Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finals Week and Holiday Eating Tips From Jean, UMD's Dietition

Jean our AWESOME dietitian has put together some fantastic guidelines for getting eating through stress during finals as week, which for many of us dovetails right into holiday celebrations.

Please remember that Jean is here for both staff and students. If you have questions about the food you are eating or need to be eating, she is a great resource.
Contact her at

A few things to consider for staying healthy and minimizeing your stress during finals 

Caffeine- try to limit your caffeine intake to less than 500 mg a day. 

Regular brewed coffee has between 95-200mg of caffeine depending on the brand. 
Typical 16 oz latte has 150mg
16oz Starbucks Coffee has 330mg -  Starbucks tends to be higher in caffeine than some other brands of coffee.
Black tea - 8oz has 14-61mg
Green tea - 8oz has 24-40mg

A JUDY INTERLUDE - consider drinking green tea. You can have more of it, it tends to have a steadier UP without the crash.  You can have more and gain the health benefits as well. 

Sleep- make an effort to get the recommended 7-9 hours a night.

Breaks & Physical Activity  - Anywhere exercise
Running stairs
Jogging in place/high knees
Jumping Jacks
Prop your foot up for deeper stretch

Triceps chair dips
Isometric Bicep hold
Back extensions
Crunch w/ twist
Hip flexor


Ring in the Holidays the Healthy Way
10 tips to indulge intelligently this season
Jean Rodvold, UMD Food Coach and Dietition

1.      Rethink Your Expectations
Is it true the average person gains 5 lbs between Thanksgiving & New Year’s Day? While many people do gain weight over the holidays, a study from 2000 showed the average person gains between ¾ to 1 lb. Although it was not the majority, 14% of those studied did gain 5 lbs or more. Holiday weight gain is one reason that weight creeps up from year to year. If you’re long range goal is to lose weight, consider weight maintenance over the holidays.

2.      Stay Active!
One of the keys to successful weight maintenance is physical activity. Make an effort to move every day and keep regular exercise patterns. Realize that some days you will not make it to the gym, instead of worrying, do what you can with the time you have – start a new family tradition by going sledding, cross country skiing, or having a snowball fight. It can be difficult while traveling, but get back to your regular exercise routine when you get home.

3.      Take Stock
Survey the entire table before digging in. Decide which foods are worth eating and which you can ignore. Why waste calories on food that does not bring you pleasure?

4.      Portion Size
You can still enjoy all of your holiday favorites, but remember to:
-      Take a smaller portion
-      Eat slowly & Savor the flavor of the season
-      Avoid going back for seconds!

5.      Eat Your Calories
Holiday beverages can be loaded with calories, fat, and sugar. Opt for water or sugar free beverages when possible. Indulge on your favorites, but sip a large glass of water between every alcoholic drink, non-alcoholic punch, or eggnog. This will help you stay hydrated and drink fewer calories by the end of the night.

6.      Splurge on Something Meaningful
We all have special foods that we look forward to this time of year. Choose to eat your favorite holiday treat or side dish, but ignore the foods you enjoy least or are available all year long. (Keeping tip 4 in mind!)

7.      Don’t be a part of the “Clean Plate Club”
The age old saying “clean your plate” is exactly that – OLD! Don’t feel like you have to clean your plate. Leave a few bites of everything and only eat until you are satisfied but not overly full. Scale your hunger from 1 to 10, with 1 being ravenous and 10 being overly stuffed. You should stop eating when you feel you are between a 6 & 7.

8.      Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals in order to “save up” for a big holiday dinner may actually cause you to overeat. Instead, on the day you plan to have a larger holiday meal:
-      Eat smaller meals around the larger one
-      Make the other meals healthier
-      Include vegetables, fruits & whole grains

9.      Be Courteous
When hosting, include lower-calorie dishes & foods. When you are a guest, bring along a lower calorie dish to share. Be courteous of everyone’s health goals.

10.    Enjoy Company
Ever notice how people tend to gravitate toward the buffet table? This holiday season rally the gang around the fireplace, living room, or anywhere else. Don’t hang out near the food. This will help you cut back on mindless holiday snacking. Focus on spending time with the people you care about. While food is an integral part of our holiday celebrations, let’s remember it is not the focal point.

Thank you Jean!
(Iinformation from Jean Rodvold -  UMD Food Coach and Dietition)

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