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    By Laura Koenig Rivkin, CHHC, CPT

    The holidays are a time of year to rejoice, gather, and enjoy time with your family and friends. The holidays can also add inches to our waistlines, and I hear from many people that they want to try to control over-eating during the holidays. I have provided for you some suggestions to do that.

    1. Prepare Ahead of Time
    If you are going to a family gathering or friend’s house, ask if you can bring a heart healthy dish. Make enough so that you can fill up on the dish if no other healthy choices are there.
    If making food for the holidays at your house, make a shopping list first and limit purchasing or making junk foods as much as possible.

    2. Baking
    Replace white sugar with natural, unprocessed sweeteners such as :
    Unrefined cane sugar, natural honey, fruit, such as mashed banana, dates or date sugar, unsweetened applesauce or for an added twist, try coconut palm sugar. Fruit sources have natural sugar in them, and if you add cinnamon it will bring out the sweetness even more. The less sugar you use the better for your body


    3. Replace Traditional Stuffing with Whole Grain Stuffing
    Instead of using white or wheat bread cubes for stuffing, try whole grains, such as quinoa or wild rice. They both contain fiber, and loaded with vitamins, and essential amino acids.

    quinoa stuffing

    4. Include Sweet Potatoes
    Baking them for a long period of time in your oven brings out the natural sweetness. Add a small amount of healthy fat to the potatoes and cinnamon, for added flavor. There is no need to add sugar or marshmallows..sweet potatoes

    5. Include Low Carb Vegetable Dishes
    Cauliflower, broccoli, string beans almondine, roasted brussel sprouts or asparagus spears are all great options, as they have fiber and are filling. Also, have salad with at least 4-5 different vegetables. The more vegetables you eat, the more full you will be. Vegetables are low in calories, full of fiber, and you can eat unlimited quantities, as long as they are not in heavy sauces.

    spinach salad

    6. Watch Portion Sizes
    Limit protein to about 4-6 oz – the size of a deck of cards. Fill up on low carb vegetables instead. Your waistline will thank you!

    7. Choose Lower Calorie Desserts
    Instead of a whole piece of cheesecake, choose a small piece of pumpkin or apple pie. If you can’t resist all, then opt with someone to share. Taking a taste of 1-2 desserts should be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. Include eating fresh fruit as a dessert, berries would be the best choice, as it is lower in sugar and higher in fiber.

    Pumpkin Pie Slice




    8. Eat Ahead of Time
    If gathering with family or friends during lunch, then make sure you eat a healthy breakfast, followed by a high fiber snack about 2 hours later, such as an apple and/or a small handful of almonds or pumpkin seeds. If gathering for dinner, then eat a protein packed lunch such as beans, chicken or fish with a salad or steamed broccoli. Then, before leaving, eat a healthy high fiber snack again to keep you from getting over hungry and grabbing unnecessary foods at the gathering.

    9. Stay Hydrated
    Drink pure spring or filtered water, herbal teas or broth throughout the day to keep you hydrated and feeling fuller longer.

    water and lemon

    10. Limit alcohol, fried foods, heavy sauces with cheese or cream.
    Alcohol tends to dehydrate your body, so alternate with a glass of water and limit to 2 drinks. Fried foods and heavy sauces are unhealthy and loaded with sodium, bad fats and unwanted calories. Use natural juices from meats instead of sauces. Fill up on sweet potatoes, low starch vegetables and a small amount of whole grain stuffing.

    While it might not be easy to follow the above, I can re-assure you that if you take it one step at a time, you will achieve the best results and not have to worry if you will gain weight or not. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so go ahead and enjoy them, with a bit of mindfulness in making the best food and drink choices during the holiday season.

    Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season!




    Good info I just have to execute it .


    Preparing ahead will help you execute the steps.