Posted on 11/24/2014 at 12:00 AM by Embria Health Sciences
By Dr. Lisa Metzgar, PhD
Every year about this time, I am in shock that the holidays have arrived so quickly… Didn’t we just take down the tree from last Christmas? Didn’t we just make those New Year’s resolutions that most of us will make yet again as January 1 rolls around?
With the coming holiday season comes the holiday eating. One of the biggest challenges my clients have is just maintaining their weight and their health when there are so many temptations put into their path.
The average American eats over 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat… not to mention a ton of sugar in a typical Thanksgiving dinner. Yikes! That not only packs on the pounds during the holidays, but it also puts a toll on our bodies and immune system. There are strategies that you can use to maintain a healthy holiday season without waking up in the New Year with yet another mountain of health resolutions to repair the damage of holiday eating.
Most of us will go to several dinners and parties during the next month, starting with Thanksgiving. As good as our intentions are going into the holidays, it is hard to maintain control. It is good to have strategies in place to help keep you on your healthy path.
Try these holiday survival tips to maintain your health and weight without depriving yourself.
- Hosting a dinner? Choose whole foods over prepackaged processed foods. Include lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats in your meal planning. It is ok to have a sugar delight, but try to make it yourself to avoid chemical additives and overloads of processed sugar.
- Going to a potluck? Bring a healthy option so you know that there will be something there that you will feel good about eating. Put healthy options like protein and vegetables on your plate first before you grab the indulging choices. It is ok to indulge a little bit but keep it to just a few bites.
- Savor your food. When indulging in high fat or high sugar foods eat slowly and really enjoy each bite. You will be just as satisfied with a few bites if you really savor them than if you wolf down a whole piece of that cheesecake.
- Don’t eat until you are stuffed. It is easy to overeat when there are so many tasty options to choose from. Eat a little bit then evaluate if you want to eat more after your brain has caught up with your stomach.
- Include foods that are high in antioxidants. The overload of indulging foods can take a toll on our immune system. Holiday favorites include berries, cranberries and dark chocolate. Make sure you are taking your supplements like EpiCor to boost your antioxidant levels and protect yourself from free radical damage created by holiday stress.
Try these healthy holiday recipes:
Strawberries Dipped in Homemade Chocolate
- 1 cup extra virgin Coconut Oil (melted)
- ½ cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tbls raw honey (melted)
- Mix together and dip your strawberries in the chocolate mix.
- Put in refrigerator to harden chocolate.
Chocolate Turkey Chili
This is a great recipe for your leftover turkey.
- 2 tsp grape seed oil
- 2 cups chopped turkey (or more if you like it your chili meaty)
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 minced cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tbls chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 5 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cans rinsed and drained kidney beans
- 1 tbls apple cider vinegar
- Sauté pepper, onion, and garlic in oil until soft.
- Add spices and stir until mixed.
- Add in Turkey, beans, and broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add vinegar and stir.
- Serve garnished with shredded cheese and diced raw onion.
Paleo Brownie Bites
- 3 oz. dark chocolate (70% Cocoa or more)
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
- ½ cup raw honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbls vanilla
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ¾ cup blanched almond flour or coconut flour
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease mini muffin pan with coconut oil Melt chocolate, coconut oil, and raw honey in a double boiler.
- Allow it to cool then add eggs, vanilla, and almond.
- Mix flour and salt in separate bowl then mix well with chocolate mix.
- Fill muffin tins to almost full and bake for 15-25 minutes. Cool in pan and enjoy!
Healthy Cranberry Sauce
It is easy to make your own cranberry sauce instead of buying the high sugar canned version.
- 2 bags of fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup pineapple juice
- ½ cup of no sugar added applesauce
- ½ cup water juice and zest of one orange
- 3-4 tbls of raw honey to taste (optional)
- Put cranberries, pineapple juice, apple sauce and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Keep stirring for about 10-15 minutes until the cranberries start exploding.
- Reduce heat and add orange juice and zest.
- Simmer another 10-15 minutes.
- Add honey to taste.
- Cool and store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.