Enjoy the Holidays! Remember there is NO perfect diet out there! We are all different so our diets differ. Pay attention to the DETAILS of your diet…details make the difference, even during the holidays. The type of carbs, the type of fats and the type of proteins, as well as the portion size. Staying happy, healthy and on track is easier than you think. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas can be a good time to try a new recipe in addition to your old favorites.

Butternut Squash and Toasted Walnuts drizzled with Maple Syrup
Butternut Squash and Toasted Walnuts drizzled with Maple Syrup

In fact, the old favorites can be made even tastier and more wholesome with slight changes like using butter vs. margarine, or real maple syrup vs. white sugar.

Try stuffing made with sourdough bread and wild rice vs. the ‘usual’ processed stuff that’s loaded with salt! There are plenty of choices in cyberspace including this recipe that’s tasty, wholesome and full of immune boosting antioxidants!  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fod/views/wild-rice-apple-and-dried-cranberry-stuffing-108759

What about the pre and post holiday meal temptations like the drinks and desserts??? We all know what tempts us at these holiday functions and the only way to have enough mental muscle to keep our ‘extras’ to a limited amount is by filling up on wholesome high fiber food and of course getting as little as 20-30 minutes of pre-planned activity before, during(dancing) or after a party. Enjoy the holidays more this year by turning your attention in. The holidays can and will be stress-free if you consciously choose to replace the negative thoughts that pop up with positive anticipation to quell the anxiety or depression. Visualize yourself at the holiday get together or the party with complete control and focus on what will serve you best when choosing drinks, food and activities, (including topics of conversation!).

A friend of mine recently finished her internship at Bastyr and is now a bonified RDN. Alyssa Neill described ‘a few common threads’ in her #FridayFoodRant and here are some of her words to reflect on as you make your eating decisions: ‘As an RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I know it’s a mouthful), the conversation always comes back to food…here are a few common threads I have learned throughout my career as an RDN:

1.  Whole-foods first, every damn time. Pick the stuff that has 1 ingredient (I.e. Pumpkin, egg, lamb, sardine, spinach, cacao bean…) and make those the base of your meals.

2.  Listen to the signals your body is giving you. Indigestion, poor sleep, missing periods, sore joints, headaches, infertility… Those are not normal, they are signals from your body to alert you of imbalance. If you don’t deal with them now, expect them to become exacerbated in the future.

3.  Pleasure; Food is nourishing so fill up on satisfying-whole-food-fats. Good fats = coconut, ghee, pasture butter, fish.

4.  Quality; You don’t want moldy…Go for the gold, people’

Here’s a couple ideas to try this holiday season whether attending or hosting a bash or if you just want to sit in stillness and mindfully enjoy something new in your ‘usual’ repertoire of meals and snacks.

IMG_0590Baked Sweet Potato, wrap potato in foil and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, add ~5 fresh sage leaves dried and crumbled on top with salt and pepper.

Roasted Vegetable Soup, roast any seasonal vegetable tossed in olive oil and/or drizzled with melted coconut oil (http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017703-roasted-vegetables) and add a thai style curry spice or paste to BOOST the ‘usual’ soup base of sauteed onions, carrots and celery. Blenderize everything and voila; delicious and nutritious! Serve topped with plain yogurt. IMG_0555

Carotenoids:   the colorful orange plant pigments which provide powerful antioxidants that help keep the body healthy.

Enjoy the Holidays with plenty of Carotenoids!

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