Tips to Stay Healthy during the Holiday Season

5 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season
You don’t need to deprive yourself or eat only boring foods. Instead, by practicing a mindful approach to eating and cooking, you can come through the holidays without making “go on a diet” one of your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Cook healthy foods – be creative with recipes that use less butter, cream, vegetable shortening, and other ingredients rich in saturated fats and cholesterol. Check out: http://onceuponachef.com for some great ideas.

2. Avoid shopping or heading out to a get-together on an empty stomach. Have a healthy snack before you leave such as raw veggies and hummus, apple slices dipped in natural almond or peanut butter. You will be less likely to crash and overeat.

3. At parties, don’t stand next to the buffet table. If you know you are prone to recreational eating, pop a mint or a stick of gum so you won’t keep reaching for the sweet treats!

4. When serving your plate, ensure ½ your plate is loaded with vegetables. You can also use a smaller size plate, that way, you will control the amount of food.

5. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases your appetite and diminishes your ability to control what you eat. A glass of eggnog can set you back 500 calories; wine, beer, and mixed drinks range from 150 to 225 calories. If you do drink alcohol, have a glass of water or sparkling water in between drinks, as this will keep you hydrated and may cause you to drink less.

Have a Healthy Holiday Season!

Holiday Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Season’s here, and that’s great news
for your gut health, your immunity and more

Cranberries are bitter-tasting berries that are full of powerful phytochemicals that protect your body from illness. These berries are traditionally sweetened and cooked or sweetened and dried to reduce some of their tartness. But you can still eat them raw and find ways to incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

Health Benefits of Cranberries
Can help prevent urinary tract infections. They are loaded with an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins (or PAC’s for short). PAC’s reduce the ability for bacteria to stick to the wall of the urinary tract.

Can improve your digestion. Fiber is amazing for overall gut health. It is important for a healthy digestive system and to maintain regular bowel movements (one cup has about 4.6 grams of fiber). Furthermore, fiber keeps you fuller longer!

Can boost your immune system. If you feel the sniffles coming on, reach for cranberries, just one cup contains 22% or your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Load up to help your body fight back!

How to incorporate cranberries into your diet
• In your smoothies (raw)
• In your morning oatmeal (raw or dried)
• In homemade muffins (raw)
• Toss sliced raw cranberries into a spinach and chicken salad (or dried)
• Homemade cranberry sauce (see recipe below)

Cranberry Sauce with a twist – Makes 2 cups
A homemade alternative to store-bought cranberry sauce with delicious hints of cinnamon and apple to complement the flavor.

Ingredients
• 12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed
• 1 fresh apple cider
• 1 tsp. orange zest
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
• ½ cup peeled and cored apples, mashed
• ¼ cup of agave nectar or honey

Instructions
1 In a saucepan, bring cider, orange zest, cinnamon and cloves to a boil.
2 Once liquid is boiling, add cranberries and turn heat down to medium. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.
3 Add mashed apple and agave nectar or honey, turn off the heat and cool.