Holiday Survival Tips from Elizabeth Somer!

by Elizabeth Somer, M.A.,R.D., author of Eat Your Way to Happiness (Harlequin Nonfiction)

I’ve been studying the link between what we eat and how we feel ever since the early 1990s when I published my first book on this topic, Food & Mood. I can’t tell you how many times people have taken my feel-good diet advice over the years and said to me, “I never knew I could feel this good!”

Some of those stories are in Eat Your Way to Happiness, as well as all the latest research on how to eat to:
Eat Your Way to Happiness
• boost your mood
• think fast
• remember more
• lower stress
• sleep better
• and even how to lose a few pounds!

Along with recipes, menus, shopping lists, 1-minute breakfasts, lunch and dinner ideas, and hundreds of other tips and secrets of happy, skinny people.

Maybe you’ve already read about the book—it was featured in the November issue of Shape magazine. Or maybe you’ve seen me talking about the book, since I’ve been on television shows from Rochester NY, Greensboro NC, and Charleston WV to Fresno CA, Albuquerque NM, and Denver CO.

As we head into the holiday season, don’t let the stress and food temptations undermine your mood or your waistline. Follow a few of the tips from Eat Your Way to Happiness, such as:

SAMPLE, DON’T GORGE. The enjoyment of tasting new foods comes in the first few bites. Savor the flavor of one appetizer, but don’t eat the whole tray.

BE POLITE, NOT NICE. Rehearse ahead of time how you will gracefully say no to food offers, coaxing and coercion.

HAVE A SPECIFIC PLAN. Decide ahead of time exactly what and how much you will eat and drink. Stick with your plan.

JUST SAY NO TO ALCOHOL. Even one beer or wine spritzer can breakdown your defenses and lead to overeating. Avoid alcohol altogether, or if you must, dilute your drinks, or alternate one alcoholic beverage with two nonalcoholic beverages.

LOOSEN UP. Give yourself permission to attend a party, even if you don’t eat or drink.

NEVER ARRIVE HUNGRY. You are less likely to overeat and more likely to feel relaxed and ready to enjoy the festivities if you have a healthful snack or mini-meal before a party.

THINK VEGGIES. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruit, low-fat crackers and cheese, and an extra-lean slice of meat from the buffet table and enjoy the company guilt-free.

IT’S A MYTH that food has to be dripping in fat to taste good. You can cut fat and never even miss it. Better yet, it doesn’t take any more time to prepare low-fat foods. For example, most people know to remove the skin from chicken before cooking, use broth and wine for sautéing instead of oil or broth instead of butter in your stuffing, and to use cornstarch and broth instead of butter and flour for a roux when making creamed sauces. You can also cut fat by adding more vegetables and salads to the center stage. You can also:

– Use potatoes instead of cream to make a rich and creamy soup or

– Use fruit puree. Use baby prunes or apple butter in place of all or part of the fat in baked goods, such as breads and muffins.

With these tips, you’ll have no problem sailing through the holiday season with less stress and a better outlook! For more options, check out Eat Your Way to Happiness, on bookshelves now!

I’ll be on The TODAY Show on December 9th. Then, in January and February, I’ll be traveling the country, appearing in cities such as San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and Miami. For more information about my appearances, check out my Facebook and Twitter pages! Hope to see you then!

What are your tips for surviving the holiday season?

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