Page 1

2019

December

b


inside

{{ shop local }}

D EC E M BE R 2019

pages 4-5 Meet Erica Cundiff of Sugarbaker Pies & Treats! A delicious, new local pie and baked goods business. Just in time for the holidays!

Issu e On e H u n d re d S ixt y- Two

{{ holiday fun }}

page 7 Photograher Kerry Daly gives us great

Joey Coakley Beck Publisher & Owner jbeck@beckmediagroup.com

tips for picture perfect visits with Santa. Create and capture holiday memories... stress free!

•••

{{ holiday happenings }}

editorial

page 9 We’ve compiled the best of the best holiday events taking place around the region this month! From celebrating a good old fashioned Christmas in Abingdon all month long to our favorite indoor winter farmer’s market at Forest Farmer’s Market... find everything you need to make the holidays extra special.

For editorial consideration: features@beckmediagroup.com Contributors: Jeremy Akers, Kerry Daly, Member One Federal Credit Union, Dr. Jenna Montana, Hayleigh Worgan •••

advertising

With over 13 years experience in Southwest & Central Virginia, Bella is the BEST advertising option with proven results, loyal readership, wonderful content, and an award-winning design! To market yourself and your business to the women of Southwest & Central Virginia, call us at (540) 339-6117 or email advertise@beckmediagroup.com

4

pg

{{ holiday finds }}

11-13

overtime! We have gathered hot holiday finds for all your gift-giving this season. Check out these exquisite finds from a few of our local favorites, as well as a few national sources too.

holiday finds {{ holiday eats }} pgs

pages 15-18 This month’s Bella Eats is

•••

operations

For general inquiries: bella@beckmediagroup.com Sara Coakley Office Manager

pages 11-13 Our elves have been working

17

pg

dedicated entirely to “Holiday Eats” as we’ve compiled plenty of recipes and food finds to help make your entertaining for friends and family much easier. Don’t miss 6 Steps to the Perfect Charcuterie Board from Jordan Vineyard & Winery’s Chef Todd Knoll; a delicious holiday snack (and present!), Chocolate Bacon Bark recipe including holiday giveaway bag instructions; fabulous holiday food finds to take your recipes up a notch and more!

{{ mind•body•soul }}

page 20 Eat up during the holidays, but

LLC

P.O. Box 107 Roanoke, Virginia 24002 (540) 339-6117 Bella Magazine is the property of Beck Media Group LLC. It is a free publication printed monthly and is distributed throughout Southwest and Central Virginia and beyond. The Publisher reserves the right to refuse ad space for any advertisement or editorial content the staff deems inappropriate for our readers. The concept and design of Bella Magazine, as well as the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content is property of Beck Media Group LLC and may not be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. ©2006-2019 Beck Media Group LLC All Rights Reserved. PRINTED IN VIRGINIA

keep an eye on nutrition. Jeremy Akers, PhD. of James Madison University offers a few helpful tips to get through the holidays... healthfully.

{{ save smarter }}

page 22 This month’s Save Smarter column features Member One’s Guide to Giving Back this holiday season! Feeling charitable but usure where your money should go? Member One offers a few tips! december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 3


{{ shop local }}

page 4 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 0 19


WRITTEN BY Hayleigh Worgan PHOTOS COURTESY Sugarbaker Pies & Treats

Sugarbaker Pies & Treats Local pie maker creates the perfect dishes for your holiday gatherings!

As the owner of Blue Honey Rose, Erica Cundiff has created unique, uplifting graphic designs for over eleven years. Recently, she expanded her positive influence and formed Sugarbaker Pies & Treats, a homemade pie and treat company. Erica has witnessed food bring family and friends together since she was a child. Her grandmothers’ pies were a staple to many family gatherings, so it was natural for her to take those memories and add her own magic to create something she could share with the community. “I got the flavors from one grandmother and the process from another grandmother. I really enjoy making people happy through food. It’s a simple pleasure and pies are just delightful,” says Erica. Sugarbaker Pies & Treats offers savory and sweet pies and quiches including Traditional Apple Pie, Dark Chocolate Blueberry Yum Pie, Portobello & Swiss Deep Dish Quiche, Shiitake & Carmelized Onions with Gouda Quiche. This winter, she introduced a bacon lattice top pie with apple in the center. The bacon grease cooks down into the apple of this pie, creating a magical marriage of flavor that is perfect for the holiday season. No matter which pie you choose (and we recommend more than one!), this is a gift of love that your guests will remember for years to come. “My grandmother, who was the avid baker, was the pastor’s wife. She was constantly making rolls and chicken and dumplings for people in the church. It really instilled in me the need to share with others who are going through something,” explains Erica. “I can’t hug them through a pie, but I can when I drop off the pie. It’s a way to show that you love someone and give them something with the intent of making things better.”

