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Oregon Family Magazine

Eat Right and Eco-Size in the New Year

12/23/2009 ● By Anonymous
Oh the holiday gluttony! We sampled sugar cookies, drank gallons of eggnog, and enjoyed all kinds of edible treats over the course of the last month.  Now our pants feel tight and we long to work off the holiday girth. Does our quest for fitness have to be littered with plastic bottles and energy bar wrappers? Is it possible to lose weight while saving money and the planet?  Absolutely!

Become a walkaholic. Whether you opt to power stride or stroll to the grocery store, walking is a simple carbon neutral way to burn calories.  It can easily be incorporated into your daily schedule if you make it part of a work commute or shopping.  If you feel limited by weather or darkness, invest in some rain gear and find a buddy to walk with in well lit neighborhoods.

Pedal the pounds away. Biking can sometimes be faster than driving and in a city like Eugene. With a bike basket and a trailer for transporting your kids you’ll be able to do errands while burning off the holiday treats. Bike path maps are available at several spots around the city including local bike shops and the library.

Enjoy the comforts of home. Yoga? Kickboxing? Pilates?  Why not choose a favorite type of exercise DVD from the library and jumpstart your workout from the coziness of your own living room?  You’ll save money on gym memberships and also conserve gas  by bypassing daily trips to the gym.

Pass on the Plastic. Forget bottled water—which can contain BPA, phthalates, or other toxins from leaching plastic—and go for a reusable container made from stainless steel or glass.  If you’re on a budget, simply buy a glass bottle of juice and then wash it out and use it for water.

Nosh on natural foods. So many low-calorie products are artificial, expensive, and highly packaged.  Why not embrace high fiber, vitamin-packed seasonal fruits and veggies?  Consider a community supported agriculture subscription to a local farm to get weekly deliveries of healthy local delights.  For a list of local CSA’s go to

Still paying off those holiday credit card bills?  Losing weight doesn’t have to cost a lot of money in gym memberships, special weight loss foods, and fancy home gym equipment. Sticking to the basics really does the trick—and it’s a lot easier on the environment. Eat less, eat better, and move more (even in the rain!) and you’ll find a bit more wiggle room in your waistline.

By Rebecca Kelley