The Season of Giving...In To Temptation?

The Season of Giving...In To Temptation?

The holidays are amazing for so many reasons, among them the extra time with loved ones and the pretty decorations draped over anything that will stand still. At the top of this list for me though is the food. I can’t get enough roasted root veggies and pumpkin-flavored…everything. Of course, the holidays have also become a time of overindulgence in such tasty treats. So how do we take advantage of these wonderful seasonal delights in a healthy way? Since your mind is probably already filled with lists (presents, holiday cards, naughty/nice?), I’ll keep this one short:

  • You don’t have to give up all things delicious to be healthy. Instead of a full piece of pie, have half. Or just skip the side of ice cream or whipped topping.

  • Take smaller bites and enjoy just how tasty these holiday treats are. If you slow down your eating, you may find yourself feeling fuller faster.

  • Skip the second helping unless you’re still hungry. Stop eating when you’re full.

  • Instead of piling food onto a large plate, use a smaller plate and trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more.

  • Eat mindfully. Instead of munching through a mound of mashed potatoes in front of the TV, sit at the dinner table and notice the texture, temperature, flavor and smell of your food.

  • If you’re the one cooking (or grocery shopping for the chef), work with non-fat and lower calorie ingredients. If a recipe includes cheese, sugar, or salt, consider using less than the recipe calls for.

  • Holiday drinks are always a highlight, but they can be extra unhealthy. At the coffee counter, instead of ordering a large pumpkin-cinnamon-gingerbread-egg nog mocha, order a small and ask for it “skinny” (made with non-fat milk and sugar-free flavoring). You’ll be surprised how tasty it still is! At home or at a party, instead of a full glass of liquid holiday cheer, only fill it halfway and take smaller sips.

The holidays are a wonderful time to indulge in many of life’s joys but when it comes to the more caloric joys, moderation is key. It’s okay to give in to temptation but make sure during this season of giving that your body is receiving the nutrition and care that it needs. And if you need a little extra help or encouragement, check out the cooking and nutrition classes Swedish will be holding in 2013.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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