Clean Eating and the Holidays 

People who don’t pick up a frying pan the rest of the year turn into Martha Stewart during the holidays. Turkey, dressing, ham, yams, pies, Christmas cookies, candy and gingerbread men with their own frosting-laden houses – we all have at least one dish that will force us into the kitchen.

I tend to avoid cooking for most of the year, but every Christmas I haul out the cookie sheets, cookie press and cover everything that doesn’t move in candy sprinkles.

And every batch of cookies has at least a cup of butter, which, when paired with all those sprinkles, can start to pack on the pounds.

Probably no other occasion is as fraught with as much weight-gaining danger as the span from Halloween to New Year’s Day.

So how can you have all your favorite family recipes and not end up looking like a Christmas ham?

The Centers for Disease Control has some pointers on how you can chart the candy-laden course through the holiday season.

  • When you’re heading to a party, eat a small healthy snack at your usual mealtime to keep your blood sugar steady. And bring along a healthy dish to share.
  • Don’t skip meals before the big dinner.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of a sweet treat, just cut back your carbs during the meal.
  • If you slip up, just get back to healthy eating at the next meal.
  • When you’re at the big dinner, get a small plate of your favorites, then stop.
  • Don’t forget to eat your veggies.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Avoid or limit the booze. Alcohol can lower your blood sugar and some liquor has tons of calories.
  • Don’t forget to get some exercise and a good night’s sleep. Even a 10-minute walk will help.

It is possible to focus on clean eating and the holidays!

I’m still planning to make my favorite cookies this year, but maybe this year I’ll share them with the kids.

By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers

Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas

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