Monday, 24. November 2014

Trim and Healthy Through the Advent- It Can Be Done!!

Fat, sugar and alcohol as far as the eye can see! Biscuits, cookies, christmas cakes, chocolate, nuts, punch and a hearty meal await the day... and are also waiting to line your hips, stomach and behind. Christmas markets and mulled wine stalls test your iron will and every visit to friends and family is like running the healthy person's gauntlet. During Advent, he who does not indulge is often berated as a party-pooper. Is there another way? - Yes there is!

You should at least offer healthy holiday treats in your own home - or specifically look for them at the Christmas market. To save face at the market, you can always make the excuse of being the designated driver and say that you're not drinking or are only drinking a little because you enjoy having a driver's license, thanks very much!

While it goes without saying that tons of butter and around 25 to 55 calories are hiding in each vanilla crescent cookie (Vanilla Kipferl), even roasted chestnuts have about 30 calories a piece. However, the fat content of nutty fruits is only two percent (compared to other nuts, which contain up to 70 percent fat). Additionally, chestnuts quickly fill you up, whereas cookies can easily be eaten by the plate. Not only are chestnuts more filling, but you also feel more mentally fit afterwards because the linoleic acid in chesnuts also gets the brain's metabolism going. Not only good for the brain, chestnuts also reduce blood pressure thanks to their high potassium content. For the purpose of healthy Advent snacking, chestnuts will lift your mood, do your bones and muscles good, and strengthen your immune system. While you're at it, fragrant apples baked with cinnamon and cloves are a delicious dish that certainly add to a healthy Christmas spirit.

When serving drinks at home, you also have the choice to use less alcohol and sugar. A fruit punch flavored with cinnamon, star anise and cloves has wonderfully Christmassy flavor and is also suitable for younger guests. Kids also like mandarins, clementines, unshelled peanuts or dried apricots as stocking stuffers or gifts for St. Nicholas' Day. Although dried fruits and nuts are also high in calories, they are low in fat and have many healthy properties. It's also not as tempting to eat a plate full of fruits and nuts as it is to eat a plate full of Christmas cookies. Stay strong and stick to your guns; snacking during the holiday season is simply a slipperly slope. It starts small... just a bite of this cookie, just a taste of that one, maybe a bite of cake.. you try to be good but we all know that sugar-free treats just don't really cut it... Christmas is really an attack on the waistline, but it's an attack you can be prepared for!

That said, you really don't have to give up all of your favorite holiday treats. A healthy amount of brisk movement in the cold winter air kills off at least one or two indulgences before they add up to an extra trouser size. If you know there is a pending visit to friends or the Christmas market, simply reduce your calories at breakfast and lunch. Then, instead of having mulled wine at the market, opt for a nice cup of cinnamon tea - plus a few low-calorie anise cookies. The day after, consider fasting or hitting the sauna. In the long run, one vanilla crescent cookie really isn't that big of a problem. Or two vanilla cookies...or maybe three...