Monthly Archives: December 2009

Why Post-Holiday Fitness Resolutions Fail

By the end of January many of the holiday resolutions to exercise and become more fit will be broken.

Most people know that exercise is good for them. What gets in the way is emotions not determination.

Read about the Top Reasons Those “Get Fit” Resolutions Don’t Stick

Women may be more self-conscious than men about going to a gym. Women may feel more intimidated by the equipment, feel pressure to exercise in trendy clothes, and feel uncomfortable about exercising in front of the opposite sex.

I got some advice many years ago from a friend when I first started going to a coed gym. She told me that the men in the gym were far more interested in their bodies than they were in mine – and she was right.

And some other thoughts:

  • Avoid an all-or-nothing approach. Instead of committing to daily classes at the local gym, you might start by making smaller, incremental changes, such as taking the stairs or parking at the far-end of the parking lot.
  • If you really can’t find the time to exercise for an hour, break your exercise into more manageable (10-15 minute) chunks.
  • Small changes to diet can also add up to big weight loss.
  • And if you miss a day of exercise or break your diet, pick up where you left off. It’s not the end of the world.
  • If a big gym makes you uncomfortable, look for a specialty gym that caters to just woman or to your age group.
  • Or skip the gym and find an activity you really love – dancing, swimming, bicycling, walking….

National Institutes for Health (NIH) has several guides to help you choose a good mix of exercise activities which include strength-building, endurance, and balance.

“The Vegans Are Coming” for Christmas Dinner

Last week I was chatting with my neighbor at a party about our holiday plans. Her extended family – including several vegans – is coming for Christmas. She was trying to figure out what to cook.

Although I am not a vegeterian, I do cook a lot of vegetarian dishes and I own a lot of cookbooks. (I still have my original 1970 copy of The Tassajara Bread Book.)

I promised to give her a recipe I had just seen in Yoga Journal for a vegan bundt cake. I also lent her my favorite vegetarian cookbook – 3 Bowls : Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery.

In my conversation with my neighbor I also realized that many people try to make vegetarian or vegan dishes that are “just like”  non-vegetarian dishes instead of focusing on the qualities of vegetarian dishes.

And the worst possible time to try to make a taste-alike vegetarian dish is around the holidays. Holiday dishes are filled with tradition and memory. Substituting tofu for turkey or soy milk in the mashed potatoes probably won’t satisfy anyone.

Instead, try creating new traditions.  To quote the final issue of Gourmet, “A vegetarian Thanksgiving can be inspiring not daunting. When you’re freed from the constraints of traditional holiday recipes, a new world opens up, on in which Fall’s finest produce takes center stage. The results are wildly colorful, deeply delicious, and so simple to put together.”