Vail Daily column: Tips for a healthy December |

Vail Daily column: Tips for a healthy December

Sue Barham
Simply Seasonal
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

Everything in moderation. Now is the time to remember this popular mantra and live it throughout the month. December is notorious for holiday parties, holiday stress and people wearing themselves out. Here are some tips to enjoy December this year:

“Pack your diet with fruits and veggies,” said Jeremy Kittelson, executive chef at Restaurant Avondale. “A fruit smoothie for breakfast starts the day off right, and makes you aware of other choices throughout the day. The healthiest options always include plenty of greens and vegetables.”

Treat yourself to a new workout regimen. Find a class that interests you – by having a set time to schedule the class into your week you are less likely to miss it. Working out with others is so much easier than going it alone. Accountability and camaraderie give you a sure chance at success and the benefits of a steady workout plan will make you feel great. In addition to burning calories and toning the body, exercise is meditative and allows your brain to relax and de-stress.

Supplement your diet with a daily dose of Vitamin C to boost your immunity and prevent colds. Stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water with you all day. Ginger and garlic are guardians of health, too. Incorporate them into your cooking by using in marinades or stir frys.

Have fun at holiday parties but remember the mantra. Cocktails equal calories and party foods are often not friendly. If you’ve been asked to bring a dish to a party, select something your friends will enjoy without being an over-indulgence. Chef Kittelson shares a recipe for a grilled shrimp appetizer with a tangy dipping sauce that is a party winner.

Blueberry banana smoothie

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup blueberry yogurt

1/2 banana

1/2 cup crushed ice

Blend the banana, ice and yogurt together until the banana is well blended. Add the blueberries and blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Makes 1.

Bruleed grapefruit

2 grapefruits

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 Tablespoons candied ginger

1 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Cut each grapefruit in half. Using a serrated knife, loosen segments in three of the halves, leaving them in the rind. Remove the segments from the fourth half. Sprinkle brown sugar and candied ginger on the three half grapefruits. Toss the loose grapefruit segments with remaining brown sugar and ginger, and mound on the half grapefruits. Place on a baking sheet and under the broiler flame for about a minute until golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with chopped mint.

Grilled shrimp skewers with rosemary ginger vinaigrette

2 pounds medium shrimp (16-20 count), peeled

Rosemary ginger vinaigrette (see below)

Using 1/4 cup rosemary ginger vinaigrette, toss with shrimp to marinate for one hour. Discard marinade. Place shrimp in grilling basket in single layer. Grill till pink and cooked through. Skewer each shrimp and serve with reserved rosemary ginger vinaigrette as a dipping sauce. Makes about 36 skewers.

Rosemary-ginger vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh ginger, chopped fine

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon thai chili, seeded

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup grape seed oil

Place all ingredients except rosemary and grapeseed oil in blender, and blend for a few minutes to smooth paste. Slowly add oil to emulsify. After all oil has been added, toss in rosemary and blend for 5 seconds. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Sue Barham is the marketing director for Larkspur Restaurant and Restaurant Avondale. Larkspur, ( at the base of Vail Mountain, has been serving American Classics with a fresh interpretation since 1999. Avondale, ( opened in September 2008 in the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa and features a West Coast inspired, market driven menu.

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