Healthy Holiday Eating

Posted: September 27th, 2012 under Fitness.
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We have parties to kick off the Super Bowl, and bring in the goodies to prove it! Valentine’s Day is full of chocolate; Halloween is even more abundant in sweets. Then we have champagne brunches, birthday parties, lavish dinners, and other personal celebrations too.

Very often we mix food with unhealthy consequences. There are digestive problems and weight gain, plus other side effects that could be avoided with the use of a little common sense.

A holiday feast does not have to be a recipe for disaster. Consider the traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Skinless, white meat turkey offers a lean source of protein. Baked sweet potatoes are low-fat and potassium-rich side dishes. The key is to enjoy your holiday treats in moderation. Nutritionists tell us to apply the 80/20 rule. 80% healthy food and 20% treats.

When Holidays are upon you, here are some healthy cooking alternatives. Substitute high-fat ingredients with low-fat options whenever you can. Mashed potatoes can taste great even without butter or sour cream. Make them with broth and season them with thyme and garlic, for example. Use nonfat toppings instead of homemade whipped cream for desserts, but make it special with a little ground nutmeg and some thawed orange juice concentrate.

If you’re a guest, offer to bring something such as a platter of colorful veggies, with broccoli, sliced peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and snow peas. Along with that, bring an assortment of low-fat dips or a main-dish lasagna prepared with spinach and low-fat cheese.

Resist the temptation to eat a food just because it’s there, and reserve the calories for what you love. For instance, potato chips and peanuts are nothing special and might as well be skipped, but Grandma’s pecan pie is a rare treat to be savored. If you sample a food and find it doesn’t appeal to you, simply find a tastier replacement.

Ever notice how guests seem to gather in the kitchen or around the buffet table? Fill your plate (preferably a small one), then find a spot away from the food. If you stay within arm’s reach of the offerings, you’re more inclined to keep picking and nibbling even after you’re full.

There are plenty of tricks to help keep you from mindlessly over-indulging on food and drink.

Chew gum so you don’t keep putting food in your mouth, remind yourself that carrying a plate around the whole party looks terrible, and follow every alcoholic or high-calorie drink, such as eggnog, with a glass of plain water.

This will prevent you from having one after another.

Another trick is to write down everything you eat. This will make you realize just what you are consuming, reading the truth helps you come to the point of no denial.

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