STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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13. Add flavor when cooking dishes by using herbs and spices such as rosemary and cloves — they give added zest to dishes.


14. Use skim milk in place of cream when cooking. Instead of chocolate chips, try using dried fruit. Use condiments such as vanilla and peppermint to enhance the flavor of various foods.


Here’s a diabetes-friendly  recipe to try:


Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic and Parsley


•  5 pounds winter squash

•  2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

•  1 1/2 teaspoon salt

•  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

•  3 cloves minced garlic

•  2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley


Toss squash with 4 teaspoons of oil, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast at 375 degrees, stirring occasionally until tender throughout and lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant but not brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Toss the roasted squash with garlic and parsley.


(Source: www.eatingwell.com)

Although you may be battling diabetes, you still want to have a tasty but healthy holiday. How can you plan a good diet that will not compromise your diabetes? Here are some holiday hints that are meant for the person with diabetes but are appropriate for everyone:


1.  Plan your holiday around friends and family. Catch up with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. After dinner on Christmas Day, take a walk with nieces and nephews or play a game. Do not put the focus on food.


2.  Bring a dish to the family gathering. Make it one of your healthier choices. Offer to bring a green vegetable.


3.  Stay active. Sometimes exercise is forgotten over the holidays. Plan time into each day for exercise. Engage in physical activity with friends and family, such as participating in a charity run or walk.


4.  Drink in moderation or not at all. Holiday drinks add a significant wallop to your calorie count, so be careful.


5.  Eat something before dinner to prevent low blood sugar levels.


6.  Approach meals with mindfulness. Eat slowly and savor each bite.

14 HINTS FOR A FESTIVE HOLIDAY

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

7.  Try healthier versions of your favorite holiday fare. Use apple sauce in place of some of the sugar when baking; steam green beans; and try putting less sugar in fruit pies.


8.  If you want to nibble while preparing meals, overindulge in vegetables.


9.  Don’t pile up your plate with high-carb foods; sample only some of a few dishes. Or have a reasonable portion of your favorite and bypass the remainder. If you must try everything, put only a spoonful of each dish on your plate.


10. Watch your portion sizes, whether you’re eating in a home or a restaurant.


11. Do you want some of Grandpa’s eggnog? The American Heart Association says you can fill your glass half to three-quarters full with low-fat or skim milk and one part eggnog.


12. Pass on that huge dollop of whipped cream to avoid extra sugar.