It’s a well known fact that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the official season for some serious overeating. Most of us pig out enough for a 5 to 7 pound weight gain in just six (6) short weeks.
The main culprit of holiday season weight gain is the age old New Year’s Resolution of starting another diet with the New Year. The thought of another depressing deprivation diet looming in the near future can lead to the “last supper” mentality of eating everything in sight between Christmas and the New Year. There is a better way.
Be realistic about your holiday plans...There will be parties and there will be high calorie foods. Decide ahead of time if you are going to have a high calorie treat and what form it will take. If your weakness is desserts, then plan on having one serving go the most tempting dessert you can find.
Plan to overeat on certain days. If you know there is a party coming up, eat lighter calorie meals during the week. When the party rolls around, eat and enjoy without guilt.
Get right back on track. Just because you had an eating binge at one holiday party, doesn’t mean you should have a free-for-all until New Year’s Day. Go back to your normal eating pattern with the very next meal. The only overeating you should be doing is on those specifically preplanned holiday party dates.
Get some exercise. The holidays are a difficult time to get your regularly planned workouts completed so rather than skip your workouts for weeks at a time, do what you can. If you only have time for 15 or 20 minutes, do it. Some exercise is always better than no exercise.
There’s absolutely no reason to go through the holidays feeling deprived and denied of your favorite holiday treats With planned overeating you can reduce holiday season weight gain and still have fun.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Vitamin C is an important vitamin and antioxidant that the body uses during the winter months for the maintenance of bones, muscles and blood vessels We can obtain this vitamin by cooking and using the lesser known root vegetables.
One such vegetable is the rutabaga, also known as the yellow turnip or the swede. The rutabaga contains 53% percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, providing antioxidants and immune supporting functions that help protect the cells from free radical damage. Rutabaga also helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and assist in weight loss. With sunlight, exercise, diet and an understanding of our body’s sensitivity to the climate we live in, we can be healthier than we have ever been, even in winter.
So with these thoughts in mind we introduce this lesser known vegetable (rutabaga) to challenge your taste buds. Winter is the season for eating fresh root vegetable. They make a hearty vegetable soup to warm the body, and fill the soul.
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium low heat. Add leek, celery and garlic and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add turnips, rutabagas, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes with juices and 2 cans broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer 4 cups soup to processor. Puree until almost smooth. Return puree to pot. Add remaining 2 cans broth; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.
Per serving; calories, 189; total fat, 3 g; saturated fat, 0.5 g: cholesterol, 0 mg.
Seed Sown/Harvest Reaped
A Community Garden is a piece of land cultivated by members of a community in urban areas to grow their food or donate what they have grown. Such land helps in nurturing a sense of togetherness and socialization within the community. The gardens encourage food security within the community.
Community gardens beautify the area and provide a stopping point for conversation and is a great positive ice-breaker for meeting people. It also helps our children better understand where their food source derives from. Community gardens create friendships and build community spirit. Ashbury Sprouts, located on East 111th Street off Ashbury Avenue is one such garden, which is under the direction of Ms. Sandra Robertson. As a child, she was taught the different methods of gardening by her father. She incorporates the old and traditional gardening methods along with more recent, innovative ideas into the Ashbury Sprouts Gardens. It is the desire of Sandra to plant sweet potatoes which contains the essential carbohydrates of all staple foods and is an ideal vegetable to try and grow.
We have now come to learn that it was the slaves’ diet that was primarily responsible for their near-perfect health. Small gardens that were planted adjacent to the slaves’ cabins produced an abundance of fresh produce for the majority of the year. These gardens oftentimes produced 15 or more different vegetables.
Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Makes 16 to 18 servings:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 10-cup tube or Bundt pan.
Make the batter:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sweet potatoes and mix until well after each addition. Add the sweet potatoes and mix until thoroughly combined. Reduce the speed to low or switch to a wooden spoon and gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in 3 additions, beating well after each addition. The batter should be stiff, Add the vanilla, pecans and, if desired, the coconut.
Bake the cake:
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, Bake until the cake tests done when a wire cake tester is inserted in the middle, 50 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate and remove.
Alice Blake, Delores Shaw