Generally with each holiday season comes packages and me packing on the pounds. Breezy Mama turned to the first female to win The Biggest Loser Season 5, Ali Vincent, who recently wrote Believe It, Be It to get her tips on keepin’ it healthy as best as you can during the time of fudge, ginger bread men, cookies, pie and more (hello—she lost 112 pounds herself!!!) — plus, a good game plan for enjoying some seasonal treats, too.
What are your tips for eating healthy during the holiday season?
If you’re going to host a party at your house, use serving utensils like
half cup or full cup serving spoons and tablespoons, so that you and your guests know exactly where they’re at in terms of calorie values. That way you and your guests know exactly how much you/they are eating.
For parties, take items with you so that you can partake. Take enough for all to share – fruit platter and hummus platter with veggies or low cal dish so you know the nutrition value and others can enjoy with you.
But we HAVE to splurge here and there. Any suggestions on keeping it within reason?
Absolutely. My biggest thing is to make conscious choices even if there is a price to pay. Pay close attention to calorie values, learn to set boundaries for yourself and limit your portions. It’s also very important to make sure to burn it off with exercise. It’s a matter of planning. As long as you plan, you can have pretty much anything.
If you could eliminate ONE holiday dinner dish, what would it be? Mashed
potatoes? Pie? Gravy?
I wouldn’t! Haha! Same as above. It’s all about moderation and portion
Any post holiday leftover dishes that are smart choices for eating healthy?
Of course. Definitely anytime you have turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can use it for leftover meals. Make sure and pre-weigh portions and store in ziplock baggies so you can grab it quickly from the fridge and use it in a spaghetti squash marinara, for turkey tacos, turkey sandwiches, etc.
What tip was your biggest take-away after competing in The Biggest Loser?
The biggest lesson I learned is knowing that I can have anything I want as long as I portion it out. That’s the key. That will allow you to know exactly where you are at any given time.
What’s a meal you enjoy that’s surprisingly delicious and you forget you¹re
Spaghetti squash is my favorite. I created a recipe for a sauce with ground turkey and veggie loaded with garlic, peppers, onion, mushrooms – basically any veggies I have in the fridge. Instead of pasta, I use spaghetti squash which allows me to have all the flavors I love, but still low calorie. If you’re not familiar, it’s the yellow squash you can find in any grocery store. You seed it and then steam it and then take fork and get squash out. When it’s baked or steamed, its meat looks like glistening strands of pasta. Depending on how much turkey/marinara you use, you can have about 1 cup and it’s delicious!
When we forget your advice and dive into all things holiday delicious, what steps do you recommend for getting back on track to eat healthy?
The biggest key is STAYING on track and that for me is writing everything down so at any given moment I can assess exactly where I’m at. If you’re eating bad, as long as you’re writing it down, you know what results to expect. Keep moving/stay active and find something you like so that you can incorporate it into the rest of your life. It’s baby steps. Take a look at your lifestyle and start making small, subtle changes to diet and exercise.
Can you tell us about your book Believe It, Be It?
The reason that I wrote the book was to communicate emotionally the relationship I had with myself. I realize that in order to give back to others, I have to take care of ME first. I had to go through a process and ask myself questions: Where did I give up on me?, What went wrong?, Why was I not focusing on my well-being? Particularly, for moms, it can feel like it’s not okay to give to themselves. They have to realize that it’s not selfish and should actually be MANDATORY so that they have more energy and support to give to their kids while still doing things that make them feel
healthy and good.
Weight loss is a constant struggle for many Americans and it was an uphill
battle for me. Tipping the scales at 234 pounds, I made the life changing
decision to audition for the fifth season of The Biggest Loser. Terrified
yet determined, I repeated my mantra: BELIEVE IT, BE IT everyday and set out
to acknowledge and conquer my fears and false beliefs.
In the book, I share a lot of intimate details, as well as strategies for
weight loss and maintenance. It also includes simple tips and advice that
anyone can follow. It’s really been such an amazing experience.
For Moms who want to lose a couple of pounds, what’s your advice for getting started?
Again, you have to start to pay attention to where you’re at. You have to know what point A is to get to your goal, Point B. Write it down! From there, you can see where you can make the little changes that add up to the big changes.
Any other advice you’d like to share?
Especially for moms, give yourself a break! We beat ourselves up. Quit “shoulding” on yourself – “I should be this,” “I should do that.” Know and believe you’re doing the best you can at any giving time and that you have to give to yourself and take time for YOU in order to do what’s best for your family.
Photos Courtesy Designer Whey
Want a treat that’s zero calories? Subscribe to have Breezy Mama’s posts delivered to your email in-box!