Cooking · Dinner

Strategic Plan for the Holiday Season

Happy Holiday Season 2013, blog readers!! This year I decided to come up with sort of a strategic plan to face the holidays. For so many people, they wake up on January 2 of the New Year and realize they have gained weight, feel horrible or have not had a chance to go to the gym since before Thanksgiving.

I am really trying to make sure I do not fall into the trap this year! Here are a few things I am doing to try to be healthy through out the holiday season.

1. I am working out as much as possible. Recently I have started taking Pure Barre classes.It has been great, and I go to class at least twice a week since the week before Thanksgiving. I’ve mixed in some running and other cardio during the week, too. Along with walking at lunch whenever it is not raining, icing or snowing I am getting in as many steps as I can during my day.

2. I am eating healthy at every meal that I can. If I don’t have a holiday party, a working lunch, or a special meal, I am eating HEALTHY. Lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I am trying to reduce my bread intake (because it’s a little out of control sometimes).

3. Healthy snacks!! I have realized that I am always going to be hungry. So I make sure to have really healthy snacks on hand. Some of the snacks I am loving right now: clementines, almonds, pistachios, carrot and celery sticks, hummus, tea and Greek yogurts.

4. Relaxing, de-stressing and getting as much sleep as possible. During the work week I often do not go to bed as early as I should. I wake up at 5:30 AM and I rarely get 8 hours of sleep Monday through Friday. During this busy time I am really making an effort to get sleep when I need it. I hope this will make me healthy and happy!!

This weekend I was so productive. We bought a Christmas tree, and had it tied to my car:

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I drove it home without losing it – victory!

I did a lot of Christmas shopping and I have crossed a lot of things off of my list, which always feels good. I even made time to get a haircut and a manicure and pedicure this weekend. (I didn’t sleep past 8 am either day during the weekend to get all of this stuff done!)

My mom and I saw Santa Claus:

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(and we gave him our lists!!)

We also went down to one of our favorite little towns in Rhode Island to stroll around and see the Christmas lights and pop into little shops:

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Today is Monday. We had a little winter storm overnight and it lasted during most of the day. I was trying to prepare myself for a horrible day with a commute that would be miserable. It’s always great when you prepare yourself and then you end up having a great day! I had a good drive both to and from work. I even got to the gym for a quick workout, then to the grocery store where I bought kale, a red onion and chicken sausage to go in a new recipe for dinner.

When I got home I ran into the kitchen, heated olive oil and started chopping the red onion. I was determined to get dinner done in a timely fashion. I am pretty sure I had dinner on the plates and being consumed in 30 minutes from when I walked in the door. Of course it was so helpful that I roasted the spaghetti squash last night. Here is the recipe I used: Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kate & Sausage . I cannot say enough about this recipe!! I just love it.

Last step, all together in the pan:

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My plate:

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The red is hot sauce on the side. (Loved this addition – but glad it was on the side so it didn’t take away from the way the recipe was intended.) I cannot wait to have this for lunch tomorrow – I am already SO excited for it.

OK, after a super busy day I need to unplug and decompress before going to bed at a decent time. Happy Holidays, Blog readers – I will be back soon with more. Happy cooking!

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