Baking isn’t always easy, but it is an act of love and those things take practice and perseverance. Erica is flexible. She makes sure her kitchen is the right temperature for her crust. She comes to the baking process fully present in the moment. Perhaps most importantly, she remembers that if she messes up one pie there is always another pie waiting to be made. That kind of persistence is what her hungry customers are counting on. “There is generally success if you give things enough time and energy. I’m doing my best to show up and it’s always good if you show up with pie,” she adds. Find Sugarbaker and Blue Honey Rose at Grandin Village’s Winterfest on December 7 from 4-9pm. Don’t miss Blue Honey Rose’s photos with Santa! This environment is perfect for those who want a photo with Santa but wish to avoid the mall experience. Participants will take home a photo on polaroid film. Stop by the adjacent Sugarbaker booth and take home a pie (or two!) for all of your holiday gathering needs! Erica is taking preorders for this event. For more information, visit www.sugarbakerpies.com or find them on Instagram (@sugarbaker_pies) and Facebook (Sugarbaker Pies & Treats).

Hayleigh is a freelance writer, independent author, and writing consultant. In 2017, she published her first novel. She spends a lot of time traveling and exploring new regions for inspiration, but Roanoke will always be her home. www.hayleighworgan.com

december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 5


page 6 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 0 19


{{ holiday fun }}

5 Tips

for Picture Perfect Visits with Santa!

Are you planning a trip to see Santa this year? Maybe it is your first time or maybe you are hoping to finally get a picture of your kids with Santa without someone crying. I hear you! Visiting Santa can be a cherished family tradition year after year… long after your oldest stops believing in Santa. As a Momma to two small kiddos and a professional photographer who works with children regularly, I’m here to give you 5 must read tips for the Perfect Santa Experence.

Plan ahead.

The holiday season is no doubt an extremely busy time for most families. Lucky for us, Christmas is the same day every year! Make it a tradition to visit Santa the same day each year. A planned visit will go much smoother than an impulsive one; trust me!

Choose an early time.

This is especially important if you have little people. Older kids will be fine with visiting Santa later in the day but little ones will do much better earlier in the day when they are still fresh and haven’t worn down yet.

Dress the kids in nice, but comfy clothing.

Kids like to be comfortable (can you blame them?) So if your child doesn’t like dress clothes, find an alternative you are happy with. My oldest HATES dress shirts, so I bought him a nice dress quarter zip sweater. He was comfy and also still looked nice. Win, win!

Visit Santa early in the season.

Kick off the holiday season with a trip to see Santa. This will also give you time to use your Santa pictures for your Holiday Cards. Two birds, one stone!

Prepare the kids. Hype your kids up about Santa (especially toddlers and preschoolers)! Tell them who you are going to visit & how awesome it is going to be! The longer they have to process the idea, the better!

WRITTEN BY Kerry Daly PHOTOS COURTESY Kerry Daly Photography

Kerry Daly is a professional photographer located in Roanoke, Virginia. Considered the Primer Portrait Artist in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas, Kerry offers her clients an exceptionally high level of service. To learn more about Kerry Daly Photography and how she can help your family, please visit www.kerrydaly.com

december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 7


page 8 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 0 19


Holiday Happenings Illuminights

Explore your holiday spirit through a dazzling world of over 500,000 lights from November 29 until January 2, 2020. Journey at your own pace on a walking tour of displays celebrating nature, fantasy, adventure and Christmas traditions. Travel down the half-mile wooded path and take in the sights and sounds of the season. While you’re there, enjoy nightly marshmallow roasting or shop for artisan crafts at Explore Park’s artisan Christmas market. Choose from additional family activities on select nights. All proceeds go to support the valuable missions of Center in the Square and Explore Park. For tickets and more details, visit www.roanokecountyparks.com.

