One Pound . . .
. . . that’s what nutritionists say the average person will gain over the holidays. For the portly, the news is worse—they’ll add 5 pounds! If these numbers are set in gastronomique stone, what’s a foodie to do?
Nutritionists suggest including some of the following foods in your diet each day to help offset the harm done by those sugar plums dancing in your head—and on your plate. (The holiday condition, no doubt, caused by eggnog and boozy fruit cakes.)
If you’re feeling “Holiday Guilt”, here are a few foods to include on your plate along with sugar cookies.
Place a mental check mark by those you eat regularly. I conclude the post with a nutritionist’s tip for handling holiday desserts.
Make It a Blueberry Christmas
These little, blue baubles are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Give yourself a check mark if you eat blueberries regularly.
We’ve been told to spend more time shopping the periphery of the grocery store, where the produce, meat and dairy reside.
In addition to various lettuces, I now keep a sack of spinach on hand to throw into a salad, a korma, or even sneak into a burger. I haven’t figured out how to put leafy vegetables into Christmas sugar cookies yet, but I’m sure some gallant gourmet will find a way.
These little rascals are a nutritional dynamo, fighting off viruses, bad bacteria, as well as vampires. Take it from TV chef Rachel Ray, who’s often seen smashing a garlic bulb to smithereens: “I put garlic in everything,” she says, “don’t you?”
Give Lemons a Squeeze
Ahh, the lemon! This juicy ball of sunshine is a Florida vacation for the skin and hair. I squeeze it onto salads and into the fizzy water that I make with my Soda Stream. Check mark!
Put Sprouts on Your Table
This easy insert for salads, spreads, and wraps, packs a nutritional wallop. I occasionally buy sprouts, but they get soggy before I can finish the package. In the above photo, avocado is mashed and spread on whole-grain toast, sprinkled with kosher salt and black pepper, topped with alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds and a squeeze of lemon. Doggone healthy.
Go Wild with Salmon
Not the farm-raised stuff. The wild variety is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, reduces risk of heart disease, and boosts good cholesterol. I try to stock up on the wild variety, when the salmon are running in the northwest and the stores are running a sale.
Salmon can lowers the risk for depression and cancer and helps overall cognitive function. Hmm. . . I wonder if I ate a salmon salad while working a crossword puzzle it would improve my performance?
Turn on the Turmeric
This bright yellow spice is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. I keep a shaker next to the salt and pepper by my stove and sprinkle it hither and yon.
Avocados Check a Lot of Boxes
This is one of the world’s healthiest foods, so go for the guacamole dip when you have a chance during the holidays. It’s so perfect that one nutritionist calls it “God’s Butter.
At the store, reach for the blackened ones with pebbly skin. They’re higher in healthy fats and lower in carbohydrates than the green, smooth skin ones. Use avocados slaked on toast (as shown earlier), and for smoothies and salsa.
A Tip for Handling Holiday Desserts
When it comes to holiday desserts, one trick worth noting is the “Three Bite Rule.” It only works if your sweet tooth understands the logic, which goes like this: The first bite of dessert will be splendid, because it awakens the taste buds. The final bite will be lingering and memorable.
But all the bites in between will taste the same. So it’s best to limit dessert intake to no more then three distinct (and satisfying) bites. It’s yet to be seen if I can check this box.