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FEATURES Jan 1 2013 8:50AM

Sticking to Healthy New Years Eating Resolutions

By Cassidy Blackwell, Natural Selection Blog
Last year on New Year’s Eve, I sat down at one of my favorite restaurants and ordered a filet mignon.  The cut of meat arrived at my table beautifully prepared, medium rare (just how I like it!) and simply, but tastefully, seasoned.  I devoured the entire filet, sipping on a rich red wine throughout the dinner and an equally rich dessert. As I sat back in my seat after my plate was cleared, I realized that while this should have been a memorable and special dining experience, I found actually little to no enjoyment from my meal.

Every year magazines and blogs are filled with the same stories between November and December: “Watching Your Waistline During the Holidays ,”  “Low-Cal Christmas Meals,” and “Healthy Holiday Eating.”  However, overindulgence is a difficult problem to avoid during the holidays.  Last year I found myself eating fatty and fried finger foods with reckless abandon, eating out frequently, gobbling down huge plates of Thanksgiving food (not to mention the leftovers) and sipping on more than my fair share of sugary cocktails to celebrate holiday cheer.
To add insult to injury, I decided to completely ignore any semblance of a workout schedule.  My sedentary lifestyle coupled with my holiday hedonism caused my belly to balloon over the top of even my stretchiest pants.  By the time my infamous steak dinner rolled around, I had easily gained about 20 pounds of holiday weight. 
In January I did a 4-week detox and rejuvenation that involved removing gluten, dairy, alcohol, sugar, red meat, nightshade plants, and caffeine as a way of resetting not just my body, but also my mind.  Through this process, I became more aware of the foods that I was eating and how to eat for fuel as opposed to the mindless snacking I had fallen into over the holidays.  Through the rest of the spring, I focused on toning my muscles through pilates classes and improving my overall fitness with biking and running. 

This year, I’m going into them aware that I don’t want to make the same mistakes in eating, diet and [complete lack of fitness] that I made last year.  Here is a rundown of my plan:

**Think before you travel: instead of splurging on the calories of airport or airplane food before your holiday, make yourself a protein rich meal to take with you using a grain, meat and favorite veggies.  Also, head to a health food store and get some snacks in bulk—my favorites are almonds and dried apricots.
**Sharing is caring—get someone else who is invested in doing practicing different habits this year, have them be open and honest about being .

**Don’t surround yourself with people during the holidays who can’t maintain your accountability.  Even if it’s a phone call or a facetime, but checking in with someone who can keep you honest.

**Use a small plate instead of a big dinner plate at seated dinners and buffets. We are conditioned to finish what is on our plate, so get a smaller plate and enjoy everything, just less of it.  Get a second helping of your favorite dish!

** Eat a heavy nutrient dense dinner before going to a cocktail party so that you’re not filling up on fatty, fried foods. Try quinoa or sweet potatoes with chicken and lots of veggies!

**Stick to wine instead of beer or sweet sugary drinks. If you’re going to have liquor, drink club soda (not tonic water!).  

**Schedule your workouts! Holidays are busy, so make sure you make time by scheduling your fitness in advance.
For more tips and tricks on wellness and fitness, check out my new series called Natural from Within!


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