Elmwood On Ice

Join Downtown Roanoke for Ice Skating and Ice Sliding at Elmwood on Ice presented by ValleyStar Credit Union! Located in Elmwood Park in the middle of Downtown Roanoke and open from November 27 until February 2, 2020. A complete list of hours and pricing details can be found online. www.elmwoodonice.com.

Forest Farmer’s Indoor Winter Market

Come shop for the holidays! On December 14, 2019, from 8am-noon, Forest Farmer’s Market will host over 30 vendors during their indoor market. The farmers have done an amazing job of keeping the produce growing, local vendors have wonderful products to give as gifts or to treat yourself. Stop by and see what’s new. Find the indoor market at 1088 Rustic Village Road in Forest. www.forestfarmersmarket.com

Abingdon Old Fashioned Christmas

The Town of Abingdon is hosting an old-fashioned Christmas all during the month of December. From art exhibits, music events and Santa’s Workshops to tree lighting ceremonies, shopping, dining, workshops and more, there really is something for the entire family! Check all the events and activities out online at www.visitabingdonvirginia.com or find them on Facebook.

december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 9


page 10 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 019


2

3

holiday finds

4

5

Hot holiday gifts for everyone on your list!

1 Perfect hostess gifts and stocking stuffers can be found

at Punch! The aroma of a sparkling holiday season is created by blending pomegranate, Mandarin orange, pine, cloves, and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla & amber. Find the entire delicious Nest Fragrances line at Punch Boutique at Piccadilly Square on Franklin Road in Roanoke. www.punchboutique.com

2

Moxie Chic is a brand of products with unique designs which aim to empower and celebrate girls of all ages! The made-to-order line of shirts allows you to mix and match the sentiment along with the style that fits you best. Whether you are getting something for your daughter for

Christmas or you are starting a new job, everyone can use a dose of moxie. www.moxie-chic.com

3

Stop by Punch Boutique for wonderful winter accessories for everyone on your list! These gorgeous gloves are available in a variety of fashion colors and styles. Visit to see all their fashion accessories and clothing. www.punchboutique.com

trating women’s participation in science, art, music, sports, fashion, business, religion, entertainment, military, politics, activism, and more. www.smithsonianstore.com

5 We are loving the selection and rich, high-pigmented

colors in the entire Tattoo Junkee Makeup line! Fun stocking stuffers but also perfect for the diva on your holiday gift giving list. www.tattoojunkee.com

4 Smithsonian American Women: Remarkable Stories

of Strength, Ingenuity, and Vision from the National Collection: An inspiring and surprising celebration of U.S. women’s history told through Smithsonian artifacts illus-

december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 11


holiday finds 1

2

3

4 1

Unique accessories can be found at Yarid’s. Check out these gorgeous, hand-beaded clutches. They are available in an array of colors and styles and Yarid’s at Piccadilly Square has them! www.yarids.com

2 Timeless classic, endless style, and waterproof for

practical daily living. Yarid’s offers the entire line of Sorel boots for everyone on your gift giving list. Perfect for the winter weather that will be here soon. Stop in and see the team at Yarid’s at Piccadilly Square on Franklin Road for shoes and accessories for all your fashion forward elves. www.yarids.com

page 12 •

bella magazine

5

3

These soaps are GORGEOUS! Each Finchberry soap contains natural, food-grade ingredients, a unique decadent appearance, and a lush gentle lather. In addition, each soap is gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and made without any harsh chemical preservatives. Check out their Fizzy Salt Soaks too! www.finchberry.com

4

The smell of sweet Italian lemon mixes with hints of bergamot and vanilla in one of Living The Good Life Naturally’s most popular lotions, Sorrento Hand+Body Lotion. The crisp sugary scent is sure to make your day a little brighter. Cold-pressed oils create the luxury you’ve been

• d e c e m b e r 2 019

looking for. We are loving the Cucumber Face Tonic and Rose & Coal facial cleansing bars too! Check their entire line out at livingthegoodlifenaturally.com.

