How to Eat Right During the Holidays

How to Eat Right During the Holidays

thanksgiving platter November and December can be an especially difficult time to stick to a diet plan. I know because I am currently on a diet and exercise plan, so I am writing this just as much for myself as anyone else who might be reading this.

Here are my ‘7 Diet Strategies for the Holidays‘:

1. Remain Calm. I have read that stress causes us to eat more food. The stress could come from shopping, family, or anything else. So accept that you may have more stress right now and take a deep breathe and remain calm. It may be easy to eat your way into feeling better, but we both know this really doesn’t work.

2. Reconsider ‘Holiday Foods’. What I mean by this is, swap out the cookies and the cake for things like fruit and nuts. Make it so you don’t always think about cake, cookies, and candy when you think about what you can eat or serve during the Holidays. Changing what we think are appropriate foods will go a long way in helping us to eat right, especially during the Holidays. This way you will also still get to celebrate with food, but it will be much healthier for you.

3. Party You may be thinking that you can’t go to any Christmas parties this year because of your diet. I think if you choose this route you will add more stress to your life and end up eating more. So, get up and head to that party. But make a conscious decision about what you can eat while you are there. Trust me, nobody will notice that you aren’t eating as much as everyone else. You may even want to bring a healthy dish with you to share if you suspect there may be nothing healthy to eat at the party.

4. Remain Active. Time can be a premium during the Holidays. So you need to make sure you are active and make going to the Gym, or working out a high priority. You don’t want to take any ‘time off’. Trust me I learned this the hard way a few years ago. Taking a month or two off will put you back into your old routine and it will be much more difficult to get back to the gym or a workout routine in the future.

5. Accountability If you don’t already have an accountability partner that is helping you eat the right foods and working out, this would be an ideal time to find a friend to help you with this. Holiday foods can be really tempting, and if you don’t have someone who is looking out for you and working with you, you just might start sneaking entire pies, or other foods into your diet secretly. You will then not see the results you are expecting and get frustrated and possibly end up quiting on your diet and or exercise routine. It is OK to admit you might need help from someone.

6. Eat Slowly. When there is a whole table of amazing food in front of you, it is really easy to just start shoving it all into your face as quickly as possible. Don’t do this. Eat slowly. When you eat slower you eat less. When you eat quickly you can get a lot more food into your body. Unless you are on a weight gain diet, I would not recommend this. Eating less needs to be something you are thinking about when at the dinner table.

7. Stay Connected with God If you are like me then your health and diet issues are connected to your relationship with Jesus. I found that my health was a spiritual issue for me. I was involved in gluttony. I admit it. I over-consumed food daily for years. And nobody ever called me on it. So it is easy for us to not see our situation like this. But over-eating is not how God wants me or anyone else to live. So, if you are reforming your ways and getting away from gluttony (as I am), then be in prayer and read your Bible. This will hopefully help you stay focused on God and focused on living for Him with how you live your life.

OpenID – Finally my Identity is truly mine

OpenID – Finally my Identity is truly mine

OpenIDDo you have a facebook account, a myspace account, and a slew of other random accounts around the web? If you are reading this, you probably do. Because of all of these social networks and online services we have a lot of usernames and passwords that we need to keep track of. Some people try to always use the same username and password so that they don’t forget their login information, others use Password management software. Honestly, the idea that we need to have so many different logins that we need a password manager just seems crazy to me. Now wouldn’t it be nice if someone came along and created an open standard that sites could use to authenticate their users? Something that would allow each person to only have one username and password that they would need to remember? OpenID , is that technology. There are a number of sites already using OpenID, and soon there will be many more. With OpenID you control your login credentials (ie. username and password). You can even run your own OpenID server or use one of the many free OpenID providers.

So what is OpenID?

The OpenID website sums this up rather well, so I will quote them here.

“OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience.

You get to choose the OpenID Provider that best meets your needs and most importantly that you trust. At the same time, your OpenID can stay with you, no matter which Provider you move to. And best of all, the OpenID technology is not proprietary and is completely free.

For businesses, this means a lower cost of password and account management, while drawing new web traffic. OpenID lowers user frustration by letting users have control of their login.

For geeks, OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity. OpenID takes advantage of already existing internet technology (URI, HTTP, SSL, Diffie-Hellman) and realizes that people are already creating identities for themselves whether it be at their blog, photostream, profile page, etc. With OpenID you can easily transform one of these existing URIs into an account which can be used at sites which support OpenID logins.

OpenID is still in the adoption phase and is becoming more and more popular, as large organizations like AOL, Microsoft, Sun, Novell, etc. begin to accept and provide OpenIDs. Today it is estimated that there are over 160-million OpenID enabled URIs with nearly ten-thousand sites supporting OpenID logins.” — openid.net

OpenID is a bit different than other authentication methods in that your OpenID is a URL. we have gotten used to giving a username or an email address out to sites across the web, but OpenID moves in a different direction by using a URL as the identifier. For example, my OpenID is thebristows.com , I have setup my website URL to be my OpenID. We have gotten so used to handing out our email addresses, but who wants to get more and more spam? I know I am reluctant to give out my real email address as the username at a site. So something needed to be used that could always be unique to an individual, and an actual username wouldn’t work across multiple sites because you could run into a username already being used by a different user. But a URL can be a unique identifier, so that is what OpenID has done. So I have adjusted my thinking to using a URL for an ID.

Now with my OpenID I can login to any site that is using the OpenID standard and not have to go through a bunch of hoops to use their services. In addition, I can change my OpenID provider at anytime (as long as I am using my own domain name as my OpenID), and not need to worry about my OpenID provider going belly up. I have chosen to use MyOpenID.com as my current provider, and if they close up shop I can just go and grab a different OpenID provider and link the new one to my website. This keeps me in control of my ID. My ID doesn’t ever need to change, and I like that. Or if I want to really have full control I can setup my own OpenID server.

Initial setup of an OpenID is really simple at MyOpenID.com and you can then link your MyOpenID to any domain name that you own by placing a small piece of HTML code into your <head> section on your root webpage. MyOpenID also gives you a URL you can use as your ID if you don’t have a website. For example in my case I could use jeffbristow.myopenid.com as my OpenID on websites that use OpenID. But I have added some HTML code to the <head> section of my website that allows me to simply use thebristows.com as my OpenID URL.

Another thing I like about OpenID is that I don’t ever give a username or password to anyone other than my OpenID provider, and if you run your own OpenID server, you never give your username and password to anyone except for yourself. Now, that sounds like security to me. This is far better than having hundreds of accounts across the web at different sites. This is really important for people who may use the same username and password across the web. OpenID allows you to have just one username and password, and gives you security in knowing that you aren’t handing that information to tons of websites around the world.

I have also added a plugin to my WordPress Blog so that anyone can leave comments, authenticating themselves with their own OpenID. And there is also a push to get WordPress to place OpenID authentication into their core files, so hopefully some future version of wordpress will utilize OpenID right out of the box.

Links to learn more about :

OpenID.net
The OpenID Directory
myOpenID Site Directory
OpenID providers