With the holiday season approaching, there are many barriers we face during winter months to stay healthy. There are endless food temptations, stressful holiday schedules, and on top of that, being in enclosed spaces longer due to winter weather increases our likelihood of contracting an illness. Thankfully, there are methods that we can implement to make sure we enjoy the holiday season and stay our best functioning selves.
- Eat the dessert! Being overly restrictive can lead to overeating, guilt and psychological stress. When choosing which desserts to eat think ‘savor and satisfy’ not ‘grab and guilt.’
- Safeguard your immune system: A strong immune system can decrease the frequency and duration of an illness. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, adequate protein and carbohydrates are among some of the powerhouse nutrients that support the immune system. Try making a cranberry grapefruit sauce to get in extra citrus vitamin C fruits to put on top of waffles or pancakes for a holiday breakfast, make into a smoothie for a quick leftover meal, or top on top of oatmeal, parfaits or a cranberry brie crostini or topped over steamed vegetables like Brussels sprouts.
- Focus on Fiber and protein: Including fiber along with lean-protein foods will help blunt the blood sugar spikes you may experience with desserts and other sugary treats and help you feel fuller longer. Choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains when possible. Opt for lean meat, poultry, seafood, cheese and nuts to help balance carbohydrate-rich foods.
- Bring a Healthy Holiday Appetizer: Appetizers are a great dish to pass since they’re less labor intensive and can be made with a healthy twist. Check out some holiday appetizers at the back of this issue that will be sure to turn heads.
- Avoid skipping meals: If you skip meals, you may be more tempted and likely to overeat later. Deprivation leads to temptation! Instead, listen to your body hunger cues. To avoid overeating at the main holiday meal, have a snack 2-3 hours before to ease appetite so you won’t be ravenous when the meal starts.
- Small servings: With smaller servings of foods and beverages, portions are controlled. Using smaller plates, bowls, and glasses means they will appear full with a smaller amount of food. Being able to enjoy a full plate, bowl, or glass leads to a greater feeling of satisfaction when dining. You will also load your plate with less food if it is an 8 inch salad plate versus a 12 inch dinner platter.
- Take time: Slow down while eating and take time in between bites to enjoy those who you are spending time with. Slowing down while eating may result in eating less as well as better conversations!
Cranberry Orange Zest Sauce
- 1-12oz bag of frozen or fresh cranberries
- Zest of one orange
- Juice of one orange
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Our Family Applesauce
- 1/3 cup Our Family Wildflower Honey
- 1/8 tsp Our Family cinnamon
In a saucepan, lightly boil cranberries, zest and juice from one orange, applesauce, honey, and cinnamon for 5-10 minutes until sauce has reduced and some cranberries have popped. Add mint on top for an extra garnish.
Recipe Tips: If putting it on top of turkey or pork, add 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar with 1/2 cup sautéed onion and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary to the sauce. For a sweeter sauce add some pomegranates.