Here is a suggestion anyone attempting to eliminate snacks from your diet after 6 p.m. on the days leading up to the Christmas holiday. One common decoration found in many homes is a nativity set featuring Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus lying in a manger, and a host of other figures that were drawn to the place of our Savior’s birth. Instead of grabbing a handful of Christmas cookies and washing them down with a glass of eggnog, why not abstain from munching and add a figurine to the manger scene each day instead. As you are adding the figurine, reflect on something you are thankful for. Perhaps you will feel inspired to pray for someone also.
For those who do not consider themselves people of faith, you could substitute adding an ornament to your Christmas tree. Make a deliberate ritual out of it. While you’re adding the ornament, could set your mind to recall a song such as The twelve days of Christmas and add an ornament each day while reflecting on family or friends. Additionally, you can try to come up with a good deed you could do for someone else in keeping with the spirit of giving.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
I mentioned in a previous post I was trying not to eat after 6:00 p.m. This goal was to help me manage my weight and ward off late night binging. When the 6:00 hour draws near or slips by me without noticing, I try to look for healthy snacks to minimize the damage. This led me to a new discovery
I like crispy apples…a lot. However, there are times when I accumulate a backlog of them because I either buy too many or the ones I did buy are a little mushy and therefore less desirable. Recently, I came up with a solution to use up those less desirable apples.
I wash and cut two old apples in half and remove the stems and seeds. I put the four clean halves into a microwave safe bowl and add about 1/4 cup of water. I cover the bowl and microwave it for 4-6 minutes. The heated apples turn to sauce. The sauce is extremely hot so I carefully use a fork to retrieve the skins out of the bowl and stir. I suppose you could drizzle some honey and nuts on your applesauce to give it some added sweetness and texture.
There is nothing like a hot snack to satisfy a craving. This also serves to use up unwanted apples.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend and in a few short weeks winter will be upon us. Memories of exercising in the raw December winds with a cold rain or snow bearing down on me is enough can kill my motivation to go outside for a walk. Additionally, shortened daylight hours give me the impression it’s later in the day than it really is. I am amazed at how easily I can talk myself into stretching out on the couch to surf the web on my computer.
One thing I’m doing to counter those failed attempts at physical activity during the winter months is ending my eating/snacking before 6 p.m. Doing this not only helps me control my weight, it also helps me sleep better. If I do end up going outside for a walk I get a double benefit.
I started training last week for a 5k run this fall. Its the second year in a row I left the couch after a long cold winter and headed out the door. This year I’m 15 pounds lighter and hopefully maintained a small measure of conditioning from last fall.
My early conditioning plan is to walk/jog three times a week for 20-30 minutes with at least one rest day in between. I’ve chosen Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays as my workout days. Since I’m in my 60’s, I want to test my joints and ligaments by alternating jogging and walking laps on a 400 meter track. Once I build up my distance, I plan to head out on a scenic cross-country route on a woodland trail.
Last Tuesday was my first workout. The weather couldn’t have been more challenging; a cold, stiff northern wind with 40-degree temperatures surely taxed me mentally. I spent most of the time muttering and trying to talk myself out of completing the 25 minute workout. Thank goodness for I-tunes. Thursday’s workout fared much better. An overcast sky and southerly breeze hiked the temp to 74 degrees. Such is the weather this time of year in Upstate New York. Saturday it was back in the 40s and I had to resort to dog walking. Brody pulled me around the neighborhood while I held on to his leash.