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The East African : Dec 26th 2015
The EastAfrican MAGAZINE DECEMBER 26, 2015 - JANUARY 1, 2016 food Ten ways to beat the holiday st≥ess Fitness and nut≥ition ideas that may just be what you need, f≥om GABRIELLA BOSTON way-too-calorific meals, sweet and overbearing in-laws, high expectations and numerous disappointments, change of pace and lack of structure. For some people, this is no big T deal, a passing state of affairs that soon will be a mere fragment on the collage of holidays past. But if you, like many, find that holidays have a special place on your list of anxiety and gloom-inducing triggers, then the following fitness and nutrition ideas may just be what you need. • Eat when you are hungry. A common mistake people make is to skip meals in anticipation of the big buffet. The downside: You feel bad from being too hungry before the meal and overly full after. Bloating, fatigue and crankiness are among symptoms of these extremes on the hunger spectrum. Instead, stick to your routines even on holiday-buffet day. • Make smart choices and be picky with indulgences. Let’s be honest: Healthy choices don’t really abound during the holidays, but they can be found. Look for chilli and vegetablebased soup, as they usually are “reasonably healthy choices,” and whole foods such as clementines. And feel free to indulge in the dishes that are special, not the things (store-bought chips and cookies) that you can have any time of the year. • Take your time. Take some time to look at the spread before digging in. Socialise with family and friends. Enjoy the sights and sounds. Eventually, home in on the two or three items that look the most delectable. Use moderation. This is probably not your last meal. • Stay hydrated. Try to aim for your eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration has been shown to affect mood negatively. If you are drinking alcohol it’s a good idea to alternate with water. Club soda may be a more festive option than plain water. Watch the mixed drinks for calories and high sugar content. Also, be mindful that alcohol can interact adversely with antidepressants. • Take a deep breath. Yes, simply speaking, take a deep breath when emotional temperatures start rising, says Alyson Shade, a yoga instructor. “I usually recommend dirga pra- hey’re here: The holidays with their cheer and charm on the one hand and their chaos and craziness on the other. There are the many tasty but XI RECIPE fat cap and a modest-size glob of fat amid nicely ma≥bled meat. The ≥oast should look app≥oximately the same on both ends. Ingredients: For the roast One 2.7kg- 3kg boneless ≥ib-eye (p≥ime ≥ib) ≥oast, cut f≥om the chuck end 1/2 cup koshe≥ salt, plus mo≥e fo≥ sp≥inkling 1/4 cup f≥eshly g≥ound black peppe≥, plus mo≥e fo≥ sp≥inkling 3/4 cup Dijon-style musta≥d 2 o≥ 3 f≥esh bay leaves, cut into st≥ips 1 head ga≥lic, cut ho≥izontally in half (optional) Whipped butte≥milk with ho≥se≥adish and ta≥≥agon P≥ime ≥ib ≥oast with ≥oasted beef fat vinaig≥ette L ook fo≥ a ≥oast with a f≥esh, ≥ed colou≥ that has a not-too-thick Coa≥se salt, fo≥ sp≥inkling For the vinaigrette: A common mistake people make is to skip lunch in anticipation of the big Christmas buffet. Picture: File nayama — the three-part breath. That’s really calming,” Shade says. You can do dirga breathing flat on your back, seated or even while standing in a long retail checkout line, she says. Here is how: You place one hand on the belly, the other on the chest. As you breathe in, the lower abdomen starts lifting, followed by the middle abdomen and then the chest. When you exhale, the chest drops first, followed by the middle abdomen and, last, the lower abdomen. The breath moves like a wave through the torso. • Be realistic about expectations. It’s important to put the holidays in perspective, says Mary Alvord, a psychologist and the Maryland state public education campaign coordinator for the American Psychological Association. Being realistic in your expectations and carving out alone time (and letting friends and family know in a graceful way that you need some time to be the best you) are also helpful in staying centred and grounding during the holidays. • Visualise a happy place: Visualisation can be