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Experts' tips on staying fit during the holidays

Monday, December 17, 2012 by: Raw Michelle
Tags: holiday, fitness, Christmas

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(NaturalNews) The holiday season is just around the corner, and with it comes the holiday feasting, which can often make it really hard to stick to a diet or a fitness routine. According to statistics, Americans gain about a pound each year during the winter holidays, something that could be averted with a few diet tweaks and a light exercise routine.

Fitness expert Shirley Archer explained that people can usually stay in shape throughout the holidays with as few as 15 minutes of routine exercise per day. Other fitness instructors also remind us that it's equally important to keep an eye on the holiday menu. "Everyone's diet has a bit of wiggle room. I think it's good to imbibe a little, but be strategic about what you'll allow. Have a little bit", says New York-based fitness instructor Danielle Hopkins.

With that in mind, nutritionists all over the country have come up with various low-fat, diabetes friendly, dairy free, gluten-free, and vegetarian gourmet dishes for festive occasions like Christmas and New Years' Eve.

Dairy-free holiday suggestions

Green beans with fresh cranberries and spices, apricot and chestnut stuffing, veggie side dish with Brussels sprouts, garlic and shallots, or a baked potato side dish with roasted rosemary, are all excellent choices for a hearty, meat-free and dairy-free Christmas dinner.

The veggie side dish is easy to prepare, requiring only half a cup of sliced shallots, one and a half pounds of halved Brussels sprouts, several thinly sliced garlic cloves (to taste), one tablespoon of vegetable oil, one cup of low-fat vegetable broth or water, and a pinch of salt and pepper. To prepare the dish, simply saute the ingredients in a pan for about five minutes, adding the thinly sliced garlic and vegetable broth at the end. Cook for an additional couple of minutes until the liquid evaporates and your veggie side dish is ready for serving.

Diabetes friendly Christmas menu for the whole family

An appetizing, celebratory Christmas menu for those who want to indulge, but also to keep healthy could include a vegan spiced squash entree, as well as chickpea kale sweet potato stew, grilled asparagus with mustard vinaigrette, and brown rice, pumpkin and green shallot salad for the main course.

The asparagus side dish can be swiftly put together by lightly grilling the asparagus on both sides for a couple of minutes, and drizzling it in the vinaigrette made of vinegar, Dijon mustard, oil, garlic and a pinch of sugar. A diabetes friendly dessert to accompany this delicious dinner could consist of a light semolina pudding with red currant sauce.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.reuters.com
http://www.taste.com.au
http://www.cookinglight.com
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/christmasapricotandc_73428
http://www.savvyvegetarian.com

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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