Monthly Archives: December 2012

Top Tips for Happy and Healthy Christmas Celebrations

Healthy Eating Tips for Christmas Celebrations

For many, Christmas celebrations can turn into all day eat-athons. While we shouldn’t feel guilty for partaking in the holiday festivities, the focus doesn’t have to be on unhealthy eating and overindulgence.

For healthy and happier Christmas celebrations, follow these key tips.

Do not arrive famished. Let moderation be your mantra today. Don’t skip meals and binge later. Stick to your regular routine of three or more meals a day. Eating a banana or apple or 12 whole raw almonds 20 minutes before you arrive, may cut the edge off your appetite before entering the party room.

Hydrate. Keep water on-hand the entire day. Start with 16 oz water before taking your first cocktail, wine or alcoholic beverage. Strategize before you arrive to limit yourself to one to two alcoholic drinks. Before meal time, have an extra glass of water so you are sure you are eating to satisfy hunger, not thirst.

Choose wisely. Peruse the food table before making choices. Look out for low fat options and fill your plate first with those first. Smart choices include veggies, fruit, shrimp or seafood, wholegrain crackers, poultry or lean beef. When there is less room on your plate for higher calorie foods, you’ll make better decisions and go easy on the high-calorie indulgences that add up, including sweets and fried foods.

Shop smartly. If you are the one entertaining, remind yourself how many guests will be in attendance. If you are having guests over just one day or meal, buy just what you need. Avoid filling the shopping cart with too many extra eats. Because remember, when all are gone, who will be left eating them? Stock up on healthy snacks. Great options include dried fruits, unsalted nuts, popcorn and fruit served low fat yogurt dip.

Take a seat. When it’s time to eat, pull up a chair and avoid mindless grazing. Standingmakes us eat more and most of the time we’re not fully aware or enjoying what we are eating. Sit down and take full pleasure in the holiday meal and family and friends around. After all – that’s why you’re there!

For more ideas on holiday and heart-healthy eating, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating fun and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia KostasNutrition and visit: http://www.georgiakostas.com.

This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.

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6 Tips for Enjoying a Healthy Holiday Happy Hour

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As holiday gatherings ensue, many of us begin celebrating with festive, seasonally inspired drinks. Many of these beverages, however, are loaded with sugar and high in fat and don’t do your waistline any favors.

While most of the focus this season is how to keep from overeating, those Christmas sips sure add up, too. This holiday season, give your holiday cocktail hour a healthy makeover by following these simple tips.

The skinny on the nog – Eggnog is certainly a holiday favorite but chock-full of calories and fat. Eggs, whole milk or heavy cream, sugar, brandy and rum are the main ingredients, which gives one six ounce cup of eggnog nearly 300-400 calories and over 15-20 grams in fat. Limit this caloric holiday treat or trim the fat by blending 3 parts 2% or skim milk to 1 part eggnog. Consider also trading eggnog calories for a holiday “must” food.

Go bubbly! Ring in the holiday season with a traditional sipper – champagne. At approximately 100 calories per flute, this low-calorie sipper becomes a true a calorie-treat. Add 100% orange juice to turn it into a mimosa and get a jolt of vitamin C.

Nix the alcohol – At your next holiday happy hour, choose a festive, virgin alternative to your go-to cocktail. Or consider club soda with a splash of 100% fruit juice. Cranberry and pomegranate juice are festive options and loaded with healthful antioxidants.

Mix it up – Though alcohol is typically the main culprit for packing on the pounds, cocktail mixers are a big source of unwanted calories, fat and sugar. Choose soda water, diet soda or other zero-calorie options when possible and beware of high-calorie sweet liqueurs.

Alter serving size – Choose smaller glassware to house your holiday drinks. Using a champagne flute instead of a regular glass will cut down the portion size and make you feel like you are still enjoying a full glass. For higher-calorie beverages, serve them up in shot glasses to keep serving sizes in check.

Don’t deprive yourself –There’s no reason to completely miss out on a holiday cocktail. Drink one high-calorie beverage per party and lots of water;  stick to healthy eating most days, and up your exercise routine in December to balance out those cocktail days.

For more ideas on holiday and heart-healthy eating, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating fun and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia KostasNutrition and visit: http://www.georgiakostas.com.

This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.

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