I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. Any time is a good time to do something good for our health.
My “some food is worth being a little fat for” motto was fine for a while. But now it is not. The holidays are over. Time to get back to it. In athletics and sports competition, when plans have derailed, when things aren't going well, there's a saying: get back to the fundamentals. No gimmicks. No shortcuts. Just the basics.
When you decide to make a change, big or small, you've got to start somewhere. Some of us overindulged in food. Some of us took time off from our activities and movement. It's OK. Today is a new day
Nicole Kerneen, a sports dietitian at Way of Life Nutrition (wayoflifenutrition.com), answered some of the most common questions at this time of year.
Q. I ate too much sugar over the holidays. What can I eat now to help lessen the cravings and get back to normal?
A. It's all about stabilizing your blood sugar levels, by eating every 3-4 hours, with small, low-glycemic meals (which means a little protein, a little high-fiber carbohydrate). This will help ward off cravings. Also taking in a B-complex supplement will also help. B-vitamins are used up during times of stress and over indulgence with food and alcohol.
Some examples of low-glycemic meals and snacks:
▪ 2 eggs, 1 piece of sprouted grain bread plus 1 tbsp. peanut butter
▪ Half cup of cottage cheese and 1 cup fruit and a salad
▪ 3 oz. chicken breast, plus 2 cups of veggies, plus half to 1 cup of a high-fiber whole grain
Q. I have been eating too much fatty, creamy foods and red meats and I have the belly to show for it. What can I eat to fit in my jeans again by the Super Bowl?
A. Same as above. Definitely increase fiber in your diet and be cognizant of additional sodium. Your digestive tract needs some help moving things through. Also make sure that you are taking in enough water to flush out extra sodium and support the additional fiber intake. Add fiber throughout the day by adding berries and flaxmeal to your breakfast, extra veggies at lunch, or a piece of fruit that has a mix of soluble and insoluble fibers such as an apple, pear, citrus or berries. Have extra veggies and a high-fiber grain or sweet potato or beans at dinner.
Choose eggs, fish or poultry for your protein sources as those are the most easily digestible.
Q. I ate out a lot, and now I feel bloated. Are there foods that will flush this out of my system?
A. Drinking plenty of water will do it. You can also put lemon and cucumber slices in your water as they both act as diuretics.
Q: I drank a lot of alcohol over the holidays and feel sort of blah. What can I drink now to rebound?_
A. Increase your water intake. Also make sure you are getting in potassium and magnesium as well. Alcohol is not only dehydrating, but can cause muscle cramps, too. It also slows digestion as well as your metabolism.
Q. I am so sore from a few New Year's Resolution workouts. What is a feel-good food for achy bodies?A. You need to take in natural forms of anti-inflammatories by eating more fish or taking an omega-3 fatty acid. Help your muscles recover appropriately by taking in enough potassium and magnesium. That's another reason why milk, not just chocolate, but regular, too, is such a great recovery drink.