Eat, Drink and Be Healthy!
By Torrance Memorial Registered Dietitians Brianna Chang, RDN and Noel Le, RDN
Maintaining your health during the holidays may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Below are four simple tips to help you prioritize your wellbeing, make nutritious choices, and delight in the holiday season as you prepare to enter the new year.
1. Make healthy substitutions at home
Making healthier choices at home doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your favorite holiday traditions. Below are some simple substitutions you can follow when baking at home without compromising flavor.
* Applesauce can be an equivalent substitute for sugar. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, replace with 1 cup of applesauce, however, it’s recommended to reduce the liquid in the recipe by a ¼ to offset the liquid from the applesauce. To reduce the fat content, take out a ½ cup of butter or oil and add ¼ cup of applesauce instead.
2. Navigate the appetizer table with confidence
You may be tempted to reach for your favorite salty or sweet foods on the serving platter at your next holiday celebration. Take a moment to assess your options and prioritize the more nutrient dense options to nourish your body first. These include vegetables and crudité, fresh fruit, lean protein, unsalted nuts, high fiber crackers, and whole grain bread products. Skip creamy sauces and dips and instead opt for hummus, bruschetta, or tabbouleh, which are flavorful, vegetable based, and contain plant-based protein to help you feel more satisfied.
3. Maintain hydration
We tend to overeat when we feel thirsty. Maintaining adequate hydration levels throughout the day and night can prevent you from overindulging. Staying hydrated also helps maintain energy levels, improve mood, and prevent brain fog. You can avoid dehydration by drinking water or infused water, and tea throughout the day. You can also receive hydration from food by eating fresh vegetables, fruits, and low sodium broth-based soups.
The holidays are a time of celebration, community, and rest. You can better enjoy all of these things by preparing and prioritizing your health before you even arrive at the celebrations. If you know there will be lots of indulgent items at the gathering you are attending, aim to eat balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day to ensure your body receives the nutrients and vitamins it needs.
Lastly, maintaining consistency with the existing healthy eating habits and physical activity you already practice daily will help balance the unique foods and traditions of the holiday season.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more techniques to help build a healthy and nutritious lifestyle, contact one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists at the Outpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy Office or our Diabetes Self-Management Program located in the Torrance Memorial Specialty Center, 2841 Lomita Blvd., Suite 335, Torrance. Call 310-891-6707. https://www.torrancememorial.org/Nutrition