another effective tool in d≥ink wate≥ Stay hydrated. Try to aim for your eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration has been shown to affect mood negatively. If you are drinking alcohol it’s a good idea to alternate with water. Club soda may be a more festive option than plain water. Watch the mixed drinks for calories and high sugar content. Also, be mindful that alcohol can interact adversely with antidepressants. coping with the holiday stress. It’s a technique that involves all of your senses. Here is how: Imagine yourself in a safe place. It can be real or fictitious. Imagine colours that you associate with calm. Think of sounds that are pleasing to you. It may be silence. Feel the perfect temperature on your skin. Sense the perfect smells and tastes. You are transporting yourself to a safe and calm place as anxiousness arises. • Be present. Mindfulness employs many of the same tools that visualisation does, except you are staying present, not going to the beach. Notice your breath, talk about what you see, hear, smell and feel on your skin — be fully present. It can apply to eating as well. “Mindful eating” means that you take your time to notice all aspects of the food you are enjoying: the colour, the smell, the shape, how it feels in the mouth, how it feels when you swallow, etc. It has been linked to healthier eating habits and even weight loss. • Stick to your routine: As much as possible, stick to your routine. Get the sleep and the exercise you need. • Loosen up. When we are anxious and stressed, we often have tightness in the shoulders and neck. Alvord, author of Relaxation and Wellness Techniques, says muscle relaxation techniques can help reduce tightness while also providing calm. Here is how: Tighten each muscle group of the body one at a time and then slowly release them. Feel the tingling sensation and warmth. For the shoulders and neck specifically: Tuck the chin to the chest. Hold it while counting to 10. Gradually, bring the head back up. Tilt the head toward the right shoulder. Hold it while counting to 10 and then lift slowly. Repeat on the left side. “Sometimes this technique im- proves breath and even the immune system,” Alvord says. It’s an example, she says, of the mind-body connection. If the body is uncomfortable, the mind is too: Your thoughts are reflected in your body and your body is reflected in your thoughts. The Washington Post 2 tablespoons minced shallots 1 o≥ 2 cloves ≥oasted ga≥lic (f≥om the halves in the pan) 1/4 cup ≥ed wine vinega≥ 1 tablespoon koshe≥ salt 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style musta≥d G≥apeseed o≥ anothe≥ neut≥ally flavou≥ed oil 1/4 cup packed chopped flat-leaf pa≥sley 1 teaspoon f≥esh ≥osema≥y leaves, chopped (optional) F≥eshly g≥ound black peppe≥ Steps P≥eheat the oven to 200 deg≥ees. Season the meat all ove≥ with a light, even sp≥inkling of salt and peppe≥. Whisk togethe≥ the musta≥d, the 1/2 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of peppe≥ in a medium bowl, to fo≥m a paste. Rub it all ove≥ the meat, then p≥ess the st≥ips of bay leaf along the top of the ≥oast. T≥ansfe≥ to a shallow ≥oasting pan, fat side up. Place the ga≥lic head halves in the pan, if using. Slow-≥oast fo≥ 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hou≥s, keeping in mind the tempe≥atu≥e will ≥ise as the ≥oast ≥ests. Let it ≥est fo≥ 30 minutes (in its pan) in a wa≥m, d≥aft-f≥ee spot. Meanwhile, sta≥t the vinaig≥ette: Combine the shallot, ≥oasted ga≥lic, ≥ed wine vinega≥, salt and musta≥d in a medium bowl; let it mace≥ate fo≥ 30 to 40 minutes. When you’≥e just about ≥eady to se≥ve, ≥etu≥n the ≥oast to the oven; ≥oast fo≥ 15 to 20 minutes until golden b≥own. T≥ansfe≥ the ≥oast to a cutting boa≥d to ≥est. Pou≥ one cup of the pan juices/ d≥ippings into a heatp≥oof liquid measu≥ing cup; the amount will va≥y based on the size of you≥ ≥oast. Pou≥ the wa≥m d≥ippings into the shallot mixtu≥e, whisking constantly. The vinaig≥ette may not fully emulsify; that’s okay. Add the chopped pa≥sley and ≥osema≥y, if using, whisking to inco≥po≥ate. Taste and season with peppe≥ as needed. Se≥ve wa≥m, with the vinaig≥ette, the whipped butte≥milk with ho≥se≥adish and ta≥≥agon and some cloves of the ≥oasted ga≥lic, if desi≥ed.
Dec 19th 2015
Jan 2nd 2016