Tips for Eating Healthy During the Holidays

As we approach the holiday season, many of us face the prospect of consuming more food and beverages and not always consuming the ones that are best for us. Here are some tips to staying healthy.

Pick 1-3 days a week when you eat vegetarian, with variety and fresh ingredients.

Add healthy meat/poultry/seafood alternatives to your diet as you see fit—Your nutritionist or local health food store will have great ideas on this.

Avoid processed, packaged, and canned foods as much as possible.

Become friends with legumes—peas and beans. They are high in fiber, carbs, and proteins, and are generally feel-good foods for satiety, balancing blood sugar, maintaining weight, and energy. They’re also delicious and easy to cook—They’re great in soups, or chilled in salads (such as greens, avocado, tomatoes). Sprouting legumes are the healthiest way to eat them—easier to digest with less starch and more protein.

Season your veggies to make them even more interesting, using fresh herbs and citrus you either grew yourself or purchase at a local farmer’s market. Basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and lemons are some of my favorites, finely chopped and mixed with olive or walnut oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

If you eat seafood, select it wisely. In spite of the numerous benefits of seafood—including protein and omega-3 fatty acids—the supplies of many wild seafood species can’t keep up with demand, and many products are farmed. Our waters have mercury and other toxins, so that’s an issue too for consuming fish as a main part of our diet. Larger fish such as tuna and swordfish are higher in mercury, and should be minimized or avoided. Smaller fish like sardines and anchovies may be better choices. They make a nice addition to fresh salads and other vegetable dishes. Ideally, we want to encourage less pollution to protect the ocean itself, all sea life, and to support human health.