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When visions of sugar plums threaten your food sanity

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sugar plums

Lindsay Sawyer Lim, R.D.N., L.D.N., M.B.A., M.P.H.
Clinical nutrition manager, NCH Nutrition and Food Services

Sure it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a land mine of food temptations! During the holiday season, don’t let Santa and his team of reindeer steer you off course, food-wise. Heed these seven tips worth their weight in (silver and) gold.

1. Mix up your baking ingredients. Use applesauce to replace half of the butter required. This usually works well for bars and chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies. To reduce your sugar intake, substitute half of the sugar in the recipe with a stevia sugar. Purchase a blend that can be used for baking.

2. When attending a holiday party, bring healthy items like veggie trays with hummus, fresh fruit with a yogurt dip, roasted veggies or a mixed green salad.

3. Good things come on small plates! Use a small plate when at a gathering. You can always get more, and it will help you eat less.

4. Don’t starve yourself! If there is a big holiday party in the evening make sure you eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, but don’t skip a meal. You will likely end up overeating at the event.

5. Stay hydrated. Keep a glass or bottle of water near you at all times. You will feel more energized and less likely to overeat.

6. Keep active. Shoveling snow or taking a walk around the block counts! Walking in the mall counts, too. Even if your day is jam-packed, try to fit in 10-15 minutes of exercise or activity.

7. Enjoy this time. Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge at a party or at home. Enjoy your friends and family! Every day is a new opportunity to make healthier choices. Happy holidays to all.

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