Good morning!

It’s officially my favorite time of the year – the holiday season. I love the period of time that spans from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I have been a sucker for everything Christmas since I was a little one. In honor of that, I bought a winter spruce candle, some ginger spice tea, and I’ve got the Christmas pandora station playing.

It’s a good day!

My Thanksgiving was filled with sweet potatoes, a small amount of turkey, roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries, caesar salad, pumpkin pie and Irish cream coffee. YUM! I’m thankful for the holidays because it brings my entire family – all cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents- together for a meal. It doesn’t happen very often now that all of the cousins are growing up and going different directions with their lives. It makes me very appreciative of the time that we can all sit down and talk.

Today I did another strength conditioning class. I’m loving the new workouts. Running was starting to get a little old and I have definitely been sore from these classes. It was time for a change! Tricep dips will never seem to get easier, BUT they are a dynamite move. Everyone should crank out at least 20 a day. They are so convenient to do – just place your hands on the edge of a chair and bend the elbows. It’s an up and down movement and it will leave the tri’s shaking.

OK so I’m going to switch directions and talk about my vegetarian quest. I thought about it a lot and I feel that at this point in my life a flexitarian diet would be best. My schedule is all over the place and I have limited protein options at my sorority and I feel that my diet would become unhealthy if I eliminated meat. I would most likely end up chowing on almond butter, peanut butter, cheese and yogurt for protein. These options are all well and good, but too much peanut butter or cheese would add tons of saturated fat to my diet. If I had the option to have tofu salads, black bean burgers or whip up some guacamole enchiladas, I would definitely commit to vegetarianism. Unfortunately, that just isn’t in the cards for me right now.

I came across an article about the flexitarian diet. Feel free to read it if you want to learn more. The article from the Health and Fitness Association describes the flexitarian diet in simple terms:

Flexitarians eat mostly plant-based foods but dabble in steak, chicken stir-fry or fish tacos. Their loose adherence to a meat-free diet is motivated by animal rights, concerns over the earth’s ecology and a raft of research suggesting impressive health perks from swapping beef for beans more often.

“Think of it as a pro-plant, not anti-meat dietary lifestyle,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, a Chicago-based dietitian and author of The Flexitarian Diet (McGraw-Hill 2008). Blatner calls herself a “social carnivore”: she prepares only veggie burgers and plant-based foods at home but eats meat when dining out or attending social events.

Flexitarian eating is ideal for those who want to prepare and eat more vegetarian meals but find it too arduous to commit [to going meatless] 100% of the time,” Blatner says. “Unlike so many other regimented dietary plans that make certain food off-limits, flexitarian eating is easy to stick to because the food options are wide open, as there are no forbidden edibles.” You just have to work toward switching from a meat-heavy diet to a plant-based one. 

I eat mostly non-meat products, but if dinner is chicken and there are no other protein options, I will eat an appropriate portion of the meat. I think this diet is an excellent transition to vegetarianism and it allows you to get your feet wet. It’s going well so far. I’m not a huge meat fan so I think that this diet will be really easy to maintain.

Time to tackle my to-do list. I’m all caffeinated and ready to go! Have a wonderful Saturday.

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