Happy Healthy Holidays
Now that the holidays are upon us, it can be easy to overeat and overindulge on foods that are not part of your normal healthy diet. While the holidays may bring with them some indulgent eating, here are 5 tips for keeping your holidays a little healthier.
- Socialize across the room from the food table. Keeping food out of arms reach is one of the best ways to prevent overeating. Humans are creatures of convenience. If it takes a few extra steps to get a snack, most will end up eating less.
- Preferentially eat the vegetables and fruits. Fill your plate with colorful plant based foods and keep the fatty and rich snacks to a minimum. Fruits and vegetables are filling and have low calorie density – plus, we all know they are really good for us and we should eat more. If someone has already cut them up for us – what could be easier?
- Have a mock tail! Instead of calorie dense alcoholic beverages, try a healthy alternative such as digestive bitters in bubbly water, kombucha or Kevita, or hot cinnamon tea. These substitutes will support digestion, promote a healthy immune system and good circulation. Good brands include Herban Moonshine (bitters), Bengal Spice from Celestial Seasonings, Good Earth or Pukka (tea) and any variety of naturally fermented Kombucha or Kefir water available locally.
- Go for the superfoods. Bring your own heart healthy superfoods to the party. Spiced walnuts with turmeric and cinnamon, bean dip on cucumber slices or roasted chickpeas. If you don’t have time to cook, pick up a bag of Sahale brand roasted nuts (local company) or Navitas Brand Cacao Goji Power Snacks.
- Get together and walk instead of getting together to eat or drink. While this may not always be practical, getting together for a walk is an excellent way to socialize and stay fit. It improves memory, lifts the mood, keeps the joints healthy and flexible and strengthens the heart. Why wouldn’t you want to walk more?
Finding a balance between indulgence and prudence will ensure that you make it through the holidays healthy and happy. Wishing you all a warm and (mostly) nutritious holiday season!
Kelly Morrow, MS, RDN
Associate Professor, Nutrition Clinic Coordinator
Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science
Bastyr University and the Bastyr Center for Natural Health