Holiday Tips, Nuts & Bento

It's the holiday season and it's easy to indulge in crap. Simple carb snack mixes, starchy sides and sugary sweets are EVERYWHERE we turn. A lot of us will say, "Oh well it's the holiday" and indulge but for many of us the holi"day" becomes more like a holi"month" and "I'll just have a bite" becomes a cycle that once started is hard to break.

Here's a few holiday tips that help me:

* Eat protein dense meals. I want to snack less when I've eaten a protein dense breakfast, lunch & dinner.

* Plan your meals including any holiday snacks. If it's not on the day's plan. It shouldn't go in your mouth.

* Have weight loss surgery friendly goodies available. Remember though even healthier goodies can be over indulged in so stick to your plan and proper portions.

* Bring weight loss surgery friendly dishes to holiday get-togethers so you are sure there will be something you can have. Most of my recipes are non-op approved and party goers will never know it is a wls friendly treat.

Here's a few Eggface recipes perfect for parties:

Shelly's Bites
Shelly's Antipasto Skewers
Shelly's Bacon-wrapped Pesto Shrimp
Shelly's Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Shelly's Strawberry Cannoli
Shelly's Tropical Shrimp Cocktail

* Get moving... take a neighborhood night walk to look at holiday lights, dance: do some rockin' around the Christmas tree, walk the mall window shopping (also great if $$ is tight: Play "If I had a million dollars I would buy you..."), make snow angels, ice skate, go sledding, collect pine cones.

* Don't be afraid of telling someone "no thank you" when offered non-wls friendly items. "Oh Aunt Suzy thank you those look soooo good but I'm saving room for some of that (insert food you can eat)." (ideas: delicious turkey, cheese, veggie...)

Try to reduce your holiday stress with these tips.

* Take the emphasis off eating and onto reconnecting with those you love. Maybe a touch football game in the snow, or women versus men Pictionary game. We hit the beach here in Southern California. You'd be surprised how busy it is... families bring friends & loved ones from out of state for photos, kids trying out new remote control thingamabobs. We walk on the beach, bring healthy snacks and listen to Christmas music. It's a blast.

* Have fun! If you dread the holidays you need to rethink them. They shouldn't put you into debt, make you feel awful or anxious, or be something you are forced to do out of obligation. You are free to do whatever you like. The beauty of being an adult.

Shelly's Holiday Nuts

1/2 cup Raw Almonds
1/2 cup Raw Cashews
1/2 teaspoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Sugar Free Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Ground Ginger
dash Kosher Salt

Toss all ingredients together till evenly coated. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 9 minutes at 350. Let cool completely. Nuts will crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container. These make great hostess gifts bagged in cello bags with cute holiday trim.

Gone for a day of hiking the other day I needed to pack my super cool bento box with lunch and snacks for the day. My leftover holiday nuts filled a section perfectly.

Pink Box (top left): (in green silicon container) Olives, Roasted Red Peppers, Feta Cheese & Artichoke Hearts and Sliced Cucumber
Green Box (top right): (in blue silicon container) Shelly's Holiday Nuts
Blue Box (bottom left): Turkey & Swiss Cold Cut Roll-up
Orange Box (bottom right): Shelly's Chocolate Mint Protein Fudge