STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Some believe free range is a healthy route to take. “Any animal that is fed antibiotics would be pulled out of this program,” Carter said. “Most of the time when you see these markets, they say they are antibiotic free and hormone free.”


At the end of the day, it tends to be about budget and how much you want to spend, as well as personal preference.


“It is more of a perception and personal choice as to whether you want to buy free-range products or a conventional product,” Hawkins said. “Just because a product is raised in a more traditional background as opposed to a free-range situation does not mean the care given to that animal is any different. The producers (on both ends of the spectrum) take pride in and care for their animals.”


“It just comes down to what somebody wants,” Carter said. “Traditionally in these types of programs, the cost will be higher. It needs to be because there are higher costs involved for the producer.”

For farmers, free-range livestock has become a hot topic of conversation.


“Kentucky has 37,000 beef producers and is the largest cattle state east of the Mississippi,” said Katelyn Hawkins, general member of the beef council of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association. From a health standpoint, whether you choose free range or a conventional route of beef production, you are still getting the same nutritional benefits.


“No matter what type of beef you choose, as far as the production practice that goes behind it – whether it is grain finished, grass finished, natural, organic or even free range – when you eat it you are getting 25 grams of protein and 10 essential vitamins and nutrients off a 3-ounce portion,” Hawkins said. “Some people choose free range because they do not necessarily fully understand the production cycle and what happens on the farm. They like the idea that there is a free-range option.”


There are many reasons to consider free-range livestock. “The main benefits are that it is locally sourced and the dollars stay in Kentucky,” said Nick Carter, agriculture and natural resources agent for the Fayette County Farm Bureau. “In most cases you feel comfortable with how it is being handled.”

SHOULD YOU CHOOSE FREE RANGE LIVESTOCK?

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

Beef is a versatile meat. There are so many options for using it that everyone is sure to find some- thing they like. “Those (cuts) that are determined lean by the dietary guidelines include America’s favor- ite cuts, like T-bone, tenderloin, sirloin and even flank steak,” said Hawkins.


You can always serve beef with something to make it even more appealing. “Everyone likes color on their plate, so try a stir-fry recipe or use beef as a salad topper,” said Hawkins.