Friday, December 21, 2012

Emily’s Twelve Days of Holiday Inspiration!

Emily’s Twelve Days of Holiday Inspiration

December 21
Don’t worry you can eat your chocolate this holiday season! Just make sure it’s dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, can help with weight loss, and has mood-enhancing properties. Portion size is still important, so stick to one piece or one dessert. Enjoy!
December 22
To stay cheerful during the cold winter months create a Gratitude Journal. Go shopping for your gratitude journal. Pick out one the feels good to you. Write Gratitude Journal on the cover. Every morning, write down 10 things you are grateful for. Research shows that practicing gratitude makes us feel better.
December 23
            Drink water before appetizer time at Holiday parties! This will help you eat less throughout the evening.
December 24
            Take walks after Holiday meals. Make it a group activity! Movement does the body good.

December 25
            Looking to order healthy desserts? If you live in West Los Angeles, call up Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, Saints & Sinners, or Café Gratitude. They all make delicious gluten-free, wheat-free, and sugar-free, vegan, and raw desserts for pick up on the day of your holiday party. Café Gratitude, in Hollywood and Venice, makes to-die-for cheesecakes. You would never know it’s packed full of nutrients. This Christmas why not have gluten-free vegan Christmas cookies and raw desserts to avoid that sugar high and have someone else make them for you?!!
P.S....Merry Christmas!

December 26
            Want to say “I love you” to your holiday house guests with a little spice? Add a pinch or two of cinnamon to your coffee grinds. The aroma is wonderful and your friends and family will be smiling. Serve it in the morning when everyone wakes up or with dessert at your holiday parties. Cinnamon also has great health benefits: It boosts memory, lowers cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, and is anti-bacterial! 
December 27
  Holiday foods can pack in a lot of calories and saturated fat. Please check out this list to see which foods you should avoid at the holiday table.
The Worst offenders:
Eggnog – An 8 oz. serving can exceed 250 calories and 5 grams sat fat (Wouldn’t you rather have dessert?)
Dips – Many are made with heavy cheese, and are high in calories and saturated fat. Add crackers and chips and the calories go higher. Please choose hummus or salsa instead.
Creamy Soups – Some contain an entire entrée’s worth of calories because of the whole milk and heavy cream. For healthier soups stick to broth based soups or vegetable purees made with water or skim milk.
Mashed Potatoes – The butter, whole milk, and heavy cream make this an unhealthy choice and high in calories and saturated fat.
Pecan Pie – This dessert is very high in calories because of the nuts, sugar, and often the scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is also high in saturated fat. One piece can be 600 calories. You might want to choose a slice of pumpkin pie for a lower-calorie option.
December 28 
Here’s a list of The Best Foods to Choose and why:
Sweet Potatoes – A holiday favorite! They are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants!
Cranberries – These berries are low in calories, and rich in fiber and potassium.
Cacao – Small amounts of chocolate may lower your risk of stroke or heart disease. Please choose at least 70% dark chocolate for your hot cocoa drinks!
Turkey – Turkey is a great source of protein, which triggers satiety so you are less likely to overeat.
Green Beans – This green vegetable is a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, K and manganese, fiber, potassium, folate, and iron.  
December 29 
Use alternative sugars while baking this holiday season. Stevia, agave nectar, honey, yacon syrup, and coconut sugar are great all natural low-calorie sugar substitutes. If you use honey, try raw honey if possible for the most health benefits. All of these alternatives are also low-glycemic, and therefore much healthier for your body. Alternative sugars are the way to go this year!
December 30
 The holidays can be a stressful time of year, so it is important to practice relaxation techniques. Incorporate yoga, pilates, or meditation into your schedule. Exercise is also important; for some people, a good sweat is just like meditating. We all need to take time for ourselves and to give to our bodies, which also aligns the spirit. When we take care of ourselves, we can be more present for our loved ones.
December 31 
Practice an attitude of gratitude by giving back this holiday season. Volunteering, donating, or just a friendly smile to brighten up someone’s day are all selfless acts of kindness. Perhaps have everyone bring a toy to your holiday party that you can then donate to an organization for children in need. Love and giving back is really what the holiday season is all about.
January 1 
 Incorporate the top 10 detoxifying foods in your Holiday menus. Kale, onions, garlic, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, and watercress cleanse the body of toxins. Make a stew and add carrots, cabbage, broccoli and onions! Serve fresh blueberries and strawberries for dessert! Saute kale in olive oil, onions and garlic for a yummy side dish or make a kale salad. Your guests will leave your party feeling satisfied and happy, not overly full and gross, like many people do when they leave parties, when you add detoxifying foods to your holiday table. Make these dishes and ingredients staples in your home! It is the new year after all, lets make it a year of love, life and healthiness!

Wishing You Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! 
Love, Emily

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