December 4, 2018
Dipti Shah, M.S., RDN, LDN, Clinical Dietitian
The holiday season has arrived, and it’s time for family, festivities and food – lots of food. Sweet treats and rich meals can be disruptive to daily routines. However, there are sensible ways to enjoy the season. Attending a party? Try the following strategies to stay on track with your health goals:
Do not arrive hungry to the party
Saving your appetite for the big holiday feast often leads to over eating at the party. Start your day with a wholesome breakfast and be sure to eat a light meal or snack before arriving to the party. Snack examples include a lean meat sandwich with low-fat cheese, whole grain toast with nut butter and a fruit, one pita pocket or wrap with hummus and veggies.
Eat smart at the party
If you are at a buffet table, be sure to scan it before you enter the line to choose foods wisely. Use a smaller plate to keep the portion sizes in check and start with sides such as vegetables and salad before going to entrees and desserts. Eat slowly, savor every bite and follow the rule- “wait 10 before having seconds,” which is waiting 10 minutes before you go back for seconds to see if you are truly hungry.
Watch the liquid calories
Traditional drinks and cocktails often contain a large number of calories. One cup of eggnog can set you back around 360 calories, while hot chocolate can contain around 200 calories. Alcoholic mixed drinks and punches can contain over 200 calories, easily. Opt instead for a glass of sparkling water with a splash of your favorite juice or wine.
At the party, stay away from the food table and spend time enjoying the company of others. This will keep you moving and the more time you spend talking, the less time you’ll spend eating. Also, continue your regular physical activity during the holidays and do not let the holidays deter you from exercising. Break up your workouts throughout the day or find a way to squeeze in some physical activity each day. If you are hosting the holiday dinner, you are likely to have more control over the menu and recipes. Add a healthier touch to traditional holiday recipes by:
Lastly, do not forget to have fun because when you focus more on the fun, it is easier to focus less on the food.
Enjoy this great recipe for a healthier stuffing this holiday season.
Apple, Cranberry, and Pecan Stuffing
Serves 12. Serving size 2/3 cup.
Nutritional Information: Calories 230; Fat 13.3g; Protein 7g; Carbohydrate 23g; Fiber 4g; Sodium 271mg; Sugars 9g