Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Winter Network News Article

Healthy Holiday Habits
By Stephanie Wheler, Something Nutrishus Counselling & Coaching
From the Saskatoon Women's Network Newsletter, December - January 2012

For many people the holiday season means lots of family, friends, fun, and FOOD!  We can probably all easily identify a favourite or traditional holiday food that we enjoy and look forward to.  This holiday season, don’t deprive yourself of your favourites, enjoy them with my three favourite words – VARIETY, MODERATION, and BALANCE.

I love Christmas baking, our traditional Christmas morning cinnamon buns, and a turkey dinner to top it all off.  These foods can fit into your holiday festivities; it just takes some planning and preparation.  You can think about having a calorie budget for the day, so make sure you spend your calories wisely.  Many people feel that they need to deprive themselves of their favourites, but this often leads to an over-indulgence of that item later on or of other foods as we try to mask our craving.  How can you make your favourite treats fit? 

Stick to your routine
Eat regular meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar and cravings under control.  If you’re skipping meals you may end up losing control when you see a table full of food.  You can also try eating a light, healthy meal before going to a holiday event to help you have control over your choices. 

Be selective
Certain foods might only come out certain times of the year for you, so this is a good time to enjoy those treats.  Skip the familiar foods in order to keep your calorie intake in check and have room for the special foods.  Once you have what you want, make sure you remove yourself from temptation; don’t set up camp at the dessert table.

Find other ways to socialize
Start a new tradition that involves an activity such as walking, skating, skiing or a hockey game to help you burn off some of those calories, but also to get away from the house full of food.

Make the occasional swap
Choose raw veggies and dip or shrimp and cocktail sauce instead of fried appetizers.  Try club soda with lime rather that your normal soda. 

Control your portions
Often just a taste can satisfy curiosity.  If something comes in a larger portion, feel free to share it with someone, but also remember that you aren’t part of the ‘clean plate club’ and it’s okay to not finish what you took.

Be realistic with yourself and your goals.  The holiday season is only a small part of the year.  It’s important to think about the food choices you’re making between New Year’s and Christmas, not just to worry and feel guilty about the choices between Christmas and New Year’s!

Happy Eating!