Early resolve

Early resolve
Ari LeVaux - 11/29/2018

Year after year, in survey after survey, the most popular New Year’s resolutions relate to diet, exercise and weight loss. It’s probably no coincidence that we make these resolutions after the damage is done, at the end of holidays.

Resolving to turn the ship around is a healthy response to the feeling of waking up fat, hungover and generally disgusted with oneself. But it would make a lot more sense to make our diet-related resolutions before we become unglued. Losing weight is a lot harder than avoiding weight gain.

So, now is the time to craft a plan so you can arrive at the holiday battlefields prepared with some belly defense strategies that will work. You want to enjoy yourself, obviously. You even want to stuff your face. And with the right set of holiday resolutions you can.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the treacherous temptations of the holiday food table. And if you are happy with the effectiveness of these holiday resolutions, you may want to re-up Jan. 1.

1. Treat your stomach like the most valuable piece of real estate, like Victorians treated virginity. Don’t just give it away to the first tray of hors d’oeuvres that floats by. It’s easy to surrender to gluttony and slip into eating mode, filling your belly with whatever is within arm’s reach. Just don’t. If there is nothing good to eat then don’t eat. Take a breather. Something more worthy of your belly will be around soon enough.

2. Wait until lunchtime to eat breakfast, especially the day after a pig out. Some people worry that skipping breakfast leads to more eating later in the day to compensate, which can supposedly cause weight gain. But the most recent evidence (not to mention the anecdotal experiences of vocal breakfast skippers) suggests that response is rare. In any case, during the holidays you know you were already going to eat more later in the day, so skipping breakfast to compensate in advance for the gluttony to come just makes sense. You won’t starve, and after the gluttony, it sometimes feels like a relief to not eat, allowing your belly to sort itself out and get some rest.

3. Up the activity. I don’t mean to imply that you can exercise away the excess. In theory you could, but unless you become an endurance athlete, your workouts probably won’t compensate for the level of gluttony typical of holidays fare. But exercise is always good for you and will help you build some discipline that you can put to work at the holiday trough. And if you’re skipping breakfast, you do have that time slot available ... .

4. Pre-party with green plant fiber. I’m old enough to remember the T-shirts that advised “Arrive Stoned.” While that resolution involves a different plant, its wisdom applies to the holiday party. If you show up with a contented belly buzz, you won’t be that guy crowding the food table. You will be prepared to control yourself, better able to adhere to the first resolution.

Arriving at a lavish buffet with green fiber in your belly has other benefits too. It’s a good digestive aid that will help move along all the custard puffs, pumpkin pie and cookies. A bowl or two of the following massaged kale salad will put a good base layer in your belly, taking the edge off your hunger. The recent e. coli outbreak is certainly a good reason to avoid romaine, but kale has a lot more to offer anyway. If you are looking to maximize fiber per forkful, or just prefer the chewy flavor of a mustard family plant to the crispy water of lettuce, the reasons to make this salad are many.

But be warned, like many salads, this one isn’t low on calories. But the calories come from fat, which like fiber, sates the belly and takes the edge off of hunger. Calories from salad are better than calories from cake.

In this recipe, you use your hands to knead salt and lime juice into the kale leaves. This action breaks the cell walls, leaving the kale soft, pliable and easier to eat than unmassaged kale. The effect of massage is similar to that of cooking. The kale even shrinks under massage, as it does when cooked. My kale of choice is the long and narrow-leafed Lacinato kale, aka Dino kale, black kale or Tuscan kale. Curly green kale is a good second choice.

Massaged Kale Salad

3 bunches kale, stems removed, chopped crosswise to 1/2 inch slices (about 8 cups)
2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup green cabbage, sliced thinly
1 cup sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, pressed (garlic lovers can multiply as necessary)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan or crumbled feta 1 cup pitted olives
1 beet, preferably golden, shredded finely 1 medium carrot, shredded finely

Place the kale, lime and salt in a large mixing bowl. Squeeze handfuls of kale as hard as you can, over and over, for about a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, toss together and serve. Alternatively, reserve the shredded carrots as a garnish on top

Top Shelf

Indie rock'n'roller, uptown jazz and math rock
Indie rock'n'roller, uptown jazz and math rock
By Chris Aaland
02/21/2019

When did you first discover Martha Scanlan? For me, it was around 2001, when her old-time bluegrass outfit, Reeltime Travelers, began appearing on the festival circuit, playing the old Silverton Jubilee, the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass.

Heart strings, infamous strings & belly laughs
Heart strings, infamous strings & belly laughs
By Chris Aaland
02/14/2019

Life sure keeps you busy. My boy, Otto – fresh off being named to the honor roll! – turned 12, requiring a night out with the family Tuesday.

Boring Bowl, The Dude sells out & Hillbilly Poetry
Boring Bowl, The Dude sells out & Hillbilly Poetry
By Chris Aaland
02/07/2019

Now that was boring. Not only was Sunday’s Super Bowl the lowest scoring ever, but it was my first completely sober Super Bowl since 1986 ... and I was 17 then.

Snowdown's greatest hits
Snowdown's greatest hits
By Chris Aaland
01/31/2019

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably noticed a number of people flying about downtown dressed in masks and capes. It’s Snowdown week! This year’s theme is “Get Your Comic On,” which brings a bit of Comic-Con to our quaint mountain borough.

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Earth tones
Earth tones
By Stephen Eginoire
02/21/2019

Tired of looking at harsh, reflective white? Then feast your eyes on the gentler, subtler hues of winter. For most, winter brown is an acquired taste.

Rollin' a fattie
Rollin' a fattie
By Stephen Eginoire
02/14/2019

The 5th annual Silverton Whiteout kicked off last Saturday as fat bikers from ’round the hood and beyond rode lap after lap on a well-groomed 9.2-mile loop for 10 straight hours.

A bunch of comics: A look at the Snowdown that was
A bunch of comics: A look at the Snowdown that was
02/07/2019

Well, there you have it folks. Durango’s 41st Snowdown celebration is in the bag. 

Taking off the Chill
Taking off the Chill
By Stephen Eginoire
01/31/2019

With the shortest days of year in the rearview mirror, the sun a little higher and the days a little longer, our orientation toward the sun favors less chilly walks in the great outdoors, and certainly less GoreTex (on a nice day, of course.)

Read All in Day on the Life