5

Feminist empowerment is at the forefront of our national conversation—and it’s about time. The Future Is Female Wall Calendar will elevate any activist’s wall. Each month features an empowering quote from a feminist icon, paired with a bold illustration. The calendar celebrates the different voices and faces of womanhood including Audre Lorde. www.workman.com


2

1

more holiday finds 1

Stay hydrated with the Mizu S4 14oz vacuum insulated Slim Stainless Steel bottle. The ultra-slender design brings chic and style to unmatched performance. www.mizulife.com

2 We have found the gift for that someone who has everything! No. 2 Toilet Paper, yes toilet paper! Amazingly

strong, silky, eco-chic toilet paper that is made from 100% bamboo and is the perfect marriage of luxury (3 ply and chic), convenience (home delivery) and sustainability. No. 2 is an easy switch that makes a huge impact and is perfect for the person who has everything. One box of 24 is $24 or subscribe and save! www.gono2.com

3

Atomic Makeup’s entire line is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and are formulated and handmade in NYC. Their premium quality liquid lipsticks, lip glosses, and eyeshadows are at very affordable prices and have shades for all skin tones and styles. Check out their fun body glitter line for upcoming holiday glam parties! www.atomicmakeup.com

4

3

4

Refreshing and rejuvenating, the natural fragrances of these handmade bath bombs from LIfeAround2Angels make for the ultimate bath! Perfect stocking stuffers... or a gift for Santa to rest after a long winter’s night. www.lifearound2angels.com

5

Perfect for the outdoorsy active people on your list...Chaco Footwear, the iconic lifestyle brand, has just launched a new style called the Z/Ronin that rides the line between technical outerwear and street fashion in an interesting, disruptive way. This new style mimics the aesthetic of socks and sandals functionality, yet offers tech and performance features as well. www.chacos.com

5 december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 13


page 14 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 019


{{ holiday eats }}

D.I.Y.

A Tasty Holiday Treat

When family and friends come together in celebration of the holiday season, tasty treats are a must-have for the festivities. You can also celebrate the season of giving with a special giveaway at the end of your gathering to show your gratitude to loved ones. A simple yet delicious treat, Chocolate Bacon Bark is a sweet-and-salty snack as the centerpiece of a crowd-pleaser for nearly any celebration. Try pairing with these creative giveaway bags as a personalized memento to offer a unique memory even after the season comes to a close. The bite-sized morsels are also perfect for individual grab bags by the door as guests make their way home following holiday celebrations. Thanks to Gwaltney Foods for this fun recipe and gift-giving craft idea. Visit www.gwaltneyfoods. com for more holiday recipes.

Chocolate Bacon Bark & Giveaway Bags Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 24

For Chocolate Bacon Bark: 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate candy melts 1 package (12 ounces) Gwaltney Bacon Toppings such as pretzels, candies and sprinkles (optional) Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl, melt chocolate candy in microwave in 30-second increments; stir every 30 seconds. Pour chocolate into pan and spread evenly. Top with bacon and pretzels, candies and sprinkles, if desired; freeze until hardened (about 12 hours). Break into bitesized pieces.

For Giveaway Bags: Scissors Card stock or construction paper 24 brown paper lunch bags

Coloring or drawing materials Hole puncher Ribbon

Using scissors, cut one piece of card stock or construction paper to match width of paper bag. Cut length of card stock or construction paper into “V” shape so point comes about 3/4 down bag. Decorate card stock or construction paper with sayings or drawings. Stuff paper bag with Chocolate Bacon Bark (and other holiday goodies). Hold decorated card stock or construction paper to top of paper bag, “V” shape pointed down, and punch two centered holes about 1/2 inch from top and 1/2 inch away from each other. Using scissors, cut one piece of ribbon about 6 inches long. With holes aligned and decorated card stock or construction paper facing out, insert end of ribbon from back side of bag; tie loose enough knot or bow so paper bag doesn’t rip. Repeat process with remaining bags. december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 15


{{ holiday eats }}

page 16 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 019


{{ holiday eats }}

6 Steps to the Perfect Charcuterie Board

months for complexity and nutty flavor. Firmer, more aged cow’s milk cheeses, such as Gouda and cloth-bound cheddar, will complement a variety of cabernet sauvignon styles. Knoll says that firmer cheeses that have been aged longer have a milder, nuttier texture and smooth taste that highlight the oak and berry notes in cabernet sauvignon. A creamy Camembert is a good match with chardonnay, as is brie and other soft cheeses, according to Knoll. Chardonnay can also be paired successfully with creamy goat cheeses. Champagne complements washed rind cheeses such as taleggio, Limburger and Epoisses, as its acidity cuts through the richness of these more pungent cheeses.

