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Healthy Snacks to gear up for the Christmas feast
To me, Christmas is all about yakking on top of each other with family and friends, watching loved ones’ faces light up (or fall) as they open their gifts (thanks, ebay), warbling through Christmas carols after glasses of champagne and trying to run away from the aunt who’s constantly shrieking out, “Oy! Are you pregnant yet?” But most of all, it’s the attempt to plough through the mounds of food brought over by your hundred and one relatives without having to think about the calorie, cholesterol and fat content on your waist as you pop another fried chicken in your mouth and wash it down with a cocktail. Then five kilos heavier five days later, I find myself joining the throng of guilt-ridden people pumping and panting on a bike or a treadmill to undo the damage of Xmas bingeing.
But for the start of 2020, I want to be one of those people who walk by Fitness First and smirk at the sight of sweating bodies so hard at work. For this Xmas, I am going to be more pro-active and concentrate on prevention. No, this does not mean I will be sitting very well away from the Xmas table but rather watching what I eat during the lead-up to Xmas to ensure looser pants with which to fill them. So this week, I will (vow to) bypass my drawer of flavoured potato crisps that help me through 3.30itis even though each packet of 5 chips only contain 100 calories and the boxes of Ferrero Rocher and Belgian chocolates that keep arriving at work (note to self : send a subtle hint to beloved clients and suppliers that I am allergic to chocolates, peanuts and alcohol) to replace them with healthier snacks like the ones msn's health site listed below :
Japanese - sushi, sashimi and miso soup
A serving of sashimi has less calories than half of a low-fat muffin and a few slices of sushi will make you feel as if you've eaten the whole thing while a cup of miso-soup will keep your grumbling stomach quiet until dinner time. Better yet, swap those hamburgers and chips for a Japanese meal combo for lunch. Yes, it may not be as cheap as a McDonalds meal deal but you'll thank yourself once you're gorging on your Xmas feast. Combined, having a serving of sushi, sashimi and miso soup will have less calories, cholesterol and fat than a hamburger dripping with that special sauce. And the good thing is, you won't get that heavy, bloated feeling afterwards.
Rice cakes, Vita-Weat & Popcorn
Not all at once, of course. Rice cakes, vita-weat or popcorn are a great healthy alternative to potato crisps. Add a slice of tomato and/or low-fat cheese to the rice cakes and vita-weat and opt for the low-fat or 'lite' popcorn instead of the one laden with butter and caramel.
A good source of energy, high in magnesium and calcium, bananas are excellent to snack on during morning tea or when you need to psych yourself up for a session at the gym, so ignore that chocolate bar and reach for that funny-looking yellow fruit instead.
I am totally loving the low-fat yoghurt from Harris Farm Markets at the moment. They're thick, creamy and come in flavours of mango, passionfruit, strawberry or raspberry and don't taste like the sour ones you buy from the supermarkets where you have one teaspoon and push it away with disgust. Definitely a healthier replacement for that slice of cake, pastry or donut that seems to find its way to my mouth in the early afternoons.
Isn't water just about the answer to everything? With non-existent calories, cholesterol and fat, water can also fill you up and keep those cravings at bay. Drink at least two litres a day - not only does it have ultra-healthy benefits but it also flushes your system, keeping your complexion clean and clear.
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