Happy holidays everyone! As the Registered Dietitian here at Corefit and a lover of this season, I wanted to touch on a matter that has been coming up a bit recently in regard to food, festivities, exercise, and guilt. Hopefully the parties and food haven’t gotten the best of you, and if they have, I hope you have fully enjoyed them without beating yourself up about it! We love to advocate for an 80-20 style of eating-meaning, 80% of the time a healthy balanced diet is followed, and 20% of the time there are some exceptions. However, we also understand its possible to get a little off track and that 80-20 turns a little more into 50-50 ;), especially around this time of year. These things happen, but it is important to not beat yourself up about a lackadaisical diet and exercise regimen and just focus on life one day at a time. People often think they’ll just eat that extra piece of pie and go extra hard in the gym the next day to burn off those forbidden calories. Or they will eat that extra piece of pie and beat themselves up about it for the next 24 hours because they totally fell off the healthy diet wagon and deem themselves a failure, totally hurting their gym gains. This way of thinking is….less than helpful. Nobody’s got time for that extra stress, am I right?? Though I am surely not advocating to ALWAYS eat that extra piece of pie (or whatever your guilty pleasure may be), I AM advocating that if you do, you indulge, enjoy every bite, and get back to business the next day.
The holidays are times to enjoy fantastic food and the people around you. If you’re at a party constantly consumed with NOT eating the food, or only eating it by justifying an extra hard workout the next day, that prevents you from even enjoying the party. Take a break from the mind games and fulfill your taste buds’ curiosity with some treats. Health and fitness is a LIFESTYLE. This enables us to have a treat sometimes while being able to get back on track smoothly because we know how that routine feels and we LIKE it! More often then not, the less restriction and more permission you give yourself in regard to food often leads to less desire in the first place.
Additionally, going extra hard in the gym the next day makes working out seem like punishment. Our workouts are meant to give vitality, strength, and energy, not in the form of cruel and unusual punishment, but in challenges and empowerment. Looking forward to tough gym sessions isn’t always the expectation (trust me, even for coaches…), but the more we can divert from treating the gym as a way to burn calories and punish ourselves when going off the dietary track to a means of building strength, endurance, confidence, and friends, the less mind games we have to deal with outside of the gym around food.
With that said, what kind of dietitian would I be with all this talk about food and parties and no awesome Holiday recipe to recommend? This recipe is SO easy and delicious: This recipe would make a perfect weeknight dinner side dish or even a great addition to the thanksgiving or Christmas table.
Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze:
- About 2 cups brussel sprouts
- 2 tbsp ghee or oil (where to buy good oils)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle with balsamic glaze
1. Prepare the balsamic glaze and set aside to cool.
2. Wash brussels sprouts and chop off stem end of each one. Then cut each brussels sprout in half lengthwise. Put the brussels sprouts in a skillet and pour a small amount of water in, just enough to come halfway up the brussels sprouts. You don’t want to completely cover the brussels sprouts in water. Do not use a cast iron skillet (you never want to boil water in cast iron). A skillet like this or this would be perfect. Turn the heat on medium high and cover skillet (if you don’t have a cover for your skillet, you can cover it with another large skillet). Let simmer until the brussels sprouts are tender, but not too soft or mushy.
3. After 5-10 minutes of simmering pierce a brussels sprout with a fork to see if it is tender. If you can pierce the brussels sprout it is done. Strain the water out using a colander.
4. Finely chop the garlic, then put the ghee into the skillet on medium-high heat. Once the ghee is hot, put the brussels sprouts in the pan and sprinkle with garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let cook for a couple minutes on one side to brown then stir and mix the sprouts to evenly heat. Once the brussels sprouts have browned for a few minutes, they are done.
5. Put the brussels sprouts on a plate, then drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Then, zest with some organic lemon (This is a great tool for lemon zesting. Zest really ads great flavor to a lot of dishes). Add a little more salt and pepper if desired and enjoy!
I know its not the sweetest of treats 😉 but if you have a hard time giving brussels sprouts a chance or if you LOVE them, I highly suggest this recipe ☺
-Therese Martinez, MS, RD, CPT