Add Delectable Condiments

A fabulous charcuterie board is not complete without an array of flavorful condiments. Source good mustard like whole grain Dijon, Knoll advises, plus quince paste or pear mostarda. Have on hand a variety of fruit spreads like Divina’s Orange Fig Jam (see below), to bring out unexpected flavors. Add olives, fresh or dried fruit, nuts or pickles to taste, plus fresh, warmed crusty bread or crackers.

Watch Your Temperature

The three essentials of a great charcuterie board—meat, cheese and wine—all shine when served at the proper temperature. Before guests arrive, chill white wines. Cheeses should warm to room temperature for best flavor, while meats should be cold.

Planning a party doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead of agonizing over appetizers, opt for serving wine with a charcuterie board—a variety of cured meats, cheeses and condiments that can range from simple to sophisticated. Even a basic spread can look elegant, while providing your guests with inviting flavor combinations. Todd Knoll, executive chef at Jordan Vineyard & Winery, offers expert tips on combining select cured meats and cheeses with balanced wines to bring out the best in a charcuterie board.

Choose Great Wines

To keep it simple, offer one red and one white. Choose wines to complement a range of flavors and seasonings in meats and cheeses, so you can offer an interesting variety to tempt your guests. Chardonnay is popular with wine lovers, and for good reason, with its crisp, fruity notes and vibrant acidity. Many traditional unoaked chardonnays are lighter and so may not pair well with charcuterie, since salted and cured meats and aromatic cheeses have strong tastes that may overwhelm and diminish their delicate flavors. But some French oak-aged chardonnays are created in a fruit-forward, elegant, lower-alcohol style, making them more robust and versatile than other varietals. A young Chardonnay can even complement most mild blue cheeses, Knoll says. Another great selection for charcuterie is Champagne, which has just the right acidity—and bubbles—to refresh the palate while sampling meats and cheeses with a higher fat and salt content. For a red wine selection, Knoll recommends a Cabernet Sauvignon. It pairs well with a wide range of meats and cheeses, due to its balance and elegance. Red wines containing a lot of alcohol and tannin pose a challenge to salty and/or spicy meats like salami and prosciutto. Salt accentuates alcohol, so combining salty food with high alcohol and tannin levels in a wine makes the wine taste hot and the meat even saltier. For example, a Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has a fruit-forward flavor, good acidity, subtle tannins and lower alcohol, so it works well with charcuterie, providing an unexpected flavor to complement many meats and cheeses.

Select Flavorful Meats

For a charcuterie board that is as Instagram-able as it is edible, provide a variety of contrasting flavors and textures, Knoll advises. This means choosing harder, salty and spicy cured meats, such as salami. Then add softer salted meats, such as thinly sliced prosciutto, for textural and flavor contrast. Finally, provide a creamy pate, terrine or rillette that guests can spread on bread or crackers.

Choose Delicious Cheeses

Offer guests a choice of flavors and textures that also complement the wine. Sheep’s milk cheeses, such as Roquefort, manchego and pecorino Romano, pair well with cabernet sauvignon, particularly cheeses that have been aged at least six

Designing Your Platter

Slice different shapes and sizes of the cheeses and meats to provide visual interest, such as triangles, squares and rectangles for cheeses, and circles, rosettes and folded triangles for meats. Spend time arranging the elements, coupling colors and textures to create a platter far superior to store-bought versions. Place condiments and nuts in small, colorful dishes atop the board for convenience and color contrast. Add fresh herbs or edible flowers for garnish.

Holidays can be more relaxing—and delicious—with an easy-to-prepare charcuterie board and good wine. For more helpful holiday hints and recipes, visit www.winecountrytable.com.

