When the cold weather comes whooshing in, suddenly there are endless cookies, cakes, candies and mouth-watering traditional foods in abundance all around us. Sometimes it can be difficult to make healthy choices or stick to a plan.
Here are four tips to help guide you through this holiday season:
1. If you know you are going to a holiday party or family gathering with a lot of tempting foods, make sure you do not go hungry!
- Eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch so you feel satisfied before you go.
- Have a snack with protein, like Greek yogurt or nuts, on the way.
- Drink plenty of water during the day.
2. Choose the healthier appetizer. Look for whole food options like proteins, vegetables and fruits.
- Shrimp cocktail is a healthy choice and a good source of protein. Fifteen large shrimp have about 100 calories, and they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Fruits or veggies with a small amount of dip instead of a cracker is also a good choice. They are loaded with fiber to keep you full!
- A small handful of roasted nuts is a great option, preferably unsalted if possible.
3. Bring a healthy dish to the party.
By bringing a dish, you ensure there will be something there that is part of your plan and something you enjoy. A healthy bean salad, butternut squash soup or your favorite roasted veggie platter are all great options.
4. Follow the plate method to ensure a well-balanced meal for fullness and nutritional quality.
- When you line up to get your favorite foods, start with non-starchy vegetables, which should fill half of your plate.
- Move on to lean protein options, which should fill a quarter of your plate.
- Lastly, choose wisely for your favorite carbohydrate-rich dishes, which should fill the last quarter of your plate.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with enjoying your favorite foods during the holiday season. Be mindful of your portions and do your best to follow these tips for best success!
Looking for support and guidance in living a healthier lifestyle? Join us for our NEW Jumpstart to Wellness program! Offered by the Tevis Center for Wellness in partnership with the Y in Westminster, this 8-week virtual program starts January 4 and includes weekly online classes and a Y in Westminster membership. All are welcome to join, but registration is limited to 15 participants. The cost is $70. Learn more at http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/jumpstart or call 410-871-7000 to register.
Bridgette Hamby, R.D.N., is the community nutrition educator at the Tevis Center for Wellness.