Taking it to the Next Level…

Chris Rouse

Chris Rouse

The holidays are truly the time when many of us look forward to some of our favorite dishes you know the ones we savor on special occasions.  We dare not indulge in them year around because then they become normal, regular no longer special.  Now with that said, I am mindful of my upcoming New Year’s resolution because it always includes something to do with food.  Giving up something, eating less of something ya da ya da… No resolution for me this year, instead I am going to focus on continuing to change my lifestyle.  You know we started our earlier conversation agreeing to make a lifestyle change and I am continuing that quest.  I know this is going to sound pretty drastic,  but I think that it’s probably the best way to remove the impurities from my system. Come on we all have some and they’ve entered our system over the years.  Well for me it’s time I start clearing them out.
Don’t get me wrong I know that for the most part there will always be some residue that will probably continue to exist.  I have been a vegetarian for many years and now I am going to take it to the next level.  Yes, I am going to give up  fish, sea food and all animal byproducts to become a Vegan.   Now  this change  is going to pose a real challenge  for me.  I LOVE CHEESE, a lot. Did I say I love cheese, can it eat it every day but I do not?  I have my work cut out for me. It will be essential for me to make sure that I get all my daily vitamins, nutrients and protein necessary to stay healthy.  As for the cheese, I can’t even enjoy the soy substitute,  I have  SOY intolerance.
  What is your next level? I challenge you all to remove one food item from your diet. Something that you really enjoy but truth be told it’s not something you should be eating regularly. This should not be very difficult since we all enjoy many foods that are good to us but not good for us and that do not support a healthier lifestyle. I never advocate giving up all of the unhealthy foods that you like because I believe that when you give them all up it only makes one miserable and think about that food all the time. I encourage you to select something that isn’t going to cause you too much despair in the midnight hour.As you eat your way through the holiday be mindful of your portions because when all else fails reducing the amount that you put on your plate can actually help you to maintain your weight. Eliminating the need to crash diet in the New Year will allow you to focus on selecting foods that will improve your overall health.I always enjoy sharing recipes with you that I‘ve tried or would like to try because the mixture of ingredients sound so tasteful. Here are several holiday drinks. The first one is called the Wedding Punch and believe you’ll really like it. It will probably become your special occasion punch.
The Wedding Punch 1 lg. can of pineapple juice 1 qt. of apricot nectar 1 16 oz. can of frozen pink lemonade 2 qt. bottle of ginger ale Pour all liquids into a large punch bowl and stir until the pink lemonade is dissolved. Garnish with your favorite fruit, thin orange slices, pineapple slices, or cranberries. Serves approx. 24.
You can indulge in a tasty punch with dinner and enjoy a Skinny Pina Colada after you’ve  settled down for the evening. Now that’s a creative way to cut a few calories.
Skinny Pina Colada Rum that’s infused with a coconut flavor can cut about 300 calories from a piña colada. What’s out? The sugary, coconut milk mix. Measure one shot of coconut rum. Then add fresh strawberries, a splash of agave syrup, and blend with ice. You get a tall, 12-ounce tropical cocktail for about the same calories as in a handful of pretzel twists, 229 calories
I am looking forward to continuing the conversation in 2014. Have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy entry into the New Year.

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