HOLIDAY HEALTH: 6 Tips for Eating Right
1. Substitute. Substitute. Substitute. Use skim milk instead of whole, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, powdered sugar instead of icing, low-sodium broth, whole-grain bread, and low-fat gravy and cheese. Or why not make green beans without the casserole? Your dinner guests will likely never notice.
2. Buy from local producers for the most natural, fresh ingredients. Visit your local fruit stand, orchard or farmer to purchase fresh (and sometimes organic) food. “When you buy produce in a market, stuff is sitting in a cooler a month. And beef, pork, the longer it’s sitting, it’s losing nutrition,” says Paul Polizzi, executive chef of the Farmhouse Restaurant at Fair Oaks Farms in Jasper County, which sells its own meat, produce and dairy products. “Something… picked that day is going to be more fresh, have more vitamins and nutrients.”
3. Eat (and drink) in moderation. To save calories, take the skin off the meat. Skip the roll and butter. Drink sparkling water or wine in place of higher-calorie beverages like soda or beer. Try one dessert instead of three. Limit yourself to one plate on Thanksgiving.
4. Make sure at least half your plate is vegetables. It’s an easy-to-remember rule to help you cut down on the carbs and fat.
5. Bring nutritious side dishes. If you’re going to a potluck, bring a healthy dish, such as a veggie tray, nuts, whole-grain pasta salad or fruit kabobs. Or think outside the box. “How many events have you been to where they had too much food?” asks Kate Fairbairn, a life and nutrition coach at Community Hospital Fitness Pointe in Munster. “Another option is to bring a nice bouquet of flowers. It will last after the party, it’s pretty and you won’t be adding more food.”
6. Keep a food journal. If you know how much you’ve eaten, you’ll know when you have room to indulge in your grandmother’s sweet potatoes or a piece of pumpkin pie.