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Health & Food

Healthy (or not) Holidays to You!

Are you sick and tired of listening to dietitians like me preach about “watching your portions” and “eating more fruits and veggies” over the holidays? If so, don’t read any further, and just check out this article that I (somewhat secretly) really enjoyed. And if you want to read some tips for maintaining your weight and sticking to your health and wellness goals over the holidays, please read on!

I told myself that the moment I heard holiday music playing at work I would post my tips on dodging holiday weight gain. Well, I’m a bit late ( I heard holiday music over two weeks ago ) but I couldn’t bring myself to post this the first week of November! I love the holidays, I just don’t like celebrating them prematurely.

So, during the next couple months we will be surrounded by heavy carb-loaded dishes and desserts…….

As if our everyday food environment wasn’t bad enough, this next month (or two) is about a million times worse! How in the world does one prevent that average 1-2 pound weight gain each year? I’m not going to re-write a post I already wrote, so if you’d like to read some great blogger tips on dodging holiday weight gain, check out my post from last year at this time.

If you have food-pushers in your family (and you know who they are!), you will love this post from another blogger on how to deal with them. The one tip I will add this year is that you should be thankful for, and take advantage of the new, very simple ChooseMyPlate logo, which can help you put together a pretty delicious and filling plate on Thanksgiving and at any other dinner/lunch party you attend during the holidays.

Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables, one-fourth lean protein, and one-fourth a grain (preferably a whole grain). I realize the plate above uses a sweet cranberry salad as a fruit, and the starchy sweet potato as the grain, but on Thanksgiving you may need to make a few modifications

If you plan on going back for seconds, I always suggest getting more lean protein (such as white turkey) and non-starchy vegetables (such as the asparagus above, or green beans).

As a registered dietitian my goal is not to take the fun out of the holidays and prevent people from enjoying good food and being merry. But really, the holidays are a time for family, friends, fun, giving, and being thankful for all that we have, and we should try to take the focus off of food. I hope this holiday season you get to spend lots of time with your friends and family, and most importantly you have fun and live in the moment. The holidays are long, but they go by fast! Enjoy them.

And if enjoying the holidays means a little indulgence….. (Below is Nick’s first plate from last year’s Christmas dinner). I suppose I can be ok with that!

After all, I can’t deny that I may have had more than one of these…..

QUESTIONS: Let’s depart from the idea of “healthy holidays” for a second. What’s the one dessert you look forward to most during this time? For me it’s chocolate dipped waffle cones, rocky road fudge, Christmas ale, and pecan pie!

What are you thankful for this holiday season? I’m thankful for the fact that both Nick and I have a stable job and income. We’re blessed to have the ability to go to a job that we love each and every day. And I really never forget that.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

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