Divina Fig Spreads & Gourmet Olives Figs... a symbol of peace and prosperity in ancient Greece. What better way

to welcome your guests this holiday season than with the taste of figs on your charcuterie or cheese board? A superfood, single figs have about 50 calories and is rich in fiber, potassium, and manganese and an excellent source of vitamin C. At one time, the it was considered so valuable that its export from Greece was illegal. Today Greece is among the leading fig producers for global markets. And did you know that the largest importer of Greek olives to the U.S. is also one the largest importers of fig jams? New York-based FOODMatch, purveyors of Divina brand olives and other Mediterranean fare and the company that pioneered the olive bar at retailers nationwide more than 20 years ago, makes exquisite fig spreads that bring a new twist in appetizers for this year’s charcuterie or cheese board or in a hot or cold recipe. They are our choice for fruit spreads and gourmet olives this holiday season! Divina fig spread flavors include the Original Fig Spread and Orange, Chili and the Fig & Cocoa Spread. Find Divina products in your favorite specialty food stores. www.foodmatch.com

Baked Brie with Fig Spread 1 wedge Brie 3 tbsp. Divina Fig Spread 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds 1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts 1/4 cup Golden Raisins

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°. Spoon fig spread over brie. Top with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and raisins. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is gooey. Serve immediately with toasted baguette or crackers.

december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 17


{{ holiday eats }}

holiday food finds Harvest Snaps

Looking for a no-prep snack for holiday gatherings? Harvest Snaps are a veggie-based snack crisps whether served in gran-and-go cups, alongside dips, or used to add crunch to a crudité platter, these baked snacks feature just 130 calories per 22 crisps and bring savory goodness to any soirée. Made from farm-direct green peas, black beans or red lentils as the first ingredient, the snacks are completely free of artificial flavors, colors, cholesterol, and the common allergens soy, nuts, wheat and eggs. Party-perfect flavors including their new Holiday Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Brown Sugar. www.harvestsnaps.com

Dandies Marshmallows

Perfect for taking hot cocoa to the next level or adding festive flair to holiday treats, Dandies Marshmallows are all-natural, gelatin-free and vegan marshmallows featuring the refreshing zing of natural peppermint flavor and are completely free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, plus the common allergens gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, peanuts, and tree nuts. Light, fluffy and perfectly pink, the cruelty-free products are also gluten free, certified kosher and Non-GMO Project Verified. www.dandies.com

Peppermint Dandies Marshmallow Bark 2 cups Peppermint Dandies Marshmallows 1 bag vegan chocolate chips 1 Tbsp coconut oil 1 cup crushed peppermint candies

page 18 •

bella magazine

Stove Top Instructions: In a saucepan turned on low heat, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir until fully melted. Spread melted chocolate evenly out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle on peppermint Dandies and crushed candies. Let harden in the freezer or refrigerator. Break apart in chunks and enjoy!    Microwave Instructions: In a microwave safe bowl, combine coconut oil and chocolate chips. In 30 second intervals, melt chocolate. Spread melted chocolate evenly out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle on peppermint Dandies and crushed candies. Let harden in the freezer or refrigerator. Break apart in chunks and enjoy!  Recipe by Chelsie Jangord • d e c e m b e r 2 019


december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 19


{{ mind•body•soul }}

Healthy Holiday Eating Eat up during the Holidays, but keep an eye on nutrition

Opportunities to overeat abound during the holidays. From people bringing food to the office to parties to family gatherings, food—usually the high calorie variety—is everywhere. Overindulging can be hard to resist, but there are ways to enjoy holiday eating and still maintain a healthy diet. Here are some suggestions from the dietetics department at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia: Don’t skip meals. It does your body more harm than good. When you skip meals it slows down your metabolism which can result in you actually gaining weight and/or making it harder for you to lose weight. By skipping a meal you are technically starving your body of the necessary nutrients that it needs to function properly. When your body is starving it typically leads to you overeating or craving unhealthy foods. Eat small portions. Holidays focus a lot of attention on food: holiday work parties, family and friend’s dinner parties, and other gatherings. A common mistake is piling too much on the plate, even foods that are perceived to be healthy. Remember that moderation is key, especially at the holidays. One strategy for eating in moderation is using a small plate. Take time before taking seconds. It takes time for stomach to signal brain it is full. It isn’t an immediate response to your brain when your stomach becomes full so it is important to eat your food slow. Once you are done with your first serving, wait 10-minutes before going back for seconds. This will allow your stomach time to digest and you can better assess if you are still hungry or not. Don’t go to events on an empty stomach. In order to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods at parties/get-togethers, have a little pre-party snack. The best kind would be a mixture of carbohydrates and page 20 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 019

