By Molly Cunha
Thanksgiving has officially kicked off the holiday season and there are just a few more weeks of classes in the semester. Students are excited to be with their family and friends, finish their final exams, and eat their hearts out. Here are five tips on how to do this the right way:
Being careful with leftovers.
Food safety, the discipline of preventing food borne illness, is a huge influence on a person’s overall health; food poisoning can be preventable as long as leftovers are taken care of efficiently. According to the Centers for Disease Control, turkey should not be left out for more than two hours (even when cooked). The meat should be cut off the bone and all of the stuffing should be removed from the turkey if it is being saved. The leftover turkey, once refrigerated, should be thrown out after four days, unless it has been frozen.
Trying seasonal, fun activities to get you on your feet.
There are many ways to celebrate the holidays with family and friends besides eating and watching holiday movies. Burn off the extra calories by going ice skating in an indoor rink or outside, hiking, or skiing and snowboarding as the season progresses. After supporting Post sports, be sure to stay and exercise at the Pratt Recreation Center (open until midnight on weekdays and 5 p.m. on the weekends), there are free group classes throughout the week, personal training offered, a pool, and an indoor track. “Over the holidays I get exercise by running on a treadmill in my house and if I don’t feel like running I go to a yoga class with one of my friends,” said Rachel Vellis, a freshman criminal justice major.
Finding the healthy alternatives.
While there are exceptions to eating certain foods during the holidays, like turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, there are ways to find alternatives and substitutions to make the healthier choices. For example, rather than egg nog, try vanilla chai tea; by itself, it contains little to no calories, fats, and cholesterol. Rather than taking extra desserts, grab another helping of vegetables.
Balancing stress the right way.
Eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water, and exercising helps to keep you happier, and less anxious as finals week approaches. Rather than “eating your feelings” at the dining hall which will just make you feel worse, take a break from studying to prepare and plan your meals and snacks. Keep your mind off of all that is on your plate; go for a run around campus or take a free yoga or pilates class offered throughout the week. “Whenever I start to feel stressed, I lace up my running shoes, plug into my music and run until it all goes away,” Lexi Zaino, a junior marketing major said.
Controlling portion sizes.
While it’s important to enjoy yourself over the holidays, it is also important to recognize moderation and not overindulgence. Rather than getting full plates of second and third helpings, or too many desserts, remember to eat enough to suffice your hunger, so that you’re full, but not feeling sick.
With Thanksgiving already behind us, this holiday season is going to go fast. Setting goals for yourself as well as making healthy choices will affect you greatly in this stressful time of year as well as mentally, emotionally, and physically in the long run.