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MENA MINUTE

Do your body good this holiday season.

WRITTEN BY MENA SPODOBALSKI
PHOTO BY ERIN MEYERING • MENA PHOTO BY KAYLA RAW 

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With the holiday season comes an awful lot of temptations. Mom’s cranberry sauce: It’s a tradition. Grandma’s Christmas butter cake: It only comes once a year. Then there are the various cocktail parties one must attend, full of drinks, appetizers, and so many delightfully unhealthy treats.

Follow these tips to avoid weight gain and the destruction of all your hard work throughout the year.

• Eat a meal before the holiday party. You will be less likely to eat anything and everything because you are hungry.

• For every cocktail you have, drink a glass of water. Or better yet, offer to be the designated driver and save yourself a few hundred unwanted calories.

• Have conversations away from the appetizer table. Mindless eating means mindless calories.

• Bring a healthy treat to the party that you can indulge in. From veggie trays to seasonal fruits and fruit-infused waters, there are many wonderful, healthy indulgences from which to choose.

• Don’t skip on cardio the day of and the day after the party. This will help you maintain, and not gain, during all the festivities.

The following is one of my family’s favorite holiday treats. It won’t leave you feeling like Santa in the morning. And when you are ready to get back on track and make a healthy lifestyle change, contact me at Evoke Fitness and make this the year you reach all your fitness goals.

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Mena Spodobalski owns and is an advanced fitness trainer at Evoke Fitness in Reno. She also is a state champion and nationally qualified fitness competitor. For details, visit http://www.Evokefit.com. 

Recipe

Fruit Fondue

(courtesy of Mena Spodobalski. Serves 6, with 4 to 5 pieces of fruit per serving, depending on how thick the fruit is cut. 298 calories per serving)

3 organic apple slices

3 orange slices

3 banana slices

1 large clamshell package organic strawberries

2 16-ounce packages dark chocolate

2 cups chopped nuts (such as unsalted cashews, almonds, or peanuts)

Chop chocolate into small pieces and add to microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute. Remove and stir. Do this until completely melted, taking care not to burn chocolate. Chop nuts of choice roughly for great crunch and set aside in wide bowl.

Slice fruit. Soak apple and banana in bath of water and lemon juice to prevent from browning. Dry off and carefully dip half of each slice into melted chocolate. Then dip into nuts. Place each slice on cookie sheet lined with wax paper and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. I love to put these various fruits on a tiered holiday platter with sprigs of fresh herbs.

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