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Health Holiday Eating

Healthy Holiday Eating
By Brenda Jaeck -- Certified Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor


How do you stay focused and on track during the holidays when it seems around every corner lurks another favorite treat?

The best thing to remember is that there WILL be other holidays! You don’t HAVE to eat every treat this time around – save some for the next holiday.

A little planning ahead works wonders. If you know you’ll be attending an evening affair – pass on the office treats during the day. Don’t arrive to a party famished because you are “saving yourself” for all the goodies. This is a guarantee that you WILL overindulge. Rather, have a healthy snack before arriving to the event. Order sparkling water to keep yourself hydrated and your hands occupied; or, if you prefer a fruit juice or wine spritzer.

Staying focused on healthy eating during most meals will help you avoid (or at least limit) temptations. Try to bring healthy choices for meals in-route and snacks where there will be temptations. For portable meals invest in an insulated carry bag and some plastic ice packs. Healthy eating consists of drinking plenty of water and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals - something we often need more of during time of stress. The holidays certainly qualify as a stressful time for most. Fresh fruits and vegetables also provide fiber, which supplies longer-term energy, keeps hunger pains away and assists in elimination.

When indulging in treats at festive events it is helpful to enjoy the process and let it be. People often “beat themselves up” after eating treats. This negative thought process generally starts a downward spiral. For example, how many times have you thought something like “Well, I ate the cake at the office so I may as well have the ice cream with lunch.” This then leads to the next treat and the next. Instead, recognize you had a treat, you enjoyed it and afterward allow yourself to refocus on your healthy eating plan.

What do you do the “morning after” a little over indulgence on holiday treats? This is REALLY the time to focus on drinking extra water and eating extra vegetables. Both the water and the fiber from the vegetables will help with elimination of the remnants of the holiday treats. And, by having something positive to focus on it will distract you from the next holiday splurge.

Being mindful of what you are REALLY consuming in a day is an eye opening experience. To do this, try keeping a food journal for a few days – include EVERYTHING that you eat – don’t forget the taste of this or the sample of that. When you have a few days of history review your eating patterns. This exercise will give you a reality check.

Getting through the holidays does not have to be a weight-gaining proposition. Be mindful of what you eat and enjoy the true meaning of the holidays, not just the food.

Brenda Jaeck is a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor, Lecturer and Workshop Facilitator. She can be contacted at 917 213 9305 or brenda@seedstochange.com.
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