The average American gains seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. The whirlwind of holiday parties and seasonal treats wreak havoc on our normal eating habits.
In addition to the parties and rich meals, one of the reasons we gain weight around the holidays is the habit of dining out or grabbing fast food because we're too busy or tired to cook.
On top of the potential weight gain and lack of time, the money we spend on groceries and dining out can easily spin out of control.
With a little planning, you can create balance this time of year that will help you enjoy the season, rather than just endure it.
Your greatest ally right now is your slow cooker. It will help you eat right and save time as well as money. With just a few minutes of preparation in the morning, you can come home each night to the smell of a hearty pot roast, a mouthwatering soup and so much more.
An added bonus to using your slow cooker is that there are usually plenty of leftovers so you don't have to worry about what to make for dinner the next day. In fact, there is usually more than enough for lunch too, saving you $8 - $10 and the hassle of not having to go out.
Save even more by deciding what to cook based on your store's weekly sales ad. For example, if Pot Roast is on sale, then finding a slow cooker recipe such as this 3 Packet Pot Roast
coupled with the carrots and potatoes that are also on sale make for a hearty winter meal.
A few days later you can use the remaining potatoes to make this Potato Leek Soup. If you are looking for a lighter mid-week meal, try this Crockpot-Rotisserie Style Chicken. Whole chickens are often on sale for just a few dollars. The leftovers can be turned into all sorts of different meals from chicken salad sandwiches to chicken and rice soup.
The unequivocal expert on slow cooker meals is Stephanie O'Dea. Her website offers hundreds of CrockPot recipes that can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
So, pull out that slow cooker and take 10 minutes to plan a few meals for the week. It will be so worth the time and effort when you come home after a long day of work and holiday activities to the mouthwatering smell of dinner that is ready and waiting for you.