Tis the Season to be jolly…. and to be realistic about food choices. Energy, time, and patience can be scarce this time of year, so you will need to decide if it is better to maintain hard set nutrition goals or save some of that brain energy for fighting the traffic, stress and long lines that go hand in hand with the
holiday season. With increased stressors and end of the year expectations, it is easy to feel “guilty” about holiday eating. So, as the very generous nutritionist at Monarch, I am allowing you to loosen the belt a little, relax and consider these three steps for making sure you do not sabotage your health this holiday season:
1) Tis the Season for Marathon Eating
I know it sounds crazy to encourage extra eating throughout the holidays, but that is exactly what I am doing. Before the holiday luncheons, the cocktail parties, the family gatherings, and gift exchange parties, try eating something healthy and filling first. Something like a small salad with meat and cheese, vegetable or bean soup, a couple of tangerines, or a handful of nuts or trail mix with water can all be helpful to curb your appetite and prevent overeating. Hopefully, once you get to the gathering, you will not immediately be tempted to pile your plate simply because you are hungry.
2) Tis the Season to Pick and Choose
One of the undeniable highlights of this season is the endless tempting buffets of food. Generally, it is a bit odd to combine a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, with a side of spaghetti and meatballs, an empanada, and a little jerk chicken, but not at this time of year. Do not get mesmerized and tempted by all the offerings; instead, pick and choose the foods you really love or that are not prepared year-round.
Yes, mac and cheese is good, but unless it is a family recipe, then skip it. Also, things like white rice, cookies, pizzas, fried chicken, and most appetizers are available year-round; save the calories for the better stuff. This applies to desserts too! Have that cake that is baked only once a year and leave the
chocolate chip cookies alone. Pick the special items and choose wisely.
3) Tis the Season of Moderation
If you use the first two tips, then you should be able to reasonably maintain weight and general nutrition even in the midst of the holiday season. But, if you are still struggling to make wise choices, then remember one thing; You are an adult and moderation is simply a part of life. You can have cookies, cakes, candies, snacks and all the goodies your heart desires any time you want; being in a holiday season does not change that. No need to sneak and eat, then feel bad about it; that is what children do.
Instead, remember that you can have cookies in January, February, and March too. At the end of the day, you don’t want to sabotage a year’s worth of effort to overeat regular goodies in 30 days. Enjoy the holidays and all it has to offer, but…in moderation.
If you want to learn more about a health plan that works for you, then give us a call at (561) 523-4589.
Navalee Hylton MS, RDN/LDN
I started my educational career with a degree in Culinary Arts, followed by a Bachelors in Food Science, and ended with a Masters in Nutrition Education in 2007. Shortly after I became a Registered Dietitian and Certified Food Safety Manager, allowing me to fully understand the many needs of food and nutrition education.
Educating the community and the community educating me is what I am most passionate about. In the past 15 years, I haveworked and volunteered in the many areas of Nutrition and Health Education including Community, Culinary, Clinical, and Marketing. However, I have always found the greatest joy in educating and nourishing underserved communi