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The holidays are here. Gathering with friends and families means lots of holiday snacks and goodies. But how can you maintain a healthy diet when gastronomic temptation lurks behind every party tray?

This month, we’re highlighting ways to help you stay healthy during the holiday season. And we’ve linked to a few healthy holiday recipes from Heart.org.

1. Come up with a plan

Come up with a game plan before you get to that holiday event. Determine beforehand how much you’re going to allow yourself to eat and what. If you’re trying to cut out sugar, stand resolute in avoiding desserts altogether. If you’re going to allow yourself something sugary, try setting some limits, e.g., just a single dessert.

2. Small plates are your friend

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests you start with a small plate of food, and load up on the veggies and fruits first. They say, “it takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full.” [1]

3. Beware the clock

Do your best to eat at your regular meal times. [2] Late-night events make it easy to devour a few rich treats late in the evening. Know the clock, and refer back to your plan. If you know you’ll have food options late into the evening, determine beforehand whether you’ll partake.

4. Make time to move

Get some exercise! Yes, it’s cold outside. Yes, you’re tired from all the shopping and festivities. But taking some time to stay active will help you feel better and even reduce stress. [1]

Healthy recipes this season

Try these healthy holiday recipes from Heart.org:

  • Mom’s Roasted Turkey with Butternut Squash and Asparagus
  • Allspice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Cinnamon-Sautéed Apples and Cilantro Rice
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
  • Apple Bread Pudding
  • Baked Apples and Pears with Almonds
  • Turkey Bacon and Spinach Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
  • Festive Turkey Rice Salad

All of these recipes can be downloaded here:

Healthy-Holiday-Eating-Guide

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesmanagement/index.html
  2. https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/holidays/how-to-enjoy-the-holiday-without-the-weight-gain
  3. https://www.heart.org/-/media/aha/h4gm/pdf-files/hheatingguidefinalnohablogo.pdf?la=en&hash=8D07B2B796438093C7DC7DEF12DA978C8DFF5893
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