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Keep the Holidays Healthy

healthy holidaysThe Season of Hallothanksmas is upon us. Yes, I know what you’re thinking:  treats, meats, and delicious eats. But let’s shift our way of thinking. What if we turn our focus to family, friends, and making great memories? Here are three things to think about this holiday season:

1. Portion control – Have you noticed how portion sizes keep getting bigger with the option to “super-size?” Some portion sizes have increased so much that they now equal the amount recommended for the entire day. With this growth have come increases in waistlines and body weight. Start with figuring out how big your portions really are. Pour/place in a dish the amount you would normally eat then use a measuring cup to find out how much you are actually eating. Take the Portion Distortion Quiz now.

Basic guidelines when measuring portions:

1 cup = baseball

½ cup = light bulb

1 oz or 2 tbsp = golf ball

1 tbsp = poker chip

3 oz chicken or meat =deck of cards

3 oz fish = checkbook

2. Some easy ways to keep your commitment to healthful eating:  Pack your shopping cart with plenty of fresh vegetables like sweet potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, carrots, and green beans. Apples, cranberries, and pears combine easily for a tasty salad, fruit crisp, or topping for the turkey. Reduce fat and calories without sacrificing the taste with these quick substitutions:  two egg whites for one egg; low-sodium, fat-free broth in your mashed potatoes; cutting back on added butter or margarine; applesauce for oil, margarine, or butter when baking. Use fat-free yogurt, sour cream, and whipped topping for dips, sauces, and pie toppings. Try sliced almonds in place of fried onion rings for a crunchy topping.  Replace regular with reduced-fat or low-fat cheese for salads and casseroles. Substituting ingredients can change the texture of the finished product so be sure to start with small changes.

3. Going to a gathering? With a little preparation, you can still keep off the extra holiday pounds. If you plan on treating yourself later, start your day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruit, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and protein like eggs, ham, or peanut butter. Don’t starve yourself beforehand. Rather, eat a small, lower-calorie meal or snack so you don’t overdo it at the party. Choose carefully and decide among foods you definitely will eat, those you will sample, and those you will skip. Don’t rush to eat. Socialize and settle into the festivities before you eat. Move your socializing away from the buffet or appetizer trays so you don’t nibble unconsciously.

Sources: www.eatright.org; http://myplate.gov/



Author: Ricki McWilliams – rickim@ufl.edu

Ricki McWilliams is the Family & Consumer Sciences Agent in Walton County, Florida.

Ricki McWilliams

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/11/16/keep-the-holidays-healthy/