Thursday, November 1, 2012

Living Healthy During The Holidays

Okay, since this IS a healthy living blog after all, I figured it’s time to write another post about the beautiful, meat-free, i-love-animals, kittens and whiskers, 100% perfectly healthy little world I live in. Total exaggeration. It’s not perfect. It takes hard work and motivation--every. single. day. So why do I do it? Because I can’t imagine living and eating any other way.
It’s November 1st already, and my stomach knows that all kinds of mouth-watering holiday treats are in its near future. So, I figured I’d enlighten my readers who are considering becoming a vegetarian, or to the ones who already are, how to keep yourself full, satisfied, healthy, and sane during the upcoming season. For me, being meat-free comes naturally because I find eating flesh utterly revolting. For others, it is very difficult and the meat cravings can be intense.  I’m here to help put a stop to those desires.

Making time for the gym and staying fit is what takes motivation for me. Believe me, it’s a battle between my fluffy couch/warm-cat-on-my-lap images and sweating my ass off at the gym after a long day of work, but it’s a battle that must be fought. I just remind myself that once I get home from the gym, I will be healthier, stronger, less stressed, and my mind will be clearer. These reasons alone are why the gym typically wins the fight. (I’m not saying that the cat image hasn’t won in the past, but I try to make my health come first. Sorry Nala)
Here are some tips on how to make it through the Thanksgiving and Christmas season with only having to cheat once….or twice. You can do it!

1. Each time you want to eat a piece of meat, poultry, or fish, remind yourself that there are healthier, less cruel ways to add substance to your meal. Use hearty vegetables in your pasta dishes. Substitute the stuffing that comes out of the turkey (gross! even when I ate meat, I thought this concept was repulsive) for homemade stuffing from scratch using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
2. When you aren't eating meat, you will feel and actually become lighter. There is no meat sticking to the insides of your intestines and colon, therefore you won't be suffering as many stomach aches, and who wants to get up and work out with a stomach ache? When you're feeling good all the time, you will want to continue on this path. Got my point? If you aren't feeling overly full and sick from the heavy meats you are consuming, you will be more apt to want to work out. You will have more energy, and you can put that energy to good use!

3. Cooking healthier meals for holiday parties will help with your anxiety over all the full of fat, calorie intense, sugar infused foods on the table. If you bring your own healthy (vegetarian) meals or desserts, you will know for sure that there will be delicious options to fill up your tummy. Also, you won't be in a turkey tryptophan induced coma like everyone else. You will have the energy for a brisk walk in the cool Autumn air while gorgeous leaves descend from trees and crunch under your feet, all while holding the hand of the person you love. Doesn't that image sound so enticing that you just want to reach out your arms and hug it?

4. Think of the millions of cute, little, colorful turkeys that people will save if they don't cook them this year. Imagine all the tiny turkey babies whose turkey parents will be slaughtered and put on your table all for your own sick pleasure. If you eat turkey this year, you will most likely come back in your next life as a turkey that will definitely be brutally killed and eaten for Thanksgiving, and you will absolutely have stuffing stuffed up inside your bum. Alright maybe not, but just don't do it. K?

5.  Exercise as often as you can. I know everyone has a busy schedule, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. However, if you have enough time to go to the mall and shop or stay home and watch football, you should be able to have enough time to work out. If not, you can count your laps around the mall while you shop. Build up a sweat! If you don't have a gym membership, exercise at home with videos on demand, or go for a jog outside...just watch out for black ice! If you're working out regularly, you won't feel so guilty when you indulge a little bit on yummy foods.

6. So, if you want to have a cookie, just do it. If you need a slice of pie, fine. If one beer happens to turn into six, it's okay. They are the holidays after all, but just remember that your health is the best gift you could ever have, so don't abuse your body.
These websites below have lots of vegetarian receipes that are perfect for the holiday season. Have yourself a look, and remember, your life is the only thing you have complete control over. Make it a healthy one :)