Making healthy eating easier:
It’s now officially the start of eating and shopping season! Some days, it seems like our main form of exercise is usually moving the fork from the plate to our mouths. Here are some ways to enjoy the spirit of the season and favorite holiday foods, while staying healthy, too.
Enjoy seasonal healthy foods. Clementines, pomegranates, pineapples, mangoes, oranges, grapefruits and apples are wonderful this time of year. Keep them on the counter or in the front of the fridge where you can see them!
Move the goodies out of sight: One of the biggest challenges of the season is a see-food diet, otherwise known as “if I see it, I eat it”. Studies show that when people keep food out of sight, they eat smaller amounts. Put the candy dish in a cupboard and move the cookies where you won’t have constant temptation.
Balance: if you are going to a holiday party in the evening, make an extra effort to eat well on other days. Add in more vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, etc. and move more, too! A piece of chocolate cake one day or one big holiday meal won’t make or break a diet, but treats every day will add up.
Savor your favorites: Bottom line, you’re going to eat some treats this holiday season, so you might as well truly enjoy them. Target things you enjoy most (i.e. no filling up on chips or every day foods) When you eat, really eat! When we are really tasting our food (rather than inhaling something while talking and multitasking) food tastes much better, we’re more satisfied and full quicker.
Fill your table with fruit and veggie dishes: Have your holiday meals feature seasonal vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, collards or bean or veggie soups. Make roasted chestnuts as a snack. Have a fruit inspired dessert, like baked apples, poached pears, sautéed bananas, etc.
Skip the alcohol, or limit it to a drink or two. Not only does it have a lot of calories, but once you’ve had a few, it’s easier to indulge on other foods.
Get moving! Exercise is a great way to improve mood, reduce stress levels, and burn calories, too. Head out at lunchtime for a short walk, check out the holiday lights in the evening, start a new family tradition and do something active at family events, dance at party functions, or make a habit of hitting the gym. You don’t have to wait until January for healthy resolutions.
It’s been a busy and fun month for me! I was quoted in the Washington Post on a gluten free diet and the Northern Virginia Dietetics Association has nominated me as Emerging Dietetics Leader of the Year for the state of VA.
Have a wonderful holiday season, from my family to yours!
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