Holidays ooze with decadent foods, good company, and non-stop celebrations! So it’s hard not to fall trap to eating the wrong foods, and going sampler crazy with all the yummy sides! I’m the first to admit I get carried away during the holiday season, but if you’re all about sticking to the #zenonaplate philosophy during the holiday season you won’t fall off the bandwagon of health!
At #zenonaplate the emphasis is about eating whole foods with the intent to nourish both the body and mind with the focus on balance, portions and nutrients while eating or drinking in a state of mindfulness. Of course, at #zenonaplate it’s ok to give into a holiday craving or two, because with out a little indulgence or two life would not be complete! However, by following the main principals at #zenonaplate during the holiday dish playoffs you won’t lose too many points, but ironically bounce back stronger! Here are a few holiday tips and winning recipes to be winning at the holiday buffet line especially on the sidelines…
SAVORY SIDE WINNING POINTS
1. Survey the holiday buffet and party, and choose two favorite foods and then balance the rest of your plate with foods that nourish the mind and body
2 When in doubt, always go for fruit, veggies, and lean meat dishes. If you’re a vegetarian make sure you are loading your plate full of protein from nuts, beans, and other plant sources.
2. Miniaturize your favorite dessert dishes. In esccence one really needs a few bites of a dessert or two to enjoy the taste of yumminess, not a large portion! (Refer to portion guide)
3. Sometimes during the holidays it’s not the food, but it’s in the drinking that causes the most harm on our mind and bodies. Often time’s alcohol will wreak havoc on our bodies, and throw our metabolism off, so it’s best to have a set limit of when and where you want to drink. Instead of just drinking for every holiday party limit it to special parties or occasions with meaning. Alcohol should not be used for everyday events rather for special times. Therefore, boozing will never throw your lifestyle goals off. Limit to special occasions during the holidays and go for low calorie and low sugar drinks . ( one or at most two drinks at a time) (Look at my skinny swap article for recommendations)
4. Make time to exercise your body and mind. Often times the holidays bring over indulging due to stressors with family and finances. Set some time aside to workout, which is a proven activity to increase endorphins, along with daily meditation to keep you more present and mindful of your behaviors and actions towards yourself and others.
5. Giving back to the community is a great way to foster a sense of gratitude. It can be anything by volunteering or donating for those who have the financial means. Giving back not only builds character and compassion, but also brings more positive vibes and good energy from the universe your way.
6. Remove the concept of dieting from your vocabulary permanently. Being healthy and maintaining an ideal thin is a lifestyle. This is what #zenonaplate is about in comparison to other weight loss and nutrition blogs because it’s about making a commitment to your mind, body, and spirit and honoring that everyday you wake up. When this is fully intact, the idea of being on a diet will never cross your mind again. #ZENONAPLATE philosophy when followed right takes away the urge of binging, deprivation, fatigue, low energy, and moodiness because when one is eating a healthy balanced diet that not only focuses on healthy portions but also takes in account activities and foods that promote the internal spirit of the mind and body connection.
7. It’s time to break out of the same social routine. Try expanding your social circle beyond the normal beer and party scene, or for some just the same clique of friends. Expanding your social circle during the holiday season will help boost your ability to stick to the #zenonaplate philosophy. Just like expanding your taste palette beyond American Cuisine, socializing doesn’t have to be a one size fit all approach. Going beyond the vanilla ice cream, and venturing out to taste rocky road, mint chocolate chip, and even butter pecan for some, will not only push one to experience change, but will broaden the social and cultural perspective of life, thus creating a sense of gratitude and less judgment towards others.
#ZENONAPLATE CASHEW CHICKEN MEATLOAF (VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE)
PREPERATION: 5 MINUTES, COOK TIME: 1 HOUR
SERVES 7 SERVINGS
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING:
Calories: Nutrition: 127 calories, Total Carbs: 10 grams, Protein: 14 grams, Fiber: 2 grams, Fat: 4 grams
Sugar: 3 grams
#ZENONAPLATE MACRO BREAKDOWN
CARBS: PEPPERS, MUSELI MIX
PROTEIN: EGG WHITE, GROUND CHICKEN, CASHEWS
FIBER: MUSELI MIX: OATS
FAT: LEAN TURKERY, CASHEWS OLIVE OIL
7/8 of an lb of ground chicken meat
1 Egg white
1 cup of Cashews grinded down into crumbs (you can use almonds too if you don't like cashews)
1/3 cup of white onion
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 cup of sweet peppers diced
¼ tsp of chili pepper
¼ tsp of salt
1/8 or a bit more of pepper
1/8 tsp of salt
1 lemon sliced
½ cup of Bob’s Gluten Free Muesli Mix
Add ons: Honey , barbeque sauce, or raisins
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you have a nut grinder or food processer to grind down the nuts. Combine all ingredients in the bowl and mix until mixture is consistent. Squeeze half the lemon for juice on the meat mixture and then mix again. Then Spray or use olive oil for a small loaf pan. Spread out mixture evenly in baking pan. Finally pour a half-cup of muesli or enough to cover the top of the meatloaf which adds more flavor. Then pop in the oven for 55 minutes to an hour. Take out and for a bit of a sweeter taste I recommend using honey on top, and adding a bit of barbeque sauce, a low sugar one.
Notes: You can also use a regular egg in place of the egg white for it to have creamier texture, and you can make the recipe into chicken burgers as too.
#ZENONAPLATE ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH KALE, RASINS, AND TOMATOES (VEGAN, GF)
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING
Calories : 127 calories Total Carbs : 23 Fiber 4 grams Sugar : 8 grams Protein: 3 Total Fat : 4 grams
#ZENONAPLATE MACRO BREAKDOWN
CARB: SQUASH, RASINS
FIBER: KALE, SQUASH
VEGGIE: KALE, TOMATOES
FAT: OLIVE OIL
2 ½ cups of Cubed butternut squash
2 ¼ cups of chopped kale
1 large tomato sliced or two smaller tomatoes sliced
1-2 Tablespoons of White balsamic Vinegar for the Kale and Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons of Raisins
1 Tablespoon of Olive oil
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon or more of Fresh Thyme
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium size baking pan spray or oil the pan. Then pour the kale and lay the tomatoes. Add the white balsamic vinegar on the pan and mix around. In a separate bowl combine the butternut squash, cinnamon, olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh thyme and mix together. Sprinkle seasonings per taste. Then spread butternut mixture evenly on baking tray and cook until tender but not 100 percent soft, which will be for 30 minutes . For a bit softer cook for 40 minutes. Then add on more raisins, or seasonings according to your tastes.