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5 Important Holiday Health Tips

The holidays are just around the corner…and if you’re like many of the patients I see in practice, you might be concerned about the extra holiday eats and sips that are bound to be inside your home, work, or social gatherings.  But, fear not!  The holiday season should be a source of food satisfaction, not food stress.  

So, instead of feeling restricted with food rules or feeling guilty about food you choose, here are 5 of my tips you may want to consider instead:  


Say YES! to your favorite vegetable and your favorite fruit more often.

Name one – yes, just one – of your favorite vegetables.  Now, name your favorite fruit.  Vegetables and fruits deliver fiber, vitamins, minerals and special phytonutrients that help power optimal health.  And, if you have favorites, why not include them more often into your daily choices?  For example, if you love cauliflower, why not roast it, steam it, grill it, rice it, mash it or toss it frozen into a smoothie (like this one here)?  This holiday season, include the nutritious foods that you love into your eating pattern more often!

 

Say YES! to the treats you really want

When chosen as part of an overall well balanced eating pattern, holiday treats can (and should!) be included.  In fact, it might actually be helpful to include the treats you love instead of refraining from them altogether.  Studies suggest that restrained or restricted eating (like saying “no” to all holiday treats) may have consequences including binge-like eating later on.(1-2)  Do you love Grandma’s sugar cookies, but don't care for her fudge?  Skip what you don’t love and give yourself the permission to really enjoy the ones you really do. 

 

Say YES! to 10 minutes of movement

It’s no wonder that the words “hustle and bustle” are most typically referred to during the holidays!  Between the parties to plan, gifts to wrap, holiday concerts to attend, and all the extra festivities that come this time of year, it can be a challenge to carve an hour out of your (already busy!) day to get in some movement. Luckily, just 10 minutes of movement three times per day might be just as effective – if not more effective – at helping improve overall fitness and wellness.(3)  So while you and your brother talk on the phone to plan your family party, take a walk on the treadmill or get outside.  Or, do something simple like 25 jumping jacks and 25 pushups in between wrapping each gift.  Adding just a little bit more movement to each day certainly adds up! 

 

Say YES! to preparing your own party dish

Heading to a holiday potluck?  Make sure there’s something for all appetites (including yours!) by bring your own dish that delivers nourishing nutrition. This holiday season, I am especially loving the recipes for Foxy’s Celery and Pomegranate Tabbouleh, Broccoli and Grape Salad and the Breadless Cauliflower Stuffing.  Which recipe appeals most to you?

 

Say YES! to one simple thing

There are so many tips and foods that you can say YES! to, but I find that it’s better to start with just one.  You don’t need to do everything at once!  As you plan your holiday health strategy, consider adding just one healthy habit to your routine. Will you drink strawberry-infused water for an afternoon thirst quencher? Might you enjoy celery and broccoli with hummus for a snack?  Could you include at least one leafy green salad a day?  Would you try a BroccoLeaf or collard green wrap for lunch two days a week?  Will you make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night?  Set just one specific holiday health goal (that’s inclusive, rather than restrictive!) and stick to it, and you’ll complete at least one thing to reach better health through the holidays and into the New Year.  

What healthy strategies and foods will you say “YES!” to this holiday season and into 2018? Share your thoughts with me over on Facebook and be sure to tag my friends from Foxy

 

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References:

1.      Polivy J. Psychological consequences of food restriction. J Am Diet Assoc. 1996; 96:589-592. Accessed online: http://jandonline.org/article/...

2.      Mathes WF, Brownley KA, Mo X, Bulik CM. The Biology of Binge Eating. Appetite. 2009;52(3):545-553. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2009.03.005. Accessed online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...

3.      Eriksen L, Dahl-Petersen I, Haugaard SB, Dela F. Comparison of the effect of multiple short-duration with single long-duration exercise sessions on glucose homeostasis in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia. 2007 Nov;50(11):2245-53. Epub 2007 Sep 1. Accessed online: https://link.springer.com/arti...  

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5 Important Holiday Health Tips

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