Honey glazed ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, pecan pie, peppermint bark, fudge….we are in the middle of the season where most of us indulge in way too many desserts and way too much egg nog. We all have a decent idea about how to eat healthy; it’s just hard to do this time of the year. Below are a few tips for healthy holiday eating.
Don’t eat unless you’re hungry.
That’s pretty simple and self-explanatory. Resist the urge to snack needlessly just because the food is available. Have that “how have you been” conversation with Uncle Jimbob and Aunt Alice in the living room, not by the snack table where the candy canes will surely be dancing in your head.
This has been told to us for years, but in the American culture we tend to put time constraints on our eating times. Throw the eating rush out the window this holiday and try to eat slower to allow your body to hear those “I’m getting full” signals.
Eat your fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and veggies are one of your five major food groups so you might as well not neglect them during this time. Carrots, celery, and fresh peppers make great snacks. During your feasts, start with your dark green, heart healthy vegetables first.
Speaking of heart healthy.
Turkey! Turkey is heart healthy and it’s at quite a few holiday meals in America. Eat turkey, go for a walk, and then take your nap if you still need to. Another heart healthy food is mixed nuts. Try the unsalted ones.
Throw on your Santa hat, grab your Elf gloves, and go out for a nice stroll with the family if the weather permits. Some people might even jog but just be careful of ice! If the weather doesn’t cooperate, maybe you can hit the mall for some power walking (leave the credit cards at home) or have a family sit up/push up challenge in the living room.
You booze, you lose.
We are celebrating family and friends this time of the year so there is bound to be a few bottles of booze laying around. If you’re anything like me, you love a good glass of egg nog! But eggnog has an ungodly amount of calories, so keep that in mind when you go to pour your second glass. With all alcohol, try to drink in moderation and mix in a few glasses of water/juice/tea.
These are just a few tips that you probably won’t remember as you walk by the pie table. Enjoy your holidays and remember your heart!
Nick Shaw is a Team Lead in the Nursing division of Aureus Medical Group.