Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy New You - Part I

We are in the midst of the holiday season and it feels grand...well mostly because I like seeing twinkly lights and the warm and fuzzy feeling that accompanies them. Although I must admit the usual stress of gift-giving is creeping up and the temptations of treats and sweets will be ever present in no time at all. Which leads me to my newest health initiative. Get healthier now. Why wait until New Year's?

After spending several years focusing on feeling well everyday I've found that a pretty stict diet, sleep, and exercise works wonders for me. And steering away from this plan on occasion has shown me how much I'd rather stick with it, even during the holidays. Moderation is a great plan for most people and I think if you can feel great with a little wine or sugar...go for it!

But I learned that even a little sugar, without supplementing with lots of healthy food (veggies, brown rice, etc) does me in. Case in point: Thanksgiving. I kept it as vegan as possible and my family was very supportive...but ended up eating all white food and sugar: mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry relish, dinner rolls, and apple pie. I had the best of intentions to bring home some healthy greens and colorful veggies but at the time I couldn't justify doing the cold walk to Whole Foods and schlepping them to the boondocks of rural Lancaster County.

When at home, I also am more succeptible to slipping into old habits. While I didn't touch a lick of dairy, I did partake in some legalized addictive stimulation (coffee) and non-dairy creamer (bad shit). While I was loving my family's company, I was loathing the swan dive my health had just taken; I retreated to my apartment in the city the following day to reboot.

The upcoming holiday parties will be the biggest hurdle...that's where my weakness for cheese and wine and desserts comes out in full swing...especially since so much of the socializing this time of year revolves around food. I'll be scouring the Internet for vegan goodies that are also veggiful, minimally processed and low-glycemic.

First source: Christina Pirello's site for healthier holiday cookies. I've made some oh-so-good biscotti (minus chocolate plus orange essance with clove and cinnamon). Next up: Linzer bars! Try the Asteroids, Coconut Macaroons, Italian Nut Cookies, and many more!

Second site: VegNews for holiday tips.

Third times the charm: Pure2Raw - tons of mouth-watering recipes. Can't wait to try some!

Any tips for a healthier ho-ho-ho at the holiday party?

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