Healthy for the Holidays
By Sarah Brown, UNF Graduate Student and Dietetic Intern
Holidays are a time for food, family, and fun. But too often holidays threaten our health goals. Rather than taking two steps back, stay on tract! Below are some tips to encourage healthy choices for you this holiday season.
Bring a Healthy Dish
If you are planning to bring a dish to your holiday gathering, try and make it healthy! Here are some healthy recipe substitutions to cut the calories but not the flavor.
- Coconut milk for heavy cream
- Cacao Nibs or chocolate chips
- Unsweetened applesauce for oil
- Vanilla extract for white sugar
- Nut flours or white flour
Build a Great Plate
- Start by filling your plate with vegetables, there will be less room for the other less-healthy options.
- Sauces and gravies can add between 100-200 calories to your dish. It might not seem like a lot, but those calories will add up!
- Choose mainly whiter pieces of meats such as turkey or chicken to keep your protein lean.
- Don’t let your eyes overpower your stomach. Keep portions small, enjoy every bite, and stop when you feel full.
In my house, it’s a part of the tradition to settle into the couch and watch football after our holiday meal. Last year I encouraged my family to take a 30-minute walk before we got comfortable and everyone loved it! You will feel better, have fun, and keep that metabolism working hard. Participating in a holiday-themed run is also a great idea. Many cities hold Turkey Trots or Rudolph Runs which are an easy way to get active with friends and family!