Healthy Holiday Eating
The holidays should be about fun, family and great food. Not stress, over-eating and weight gain. Luckily I have a few tips about healthy food choices you can make this holiday season!
Turkey: a serving provides almost half of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid and is a good source of vitamin B, zinc, and potassium, as well as metabolism boosting protein. A normal portion size is usually 3 to 4 ounces — and if you stick to white meat and peel the skin off, you’ll literally save hundreds of calories at the Holiday table. Fortunately, turkey is one of those dieter’s dream foods that will fill you up when you eat just a little.
Sweet Potatoes and Yams: These are among the healthiest vegetables around — so long as they don’t get doused with butter, marshmallows, or some other high-calorie holiday sabotage. If roasted — which keeps the flavor very intense without adding fat — sweet potatoes burst with fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and phytochemicals. Plus, they’re very filling, so you don’t have to overload your plate with them.
Cranberries: As millions of us reach for pretty-in-pink cranberry sauce to garnish our turkey and stuffing, few realize we’re getting much more than a sweet-tasting accoutrement. Cranberries are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and their fiber content helps to keep you feeling full. However, because these beautiful berries are naturally low in sugar, many recipes call for large doses of added sweetener. Steer clear of all that sugar and, instead, try adding a sugar substitute like stevia to keep this side dish healthy.
Stuffing: Talk about a healthy food in need of a name change. Although most people think this is one of the most fattening side dishes, it can actually be one of the healthiest if done right. Pack it with nuts, dried fruits, carrots, and celery, and you’ll benefit from fiber and a range of vitamins. Also, and this is crucial: Use low sodium chicken broth instead of butter to keep the dish moist and low in fat.
Pumpkin: It’s not thanksgiving without pumpkin pie! This veggie is packed with heart-healthy fiber and vitamin A. Plus, because pumpkin is very moist, you don’t have to add lots of unhealthy ingredients to make it taste flavorful yet still be low-fat. You can make gluten free with coconut flour or try using a few eggs and coconut cream!
Greens: Add a large side salad packed with as many vegetables as you can with 1TB Coconut or Olive Oil and unlimited vinegar. Lots of filling fiber, healthy fats and very low calorie!
Nutmeg and Cinnamon: Mixing these spices into fruit or vegetable sides can help you lower your cholesterol and balance your blood sugar. With all the sweetness and activities going on over the next 2 months, the last thing you need is a blood sugar crash. You can even add cinnamon to hot water and drink it all day long.
Alcohol: If you want to drink and be marry.. than do it! But choose lower calorie and healthier options. Mix ½ red wine with seltzer water or do clear hard alcohol with ¼ cup organic juice and ¾ cup seltzer water. You will thank me later!
The most important thing to remember is to ENJOY YOURSELF! Forgive any over-eating and work-out on the days you can. Go for a walk with the family or join a turkey trot at a local gym. You shouldn’t have to stress about food, just make it easy and choose to create healthy options.