Healthy Holiday Party Food Alternatives!
Go Nuts for Parties
Before that big holiday party, pop a handful of nuts. Before you leave home, eat some raw organic nuts. They contain the right amount of protein and fat, which release the hormone leptin in the stomach that in turn suppresses the hunger hormone “ghrelin” and brings about satiety for healthier partying!
Although it only takes a handful of nuts to satisfy hunger, there are many varieties to choose from and not all nuts are created equal. Here are my top picks, in order:
1. Walnuts reign supreme! They're a great source of heart-healthy Omega 3s and are loaded with the antioxidant ellagic acid, which is known for its immune-boosting capabilities as well as cancer-fighting properties.
2. Almonds rank next with an amazing amount of magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, Vitamin E, selenium and calcium.
Almonds are also effective in lowering cholesterol with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
3. Pecans are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, B and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
4. Cashews round out the top four choices because they are lower in fat than most nuts and are rich in copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and biotin.
Walk It Off
If you couldn't stick to your healthy alternatives -- or if you prefer to indulge around the holidays -- there are still ways to stay fit. And walking is a good way to start. In fact, did you know that walking a mile burns the same amount of calories as running a mile? Also, walking has the highest rate of compliance of any exercise, which means you're more likely to stick to it than anything else. Studies show you can add 12 years to your life if you go on a walk three times a week! Check out this guide to walking shoes to help you get started!
Go for the Guacamole
Guacamole is made up mostly of two superstar ingredients. First, avocado -- not only are they loaded with much-needed amino acids that feed our muscles, but they're also full of folate, potassium, monounsaturated fats, fiber and carotenoids, which are phytonutrients (they help prevent many chronic diseases including cancers). A low-fat diet containing avocados has been shown to lower cholesterol levels of the dangerous LDL and increase the levels of healthy HDL. Additionally, avocados are the perfect food for pregnant women. The folate in one avocado is almost 30 percent of the recommended daily intake for the prevention of life-threatening birth defects of the brain and spine.
The second powerhouse ingredient in guacamole is tomato, which contains lycopene, a strong antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and is known to prevent cancer. Tomatoes also contain large amounts of Vitamins C and A. So next time you're at a party and they're serving guacamole, eat up.
One tip: Switch the chips for vegetable sticks -- celery, carrots, bell peppers and tomatoes!
Marco's Healthy Guacamole Recipe:
- 2 Organic Hass avocados
- 1 organic vine ripe tomato
- 1/2 minced organic onion
- 2 tbsp of lime or lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp of Himalayan sea salt
- a pinch or black pepper
Mix all ingredients together, and enjoy!
Jump It Off
Why do you think boxers have such great bodies? Jumping rope is an incredibly effective cardiovascular exercise, which also works the shoulders, arms, core and legs. Jumping rope doesn't require a lot of space -- ropes are fairly inexpensive and can be easily taken anywhere for a great workout on the fly. Best of all, you can burn between 150 to 200 calories in just 15 minutes! Give it a try today with a Reebok Mountain Tech jump rope!