Sure, family and togetherness and all that other stuff is nice. But there's also a dark side to the holiday season — the onset of a mysterious condition that causes your jeans to become tighter, your jackets to become harder to button, and your sweaters to ride up on your stomach. Who shrank your clothes? Mischievous elves? Good guess, but the culprit is actually seasonal weight gain — the scourge of carefree holiday snackery.
So what is a seasonal snack-lover to do? No one should have to diet during the only time of year when you’re permitted to casually eat an entire gingerbread house. Luckily for you, I've figured it out so that you don't have to. Using RadioShack’s most up-to-the-minute fitness technology, I’ve developed a holiday strategy that allows you to have your pie and eat it, too. Literally.
To make your pie, you’ll need to get your hands on:
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
1 frozen pie crust
½ teaspoon salt
Before you go any further, figure out your fitness stats and goals. How many calories did you burn walking to the store to get those eggs, for example? The Fitbit Flex can help. It's a compact, waterproof wristband that tracks all of your stats — steps taken, calories burned — throughout the day, then wirelessly syncs them to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Snap it on, check out your personal Fitbit dashboard online, and you’re just moments away from figuring out how many laps around the block you’re going to have to take while that pie bakes (rough estimate: a lot).
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine your eggs, syrup, and sugar in a large bowl; then add the butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix thoroughly, then add your pecans into the blend.
As your oven pre-heats, take a moment to engage in some serious fitness self-evaluation. It turns out there's a better way to gauge body fat percentage than poking at your stomach a few times and guessing. The Omron HBF-514C Full-Body Composition Monitor & Scale uses full body sensors to detect stats like body mass index and resting metabolism, in addition to your weight. It gives you a more accurate sense of whether you are achieving your fitness goals, and how much hot buttered rum you’re allowed to drink at your office party tonight.
Add filling to pie crust and bake for one hour — checking frequently for firmness, overcooking, burning, etc.
As you wait for your pie to bake, you’ll need something to do. May we suggest exercising? As scientists have not yet invented robo-clones who can exercise for you, it’s really the only option we have. Luckily, the GOFIT GF-20BALL 20cm Core Ab Ball with Benten Training is almost as efficient — it requires no set up and includes a 22-minute workout DVD that will teach you the basics of core work.
Remove your pie from the oven, and let cool five to 10 minutes. Based on the fitness goals you've determined, either invite friends over to share in the goodness, or eat it all by yourself with the blinds drawn and your smartphone turned off.
We’re not always going to be here to provide fitness suggestions, you know. Next pie, you’re on your own. But a Fitbit Force wristband will help ease the transition. It not only tallies your steps taken, calories burned, and hours slept, but also lets you check out your fitness stats on a sleek, built-in OLED screen right on your wrist. Fitbit Force even allows you to compete against other Fitbit Force-wearing friends throughout the day. And if there’s one thing you love more than pie all year round, it's having a chance to show up your friends, am I right?
Happy holidays, happy baking, and happy exercising! And if you figure out how to insert a pecan pie into another, larger pie, please send us a picture.
Gabrielle Moss has written mostly funny stuff (but also some serious stuff) for GQ.com, The Hairpin, Nerve, etc. You can follow her here.