Health Educator Rachelle Cannon’s Top 5 Tips for Healthy Holidays!
- Make traditional meals and treats guilt-free! Use smart substitutes in recipes such as applesauce instead of oil, butter or margarine; fat-free plain yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise; low-sodium vegetable broth on mashed potatoes instead of gravy; and cinnamon with a little honey or spray butter to season sweet potatoes.
- Don’t skip meals! Eat a low-fat breakfast with lean protein (such as egg whites, non-fat Greek yogurt, or low-fat string cheese) and a whole grain (such as sprouted grain bread products, low-sugar oatmeal, or high fiber cereal with unsweetened almond milk). Have heart-healthy snacks (such as 1/4 cup of nuts and a piece of fruit, or veggies and hummus). And of course, enjoy a hearty lunch such as a large salad with lean protein, colorful peppers, tomatoes, etc. with low-fat or low-calorie dressing.
- Fill up on water in between meals; try to consume at least 4-5 cups of water throughout the morning and afternoon BEFORE you have a big holiday meal. It’s important to stay hydrated, ESPECIALLY during the cold-weather months. The more water we drink, the better we keep our skin from excessive drying, maintain more energy, ward off irritability and some depression, think more clearly, properly digest food, and even help our immune system!
- Choose the small or a kids-size cup of your seasonal favorite beverage: hot chocolate, eggnog, or apple cider. Drink it slowly while socializing so you actually TASTE it and enjoy it to avoid second and third servings! Seasonal/holiday beverages are often VERY high in unhealthy fat and sugar, which means excessive calories!
- Balance food intake with physical activity, even if it’s dancing to a few holiday songs! If possible, do the physical activity/exercise in the morning before your day gets filled with planned and unplanned chores, tasks, and commitments. It’s a perfect way to start your day with energy, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment!