10 Holiday Tips For Your Supermarket Shopping List
We are entering that special time of the year where when we get together with family and friends to celebrate the holiday season. Anytime you hear the words celebrate, the top 2 things that probably pop into your mind are eating and drinking. Eating and drinking are as much a part of the holiday season is as fireworks are during the Fourth of July and you will more than likely partake in more than just one family celebration during the holidays. On top of that, you have work place holiday parties and additional parties with your friends. What this means is being drowned in a whole plethora of non-stop, food and drink over a course of 2 months or so.
Is it any wonder why the average person packs on about 10 pounds or more during the Holidays? It sneaks up on you too! When the music stops and your mind is no longer distracted by all the celebrating, you suddenly get a cold slap of reality when you decide to step on the bathroom scale for the first time since the holidays ended, and realize just how much damage was done as a result of over indulging.
Maybe you put on muscle? Wishful thinking, but not likely. More likely will be that your pants are fitting much more snug, and when you look in the mirror, your abs resemble a sack of flour more than they do a wash board! Then you have to torture yourself dieting and busting your butt in the gym for the next few months to try and melt away the unsightly fat that you gained.
So how can you avoid falling into this trap every year the Holiday season comes around? If you've ever showed up at these celebrations, and tried not eating, and drinking, you know that it doesn't go over too well. People will be attacking you, and ridiculing you left and right for being the odd man out! Should you be strong enough to not circum to peer pressure, then chances are the people around you will bumble you to the floor, secure your limbs, pry open your mouth, and force feed crap down your throat till you look like a snake that swallowed a cow! Eating and drinking are fun social activities that you don't need to miss out on. You can go ahead and appease yourself, as well as the people around you without putting on a butt-load of fat.
Here are 10 important tips for your supermarket shopping list that will help make celebrating the Holiday season a bit more forgiving.
I have to admit, I enjoy having alcoholic beverages at social functions. That doesn't mean guzzling liquor until I pass out and wet my pants! It means enjoying a few select beverages that I have a taste for without overdoing things to the point that I suffer ill effects from it.
For alcoholic beverages, I would suggest a dry, red wine. Red wine is not only fortified with the potent, antioxidant resveratrol, but is also low in residual sugar, giving it only about 3 grams of carbs per serving.
Some of the most popular red wines are; cabernet, merlot, Shiraz, pinot noir, and malbec. If you prefer the taste of beer over wine, then some good choices for a light beer would be; Budweiser Select 55, containing only 1.9 grams of carbs per serving, or MGD 64, which contains only 2.4 grams of carbs per serving.
For non alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, and diet soda are good low calorie choices. If you want to make a very low-calorie fruit punch, try mixing diet ginger ale, with a low sugar fruit juice. If you want to eliminate sugar all together, then try using diet Hawaiian punch in place of the fruit juice.
Use lower fat dairy products for making appetizers, salads, and dips. Any recipes that call for cream cheese, sour cream, or shredded cheese, you can cut the calories way back by using fat free, or at least reduced fat versions of these food products.
Try to substitute fattier appetizers with fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only will you gain the benefit of more vitamins, and antioxidants, but you will also fill up faster from the high fiber content that fruits and vegetables contain. Most grocery stores carry a number of fat free veggie dips that you can choose from. If you want something tasty, yet low in calories to dip fruit in, then low fat cool whip or ready whip would be wise choices.
Any recipes that call for sugar, try and substitute granulated sugar with Stevia, or Splenda. Neither of these artificial sweeteners contains any calories, but will still add plenty of sweetness to your food. If you're looking for a good sugar substitute that will add some moisture to baked goods or what not, then try blue agave nectar. It isn't absent of calories like Stevia and Splenda, but it does contain a much lower glycemic index carbohydrate that has less calories than sugar and is much less fattening.
Whichever of these sweeteners you decide to try, look on the back of the package to see what the sugar equivalence is for measuring.
There are a number of lean meats on the market that you can use in meals, or as appetizers. For meals, you really can't go wrong with white turkey meat, ham, or chicken breasts. Sliced turkey, ham, and roast beef all make great lean appetizers. If you're looking for something a bit fancier, then try smoked salmon or even cocktail shrimp. All of these selections are power-packed with protein and very low in saturated fat.
When recipes for baked goods like breads and cookies call for white flour, try using whole wheat flour instead. Whole wheat flour has a much lower glycemic index than while flour, and is also high in fiber, and B-vitamins, making it a less fattening, and more nutritious choice over white flour.
Food manufacturers have come a long way in terms of producing more heart healthy butter, and margarine substitutes. There are a number of brands on the market that offer products that are not only void of trans fats, but are also fortified with a healthy dose of omega 3. Smart Balance is one such brand.
With any recipes that call for vegetable oil, try and use olive oil, sesame oil, or almond oil instead. These oils have a much better omega 3 to omega 6 balance, making them much more heart healthy than regular vegetable oil.
If you're a fan of nuts during the holidays, then add almonds to your shopping list. On an ounce per ounce basis, almonds are higher in omega 3, and fiber, and also lower in carbohydrates than other types of nuts. When you make your selection, read the ingredients to make sure that cotton seed oil or other fattening oils haven't been added to the almonds.
This day and age, there's no reason why anyone should settle with unhealthy crackers made with white flour, sugar, and vegetable oil, as hors d'oeuvres. When you go to the supermarket and head down the cracker isle, look for whole grain crackers that are made with wholesome ingredients. Check the fiber content and make sure that the product offers 2, or more grams of dietary fiber per serving. If it doesn't, then it isn't all whole grain.
Follow these 10 tips when you go out and do your holiday grocery shopping, and you won't need to ask Santa Clause to bring you bigger clothes to fit into after the holiday season is over!