Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
December 02, 2008    

The Shopping Season has begun!

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Amy Culver

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The Shopping Season has begun!

Another quick Holiday Helper message...

This time of year used to be a real struggle for me.  We were out and about so much that I just couldn't find the time to plan dinners and cook.  Then we would end up stopping into a fast food restaurant or grabbing something at the mall food court.  Yikes!

But eventually, I learned that with just a tiny bit of planning and forethought, I could avoid those traps. 

1.  Take snacks with you.  Some suggestions are:

• Filling snack bars.  My personal favorites are Fiber One or South Beach Living High Protein bars.  Both are around 150 calories and will keep you full for awhile.

• Pack a little cooler and keep it in the car.  I like to take apples, bananas and light string cheese.  All are easily portable and quite filling.

2.  If you suddenly find yourself shaking with starvation and without any pre-planned food – STOP.  Get a small healthy item.  Eat it slowly with some water and then figure out what you are going to do for a meal.  When your blood sugar is so low that you can't even think straight is not the time to decide between pizza and a fruit salad.

3.  And of course, the best bet is not to let yourself get into this position in the first place.  If you know you are going to be out all day, plan ahead where you will be eating lunch and/or dinner.  Set an approximate time to eat and then stick to it.  I also suggest you try to plan to eat at an "off" time.  For example, plan for lunch at around 2:00 pm.  Have a snack bar if you are getting hungry before then.  Restaurants are usually less crowded at this time and a late lunch can help to carry you through to a later time of day.  If you do it this way, you may only have to eat out once rather than twice.

4.  Stay away from the samples.  You can figure that most "bites" are about 25 calories each.  I know, that doesn't sound like much, but it doesn't take long before they add up.  Just one taste of each different meat and cheese at Hickory Farms, combined with that free piece of candy you get at See's, can easily chalk up about 200 calories.  And that's just two stores!  Just say "No, Thank You."

So, plan ahead a little and save yourself some stress and extra calories. 


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