Wonder Woman Fitness

The cost of Christmas and the 12 days of Christmas Exercise Circuit

Posted on: November 14, 2010

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner mmm

You can’t fight it as it’s almost upon us but it is almost Christmas and with Christmas comes food glorious food.  I personally love Christmas as I get to eat so much good food and spend time with family and friends.  However too much over indulgence can cause you to gain a few pounds and make it harder to get back into training/shape in the New Year.  So ask yourself this would you like to be a Christmas cracker or a Christmas pudding??????

 A Christmas cracker?  Then read on how to tweak your dinner and cut the calories but not the taste.  Also try my 12 days of Christmas exercises to help shed any unexpected pound gain.

  • The meat:  Try to stick to turkey as your main meat, as it is one of the leanest meats out there
  • Stuffing:  Be careful with bought stuffing as they can be full of stodge, salt and you may be tempted to add butter for a better taste.  Try this variation to trim down on the calories:  Crumble a stale loaf into breadcrumbs, mix with an onion, large bunch of flat leaf parsley, 200g streaky bacon, all finely chopped.  Add the zest of one lemon,1 – 2 beaten eggs and black pepper to taste.  Shape into balls and roast in the turkey juices until browned and crisp.  Add some chopped apricots into the mixture to boost your immune system, ideal to fight the winter colds
  • Cranberry Sauce:  Best if you can to use fresh cranberries and make your own sauce, since bought sauces can weaken the berries natural powers of fighting infections.  Try this recipe its better for your immune system and it is healthier.  Simmer 250g fresh cranberries an a pan with 50g caster sugar, the zest and juice of a large orange and a tablespoon of port (optional).  After 10 minutes leave to cool. 
  • Roast Potatoes:  Potatoes are great when you are exercising as the body converts the starch of white potatoes into glucose ideal for energy.  However if you are not exercising it will be converted into fat, so watch out.  However a Christmas dinner would not be complete without roast potatoes so just have less and as an alternative try this:  Peel and roughly chop carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnip.  Parboil for 10 minutes before roasting in the turkey juices or in olive oil for 30 minutes.  Try walnut oil if you are using oil as it is tastier and healthier.
  • Gravy:  Unfortunately gravy lacks any nutritional value.  But you can try this alternative if you like.  It contains Miso which helps increase your muscle oxygen intake through zinc.  Fry a diced onion and clove of garlic, reduce the heat add two tablespoons of water then stir while gradually adding three tablespoons of unbleached cornflour.  Add 1 ½ cups of red wine, then increase the heat and stir regularly for about 10 minutes.  Add 3 tablespoons of miso and leave on a low heat for 5 minutes to thicken.  Most of the alcohol evaporates during cooking but for those of you who do not drink you can substitute the wine for cranberry juice or cherry juice.

How are you going to fit in exercise over Christmas?  Well, why not try the 12 days of Christmas exercise?

 Do this little challenge in the lead up to Christmas and allow yourself to over indulge on the day.  The idea being that you do one exercise after another until all the exercises are done for example do 12 then onto 11 etc it should take you about and hour and a half.


 12 days of Christmas exercise circuit

12 = 12 minutes on the treadmill – brisk walk with incline or a fast run

 11 = 11 reps at a heavy weight on the leg press machine or a free weight squat

 10 = 10 full or ¾ press ups

 9 = 9 reps at a heavy weight on the lateral pulldown machine or a cable seated row

 8 = 8 minutes on the bike.  Cycle as fast as you can with level 5 – 8

 7 = 7 reps at a heavy weight on the shoulder press machine or free weight shoulder press

 6 = 6 reps at a heavy weight on the chest press machine or free weight bench press

 5 = 500m on the rowing machine rowing as fast as you can at level 10

4 = 4 x 25 ab exercises (choose a hard exercise and complete 4 x 25)

 3 = 3 x 20 tricep dips

 2 = 2 x 10 full burpees

 1 = 1 x 30 minutes minimum on a cardio machine of your choice


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