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Holiday Eating: A Balancing Act

Most years we all have that thought of, gosh I’m doing so well right now but how can I survive the holidays?  We should be thinking how and I going to incorporate a few holiday delights. 

Let’s tackle the biggest troubler first…. Grandma’s Christmas cookies.  Allow yourself two cookies, that way you don’t feel like “you’re on a diet have to pick only one cookie out of the 10 flavored variety pack.

When attending an appetizers and hors d’oeuvres party, bring a veggie tray so you can fill up on veggies and dip versus chips and dip or meat and cheese platters.  Of course you can still have those other items, but shoot for filling up plate number one with veggies, wait awhile, then if you’re still hungry go for plate number two with a few higher calorie snacks. Obviously, moderation is the key here but you also want to enjoy your holiday and not feel bad about what you’re eating. 

Before the main meal comes around at family gatherings, it is highly suggested that you fill up on a small salad first.  As most of you know, we try to sneak in a few extra vegetables here and there at Hilton Head Health.  This is a good routine as you will start putting less on your plate once you get to the entrée.  If you’re in charge of Christmas dinner, try offering leaner meats, healthier sides and more fresh vegetables.  Peas and corn do not count here; bring on the grilled asparagus or roasted brussels sprouts.  I understand it’s the holidays and it may be one time a year we get to celebrate a few family traditions so if that’s the case, stick to your tradition and just use the side salad as a filler-upper!

Most of all, try to enjoy your holiday celebrations by still enjoy the things you love—just include moderation into that equation along with some healthier starters before each meal.  Exercise is always encouraged but my department is all about the food!  So if you’re still trying to decide what to bring to a holiday party, start thinking about surrounding yourself with safe foods that you really like and will give you a healthy option to eat when attending a party outside your own home!

Cheers! Chef Jen

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