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December, 2013

By Mark Mulcahy

Plan your daily menus around lots of Melissa’s Organic Produce.

Sometimes it feels as if the weather and the holidays can be working against us when we are trying to stay healthy and maintain our weight. The cold weather has us inside more, we tend to want to eat more, and of course there’s lots of tempting food at parties and around the house. But fear not! Even with all of these potential obstacles, there are a few things you can do stay happy, healthy, and even keep your favorite clothes fitting the same.

First things first: plan your daily menus around lots of Melissa’s Organic Produce. It’s full of fiber, low in fat and soooooo delicious this time of year.

It seems that many holiday gatherings will often have a meal that comes at that in between time of day. You know - that time when you normally might have a little snack, but you definitely aren’t sitting down to a big meal - somewhere in the 1-4 pm range. This means you may not eat lunch and may come to the appetizer plate very hungry. If you find yourself in this situation, try a couple of these tips.

Organic Apples

  • Bring along a Melissa’s Organic Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith Apple for the ride to your gathering. Studies show that people who ate an apple just before lunch ate approximately 15% less during their meal.

  • Try the small plate approach. Most gatherings that serve appetizers have small plates or napkins to accompany the snacks. Make an agreement with yourself before you go in that you'll only eat what will fit on the small plate. You’ll be satisfied because you still get to enjoy all of your favorites - just not as much.

  • Don’t snack in front of the TV. It’s not uncommon that there may be a football or basketball game on in the house you are visiting. If it's part of the social norm to join the group and watch, sit away from the appetizers. Research shows that eating in front of the TV increases food intake by 14 percent; talking to a friend while you're eating can boost consumption by 18 percent.

  • Choose the veggies. They are much better for you than high-fat chips, crackers and breads, and you can eat just about as much as you want!

  • Consider celery! It's 94% water and contains vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, iron and fiber. Not only that, it takes more calories to chew and digest a stalk of celery than it provides, making this a dieter’s dream food.

Finally, if you are a dipper, choose salsa if possible - it has all of the flavor and little or none of the fat in other dips. At dinner, turn your fork upside down when possible. Many Americans use their fork turned up, meaning we scoop our food - resulting in more quantity consumed. A fork turned down means you are using the tines to stab your food, which results in smaller bites.

Organic Bosc Pears

You can even start before all the gatherings begin! Eat a good breakfast and include some protein - perhaps an omelet or tofu scramble with lots of Melissa’s vegetables inside, like sautéed organic onions, broccoli, spinach and green peppers. Don’t want to cook, but still want the benefits? Whole grain toast with organic almond butter and sliced Bosc Pear will keep you happy and full throughout the morning. Studies have shown that folks who eat a good breakfast tend to eat less throughout the day.