New Castle News

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November 8, 2012

Lori Brothers on Healthy Living: Rochelle says maintain, don’t gain

NEW CASTLE — “Maintain, don’t gain.”

This is good advice from one of our Ornish dieticians and personal nutrition counselor, Rochelle Rashid-Nebel.

Now that we are moving into holiday months, Rochelle has some great tips to raise our awareness during a time when our good patterns — and good results — tend to fall easily by the wayside.

We all have to chuckle about how easy it is to revert back to old patterns, and call them “tradition.” I urge you to be a little mindful about how much you are relying on this excuse. Rochelle says it is one sure way to sabotage all the good work you gained before the holiday season.

How do we bridge the deep cavern of temptation that accompanies holiday tradition?  Especially if you are used to baking pies (part of the American fabric of Thanksgiving) and making cookies with the kids or grandkids, the trick is to learn not to make these events, and their products, the focus of your traditions.

Rochelle emphasizes socializing more than eating. “Enjoying fun activities and meaningful conversations will become more memorable than that piece of pie will,” Rochelle says.

My kids have gone to see “The Nutcracker” for many years with their grandmother. That is a different kind of tradition, and one that brings much enjoyment for everyone with no sugary calories. Yes, they are going again this year — and my kids are now in college!

Rochelle suggests filling up on the more healthy choices such as salads, veggies, cranberry sauce, then just sample the holiday foods in order to maintain, instead of gain. Also, you may want to give this week’s fat-free pumpkin pie recipe a try.

“Stop ‘picking,’ unless you are going to pick at veggies or other healthy foods,” Rochelle advises.

She also points out that if you are the cook, be very aware of how much you taste the food while you are cooking it. Tasting too often while you are cooking will add calories to your daily intake, especially if you are planning to also eat the meal.

Rochelle mentioned a product to me that I haven’t heard about before. Most dairies now offer a special line of skim milk. Look for “super slim,” “slim deluxe,” or “skim choice” skim milk. These products are designed to resemble 2 percent milk which has a thicker consistency but they have the same fat content as skim. She said it is great to use in cooking or baking.

“These products use carrageenan, which is a natural thickening agent made from red seaweed to bind and thicken the milk, making it great for using in sauces or in mashed potatoes,” she said.

Other substitutes to modify your traditional holiday dishes can include fat-free sour cream or fat-free plain yogurt for dips, using vegetable broth instead of oil for sautéing veggies, and adding apple sauce in place of oil for your baked-good recipes

We all love the holidays, so Rochelle’s last bit of advice is something we all know but that we sometimes fail to act upon. Don’t over-indulge. If your goal is to maintain instead of gain, it is important to use self-control.

“Maintain, don’t gain.”

 If you keep this little rhyme as close to your lips as that next bite of pie or that next cookie, you’ll get through this holiday season meeting your goal. Thanks, Rochelle!

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