Tupper Lake is one of the best places to be during the Holiday Season. Okay, I may be a little biased since it is my hometown, however, there is no denying there is something magical about being here this time of year. It might be as simple as experiencing some authentic small town holiday charm. It may be the warmth and generosity that radiates off of the people you pass on the street. Or it could simply be that the Adirondacks are like a giant holiday snow globe that no artificial decorations could ever duplicate. But, whatever it may be, I feel lucky to once again be able to spend the holidays in Tupper Lake.
That being said, it is still the holidays! The time of year that should only be filled with joy and merriment, but somehow turns into a time of year when I get little rest, indulge way too much with foods that I shouldn't, and find myself running in so many different directions I forget where I might be going. As a result, I often end up rundown, sick, and ready to go into hibernation until spring.
Here are a few simple tips for enjoying a healthy holiday season in the Adirondacks.
Simple Tips for a Healthy Holiday
1. Find Healthy Food Alternatives & Practice Moderation
Eating healthy during the holidays is challenging! Whether it's dining out with family and friends, grabbing junk food between this errand and that errand, or simply snacking on the never ending supply of baked goods that just happen to magically appear around every corner. Good food choices may sound difficult to make during the holidays.
Dining Out - So, you're planning on meeting up with friends or family to enjoy dinner and drinks at a local restaurant...
- Don't show up famished! When you are starving you are more likely to make poor menu choices and devour everything in front of you.
- Many of the restaurants in Tupper Lake offer wonderful healthy meal options. Consider ordering a side salad or vegetable to go with your entree.
- Take your time! Enjoy good food and good company. When you eat slower, you will notice that you feel full sooner, you will eat less and avoid ending up in that "food coma" (you know the one I'm talking about - the one I'm often guilty of). But even better, you can take the rest of your meal home with you and enjoy a stress free lunch of left-overs the next day.
Parties - The never ending spread of dips, baked goods, cheeses, chocolate and more...
- Again - don't show up famished. Eating a light and healthy snack before you head out will help you avoid overindulging once you are there.
- Grab a small plate of items that you love and don't fill up on items that you don't like. It is the holidays and you can treat yourself... but don't waste it on foods you don't love!
- Be aware of what you are drinking!
- Consider making a healthy snack option. Recently I met with David Tomberlin from Well Dressed Food in Tupper Lake and he kindly shared this delicious healthy dip recipe that I can't wait to try!
Traveling - Whether you are traveling for your holiday vacation, on the road shopping, or simply out and about finishing up your last minute holiday errands...
- Keep healthy snack options and water with you so that you don't reach for that bag of chips or greasy fast food.
- If you are on the road for a while and need to eat a meal, schedule time to sit down and enjoy a good meal rather than eating quickly on the run.
Allow yourself to indulge (a little)! - I've always been a firm believer in moderation. It is much better to have a little of something as opposed to depriving yourself until you give in and consume way too much of it in the future. Don't forget that it is the holidays. Treat yourself (in moderation) and enjoy every single bite. If you are worried about the extra calories. Park your car farther away from the store, office, restaurant and get in some extra steps.
2. Shop Adirondack!
As much as possible, try to avoid the stress and hustle of box store shopping. Visit your locally owned "Mom & Pop" stores for some of your gift giving needs. You will avoid the headaches and crowds, experience personal and friendly service and promote a healthy economy in the towns and villages that you live in and visit throughout the year.
3. Think beyond the holidays!
The holiday season is a great time of year to think about getting in shape for the upcoming ski season. Before we know it, the holidays will be over and we will be looking to hit the slopes of Big Tupper! Make some time to get in shape for ski season.
Recently I met with fitness trainer, Brittany Casagrain - owner of at The Studio Fitness Center on Park Street in Tupper Lake, to learn some great ways to get in shape for ski season. "Skiing is awesome because you get it all. You get cardio, you get endurance, you get biometrics, you get agility... you really get a bit of it all!"
Here are a few quick exercises that are recommended to get you ready to hit the slopes:
- Wall Sits: By holding yourself in the sitting position against the wall, you can build up your isometric strength in your lower body. This will help you build up the muscles used for skiing and riding.
- Lunges and Squats: By doing these simple exercises you will build up your core and lower body strength for navigating through the mountains' terrain.
- Plyometrics: Train your body to withstand and absorb impact. A great exercise for this is plyometric box jumps. Start in a squatting position in front of your box and jump up on to a box or bench, use the momentum of your arms and core to assist.
Making a circuit of these exercises will help you burn off some of those holiday treats and have you ready to hit the slopes when the the mountain calls.
4. Make time for yourself!
This might be the most difficult task for me. All year long I am guilty of not making enough time for myself. But as the holidays approach, it only gets worst. There are travel plans to be made, holiday parties and events to attend, cookies for Santa to be baked, decorated & eaten, presents to be purchased... the list only goes on.
There are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done, so how in the world will I find time for the things that I simply want to do? But I learned a little secret... Santa doesn't really care how pretty the holiday cookies are. And if I save time buying many of my gifts locally, rather than driving all over New York State, I can actually make time for me!
Snowshoeing (when there is enough snow) or hiking (when there isn't) are some of my favorite activities this time of year in Tupper Lake. I might not go for as far or long as I would typically like, but a little fresh air and exercise is good for the body and mind!