1) The ‘pre-game’ - exercise, walk, go to the gym, play some touch football, get outside, get active, rake leaves, get the body moving to create a healthy appetite. Drink lots of water and graze on high fiber foods.
2) Buyer Beware! Don't buy things that are pre-made, that you don't know the ingredients, fat content, carbohydrate content, preservatives, dyes and fillers.
3) Be Fussy. You are not going to hurt anybody's feelings by going through the holiday selections and choosing the foods that make you feel happy, healthy and vital.
4) “Putting on the Ritz”- don't dress in couch potato sweats, flannels and hoodies that stretch as you eat and your belly expands. Wearing slim-fitting clothes makes you aware of how much you are stuffing yourself.
5) Create a personalized tasting menu instead of glopping huge portions of food on your plate, use a variety of colors, textures, temperatures, and tastes (such as savory, sharp, sweet, pungent, piquant).
6) Avoid the traditional gluttony festival. I come from a family where the Italian trilogy consisted of an antipasto course, pasta course and then the traditional Thanksgiving turkey course, followed by cordials, pastries, pies and other desserts. Leftovers can translate into many meals to come.
7) Big flavor/high fiber foods - those with high herb, spice and fiber content will satisfy your palate sooner than blander foods.
8) Caution with the casseroles - they typically have hidden fat, carbohydrates, fillers and usually have very little nutritional value.
9) ”Get HOT in the Kitchen” like Venus and I do. Plan together, shop together, prep together, cook together, set up together, and clean together. This is a great way to burn calories and enjoy the family component of any holiday.
10) Don't use a holiday as an excuse to binge- it isn’t an excuse to sabotage your well-intentioned efforts.
11) Tame your stress - stress raises your cortisol, slows digestion and makes it harder to commit to the right choices on the holiday buffet line.
12) Soak it up - stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
11) The seltzer edge - add seltzer to your alcoholic drinks to hydrate, while slowing down the overall calorie consumption.
12) Petite colorful plates please! The use of small plates give us the illusion of more food. Studies have shown that colored plates give us more visual satiety than plain white plates.
13) Slow Down – ‘Piano, Piano’ as they say in Italy. Don't make eating at the holidays a race from the start line to the finish.
14) “BYOD” - bring a dish or dishes that suit your dietary requirements.
15) Change it up - eat high fiber foods, such as sweet potatoes or cauliflower mash, instead of the traditional, high-caloric and high-glycemic mashed potatoes.
16) Keep it clean - whenever possible use organic, free range, antibiotic free, nitrate free foods.
17) Pace yourself - whenever possible pace yourself. Remember that leftovers are a great way to try everything, just on another day. Think before you go for a second helping; most likely you are already full.
18 )Be mindful - don't eat and talk at the same time. At every meal, my father sits at the table and makes sure to focus on what he is eating without any interruptions. At 82 he's healthy, energetic and independent.
Wishing you a healthy, happy, safe and vital holiday season!
~Dr. Dave, Venus and the Oasis Integrative TEAM.
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This blog is for informational purposes only. It is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a licensed, qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.