Black Friday Game Plan from Dairy Council of Arizona

Dairy Council of Arizona is paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

Black Friday Game Plan
Your Thanksgiving feast prep is probably already in progress, but what about the day after Thanksgiving?  The Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally known for football and fabulous sales.   Are you planning to hit the malls on Black Friday?  These shopping days can be long and grueling, so it's easy to lose track of your health goals.   With all the shopping frenzy, it's important to keep your wits about you and keep these tips in mind before you head out.
1.    Begin with Breakfast:  Start your big day with a good breakfast - include protein foods for sustained energy.  Good protein foods include eggs, cheese, yogurt and lean meats.  Put together a quick breakfast sandwich with whole grain bread, (use the smaller sandwich thins to minimize carbs and calories), scrambled egg substitute (it has less cholesterol, fat and calories than regular eggs), and slices of lean ham and your favorite cheese (Cheddar or Swiss pair well with this sandwich).
2.    Smart Snacking:  Pack a healthy snack - grab a small lunch cooler and pack it with healthful protein packed foods like cheese sticks and yogurt, and the fiber of fresh fruit for a quick pick-me-up.   A small turkey and Swiss sandwich on whole grain bread or whole grain crackers with cheese will also fill you up without adding too many extra calories.  Eating a small smart snack every few hours will help you stay energized and avoid the "see food diet" or the "smell food diet" phenomenon that happens when walking past the food court.  
3.    Avoid Mall Madness:  Choose carefully from the food court - mall food is certainly not known for being healthful, but if you're careful, you can find foods that fit your nutrition budget.  Sandwiches on whole grain bread with grilled turkey or chicken and cheese or a similar sandwich wrap filled with added veggies;  a fruit and yogurt parfait; skinny latte made with fat free milk;  a small cheeseburger - hold the fries; or a small slice of veggie pizza are all delicious choices.   Things to avoid would be the huge sugar-glazed cinnamon rolls or giant pretzels; anything fried; large sized meals; oversized desserts like cookies and brownies.  Also, sit down to eat instead of eating while walking.  It will help you to be more mindful of what you're eating and  
4.    Enjoy the Exercise:  Black Friday shopping is also a great way to get in some exercise while you're walking the mall.  If you have a pedometer, use it.  You'll be pleasantly surprised at how many steps you can take while shopping.  Try to walk as quickly as you can - make it a game to dodge the other shoppers, but be careful to not run anyone over
By keeping your health goals in mind when it's easy to push them to the back burner, you'll be able to survive the holiday shopping season and still be on track to meet those goals.   And keep those thankful thoughts from Thursday floating around in your mind so you enjoy the day and don't get caught up in the shopping frenzy.  For more recipes and tips for healthy meals and snacks, visit     www.dairycouncilofaz.org      
By Terri Verason, MS, RD
Director of Nutrition Education, Dairy Council of Arizona.

Dairy Council of Arizona is paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live
 

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