as others to enjoy non-traditional dishes and enjoy the feast. Use lentils, chickpeas, or beans to make a loaf or burgers. Season these to the diner’s taste.

 

Make Other Dishes the Centerpiece

Squashes combined with textured vegetable protein, beans or other vegetables make great main dishes on their own. Butternut squash filled with grains, beans, vegetables and broth makes a wholesome meal by itself. Serve different types of stuffed squashes and watch the guests enjoy. One wonderful thing about squashes is they can be served in their shell; no extra dishes needed. Season each squash accordingly.

 

Don’t Forget Dessert

Many desserts are made with animal fats, eggs and milk. Depending on the diner, these may or may not be acceptable. Research the internet or recipe books for traditional recipes made differently for vegetarians. Place these dishes on the table in a grouping. Inform guests of the ingredients, and let everyone choose for himself or herself. Having vegetarian substitutes for a traditional Christmas feast is not hard work. Most products and ingredients are available in local grocery stores. The cost is minimal, and the feast will be remembered for years.

 

 

 

 

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