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Akers

proteins; apple slices with peanut butter or a slice of turkey and cheese on whole-wheat bread. Don’t forget, drinks have calories too. Drink a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages. This way you are hydrating in between drinks and it will slow down your drinking. When using mixers in your drinks use low-calorie options: zero-calorie tonic water or club soda; this will make your drink reduced in calories. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. It is best to avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases your appetite and has a tendency of making you crave unhealthy nutrient-dense food choices. Remember to have a small snack before going out when you know you are going to be drinking. Stay active. Make sure you always keep moving! The holidays can be a great time to participate in physical activity with your family, friend, co-workers, etc. You can sign-up for a holiday (turkey trots, drumstick dash) 5k race or simply just go for a walk together as after dinner. Don’t ignore fruits and vegetables. At holiday parties it can be easy to overlook fruits and vegetables and go straight for the sweets. Fruits and veggies make a great snack that is also a healthy alternative instead of chips and dip. Jeremy Akers, Ph.D, is director of the graduate dietetics program at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. His teaching areas include nutrition and metabolism; nutrition and exercise in chronic disease; and weight management. His research areas include nutrition and exercise interventions for weight management and chronic disease; behavioral theories in weight management; and nutrition manipulation and sport performance.


december 2019 •

bella magazine

• page 21


{{ save smarter }}

Giving Back this Holiday Season ARTICLE COURTESY Member One Federal Credit Union

We’re in the midst of the season of giving, and that includes giving back! For many, the holidays are a time to make charitable contributions. Perhaps you find yourself struck by a similarly philanthropic mood, but you’re unsure where your dollars should go to do the most good. We have a few helpful tips!

Choose a cause that resonates with you.

With over 1 million public charities registered in the United States, there’s no need to give your donation to an organization whose mission you feel less than passionate about. Start by picturing what you want to see your dollars accomplishing. Some people prefer keeping their donations local to help others in their own community. Others follow the rationale that, dollar-for-dollar, their donation might have more power in a developing economy. You may also find a cause that feels personally significant, one addressing an issue that has affected you or someone you care about.

Check in with charity watchdogs.

While the vast majority of charities you come across will be legitimate, we can’t ignore that unscrupulous “charitable” organizations do exist, as do those that are outright scams. Then there are the charities with completely aboveboard intentions but poor track records for using their resources effectively. For expert, unbiased reports and ratings on thousands of charitable organizations, check in with one of these three trusted, independent watchdogs: Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org), Charity Watch (charitywatch.org), and Guide Star (guidestar.org).

Have high standards.

All registered charities in the United States must file the IRS 990 form, and page 22 •

bella magazine

• d e c e m b e r 2 019

honest charities will make their numbers off this form easy to find. Much of this information will also be available on charitynavigator.org or guidestar.org. Details to consider include executive salaries, overhead expenses, and program growth. Still, remember there’s no magic mathematical formula. For example, a large charity supporting complex programs will inevitably have higher overhead costs, but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing a lot of good. The most important priority is results, and there are several places to look for evidence of those. Does a Google news search uncover positive press about the organization? Are the methods behind their programs backed by current research? If they provide services or operate clinics, can you find favorable reviews online?

Protect your personal information.

Precautions need to be taken any time you give your name and payment information to any organization, and charities are no exception. If you plan to make your donation online, look for “https://”’ plus a padlock symbol at the beginning of the website’s URL, just as you would when online shopping. You should also look for the charity’s donor privacy policy, which should state whether they share donor names and contact information with other organizations, and their opt-out policy if they do. A safe, smart donation may be the best gift you give this season—and the joy of doing good could be the best you receive!

Join Member One here each month for more money-saving tips and financial advice! Be sure to visit their website, www.memberonefcu.com, for more info on their products and services. Member One Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.


Profile for Beck Media Group

Bella Magazine - December 2019  

Celebrating our 13th year as THE regional magazine for women of Southwest & Central Virginia.. .and beyond!

Bella Magazine - December 2019  

Celebrating our 13th year as THE regional magazine for women of Southwest & Central Virginia.. .and beyond!

Profile for beckmedia
Advertisement