Healthy Eating During the Holidays
by Autumn Pappas, Contributing Writer
“You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out.” –Jay Leno
We’ve all been there, it’s January and suddenly we realize we’ve overindulged a little too much during the holidays. Our bodies feel sluggish, our stomachs unsettled, our clothes a little too snug. Want to avoid the post-holiday slump this season? Here are some great tips on how to make your holidays healthier than ever before.
Start with substituting healthier ingredients in your favorite meals. Switch out a whole egg for two egg whites instead. This will add more protein to your meal and cut down on the saturated fat. Trade one cup of oil or butter for one cup of mashed bananas or unsweetened applesauce. Bananas and applesauce not only create an ideal consistency in baking recipes; they’re also loaded with fiber, vitamins and potassium. Protein packed plain Greek yogurt serves as a healthy replacement for sour cream or mayonnaise as well.
Skip the white and brown sugars while baking sweets this holiday season. Brown rice syrup, dates, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and raw honey are great alternatives to table sugar. Carrying more nutrients than regular table sugar, these natural sugars digest in your body at slower rates. Therefore your blood glucose levels don’t rise and fall as quickly as they do with table sugar. Blackstrap molasses is also a good source of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Change up your cooking method. Steam vegetables instead of boiling them, and grill meat instead of frying it. Boiling food leaches out precious nutrients into the water, while steaming keeps all those powerful vitamins inside the food. Grilling meat versus frying it cuts the fat but not the flavor.
Lastly, try one of these tips to keep from packing on the pounds. Drink 8-10 ounces of water or chew a piece of gum at least 15 minutes before a meal. Both aid in weight loss by tricking your brain into thinking you’re already eating, therefore you eat less. Water will also help you digest your meal and reduce your chance of getting heartburn afterwards.
Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!
*My article was published in the November 2013 Issue of the “Voice” magazine
To your health!
Autumn (check me out at www.pacificnorthwesthealth.com)