Vegetarian for a Day? Give It a Try!
For many Americans, the thought of switching to a vegetarian lifestyle seems totally foreign. And truth be told, a diet that includes lean choices of meat in moderation can be very healthy. But there may be a couple of days a year when going vegetarian for a day could be a good choice. We've all had those days, especially during the holiday season, when we've not made the best food choices. Sometimes even our best laid plans and strong will-power go flying out the window.
Did you know that in a few hours at the holiday company party or in just a couple trips to that great holiday buffet spread, you could consume an entire day's worth of calories... or more? Many of those calories have little to no healthy nutritional value. And while this binge of food, drink and dessert may taste great at the time, it often leaves you feeling miserable the next day. You're also left with little to no energy to do anything about it. Your body is not accustomed to this type of intake and its craving a return to normalcy.
One solution that you may want to consider is becoming vegetarian for a day, maybe even two. We're not talking about a radical overhaul of your diet or lifestyle. Make a healthy statement to your body and give it a break from the fat, sodium and sugars that dominated the day before. A day or two of fruits and vegetables consumed in a healthy manner along with quality whole grains in moderation will do wonders to help you digest the indulgences from the day before and to restore your energy levels so you can resume an active lifestyle as quick as possible. Small portions of lean protein such as beans or tofu will help balance out your meals while you maintain that temporary vegetarian status.
If this strategy sounds good to you, plan ahead. You know when the parties, buffets and indulgences are coming. Stock the fridge, pantry and fruit bowl accordingly. Have your vegetables, fruits and whole grains readily available the next morning. If you wake up tired, sluggish and unprepared, you are much more likely to make a couple more decisions that only drag out the not so healthy process.
The holidays should be filled with good times with family, friends and co-workers. Enjoy and embrace them and think about helping your body with a healthy statement afterward. Go vegetarian for a day and give your body what it needs, so you'll feel energetic and ready to tackle more of the holiday season!
New Combination Group Fitness Classes Debut
Need to change up your workout? Consider one of these new combination group fitness classes at Princess Anne and Kempsville Recreation Centers. They combine various types of exercise to provide a more complete workout.
H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training) with a Kick - This class combines 30 minutes of cardio kickboxing and 30 minutes of high intensity interval training that will boost your metabolism while building cardiovascular endurance and muscle tone. The class is easy to follow, but the format is different each time so your body won't get bored.
Mondays | Princess Anne | 6-7 pm
Pedal and Abs
- Our cycling program combines cardio and powerful abdominal exercises to improve core, lower body strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Tuesdays | Kempsville | 9-10 am
Pedal and TRX®/40/20
- Challenge your fitness goals with this innovative and exciting blend of 40 minutes cycling with 20 minutes of basic TRX and stretches to strengthen and tone the entire body.
Tuesdays | Kempsville | 5:45-6:45 pm
- Improve strength, core and cardiovascular endurance using a variety of equipment. Kettle bells, ropes, medicine balls, body bars, Bosu®, bands and more may be used.
Tuesdays | Kempsville | 9-10 am
Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
Everybody loves pancakes, especially as the weather turns cooler. Here's a great way to spice them up and add a little more fiber and vitamin A to your morning.
In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together:
- 1 cup whole-wheat pancake mix
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Mix until batter is combined but still a little lumpy. Spray a griddle with nonstick spray, and heat on medium. For each pancake, spoon ¼ cup batter onto the griddle and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles appear. Then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Once on the plate, drizzle each with a teaspoon of warm maple syrup and dig in. Makes about 8 pancakes.
Along with wonderful flavor, pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A which aids in healthy vision and bone and tissue growth. By choosing whole-wheat mix instead of the traditional white flour, you increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Diets high in fiber help lower cholesterol and blood sugar level while leaving you feeling fuller with the same number of or fewer calories.
This recipe originally appeared in the November Issue of Health Magazine.