The Holidays are here again!!
Striking the Right Balance during the Holidays – Try 80/20 approach
What you eat on a daily basis affects your health, energy level, weight, and mood. Eating healthy foods that offer you good nutritional value strengthens your bones, boosts your energy, and lifts your mood, providing you with the fuel necessary to enjoy a fulfilling day. Finding the right balance of foods to provide you with fuel or energy as well as nutrients is essential for health. But how do we do this during the holidays when there seems to be an abundance of enticing, unhealthy choices all around us? Well we strike a balance. Don’t try to avoid the goodies all together. Decide each day to eat 80% of you day healthy and the other 20 % enjoy a holiday treat.
Consume more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Reduce the amount of cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Consume less sweets and salt.
- Watch the size of your portions and caloric intake.
- Exercise daily.
Choose foods from each food group with a wide range so that you enjoy your meals, while getting all the calories and nutrients that your body needs. You can adapt the plan to suit your preferences and individual taste. You can also combine foods from major groups. If you find that you avoid certain foods that your body needs, find other food sources that have the same nutrients found in those particular foods. Eating healthy is often synonymous with eating well so enjoy what you eat and be creative in your meals.
It can be as easy as experimenting with new foods such as adding orange slices to a salad, trying something new in your meals such as tofu instead of meat in lunches and a smoothie instead of a greasy breakfast. Eat several small meals rather than large ones and go for nutritious snacks such as fruit or rice cakes in between meals. Increase the vegetable portion of your meal while you decrease the meat part. Explore foods from different cultures such as edamame or quinoa that are delicious nutritious foods. Sprinkle fresh herbs on your grilled or sautéed vegetables for savory flavor.
Eat less processed food. Avoid foods that contain ingredients that are unfamiliar, include high fructose corn syrup, and cannot be pronounced. Often these three factors are indicative of highly processed foods. Try to get your fruits and vegetables locally and if possible, organic from farmer’s markets and co-ops to avoid the heavy pesticide sprays and to ensure peak nutritional value. Choose low-fat dairy whenever possible. Reduce your intake of sweeteners and salt. Enjoy eating delicious, fresh meals as much as possible and you will notice significant improvement in your energy level, mood, and overall health.
Food Group and Serving Size
Healthy Weight Pyramidhttp://mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00595
Nutrition Tool: http://www.eatingwell.com/health/nutrition_tools/diy_nutrition_analysis.html
Article in New York Times: