I am starting to get in the holiday spirit! I have been busy adapting many unhealthy traditional holiday recipes into delicious and good for you eats! I love being able to bring a healthy dish to my family gatherings. Here’s to a healthy and happy holiday season!
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it also becomes a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Over a lifetime, holiday weight gain can really add up. The holidays don’t have to mean gaining weight, especially if you focus on a healthy balance of food, smarter choices and fun and physical activities. By implementing a few simple tips you can stay healthy through the holiday season.
1) Don’t deprive yourself during the day: Skipping meals and saving up for that big holiday party you have tonight often leads to poor food choices and overindulgence. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables, nuts or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to overindulge
2) Savor your Food: If you choose to have a piece of Aunt Ida's famous Pumpkin Pie, savor every bite. Eat each bite with pleasure and without guilt. Allowing yourself to eat this way 10% of the time will help you build a healthy relationship with food. If you eat for fuel the remaining 90% of the time, you can maintain a healthy body while never feeling deprived. So go ahead, allow yourself to really enjoy that piece of pie.
3) Slow Down: To overcome overindulging in second and third helpings, slow down! Eating mindfully, chewing your food thoroughly and taking the time to enjoy what you are eating will give your belly a chance to tell your brain that you are satiated. Before reaching for a second helping of stuffing, sit for 5 minutes and ask yourself if you are really still physically hungry.
4) Don't have a Turkey Overdose: Tryptophan, an amino acid found turkey, helps your brain release serotonin, which can boost your mood and bring on feelings of bliss. Over indulge on turkey and your body turns that serotonin in melatonin, a natural sleep inducer! Unless you want to end up like your old Uncle Henry, with your pants unbuttoned snoring on the couch, try filling up on side dishes of complex carbs, including veggies and whole grains for long lasting energy. Let's make it through dessert this year people!
5) Go Veg!- The average Holiday dinner can add up to about 4,000 calories. The amount of fiber in plant-based foods can reduce the amount of calories you eat. Turkey and other animal foods have no fiber, so focus on fibrous veggies and whole grains to insure you do not overeat. You will also be reducing your carbon footprint and you just might save an animal this year. You can feel doubly good about that.
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Written by Rachel Venokur-Clark