As the holiday season rolls into full force, goodies and treats almost seem to be a constant influence in the office. At home, there is baking and preparing for parties and gatherings throughout the month. It is a very busy and sometimes stressful time. This seem to justify the mentality of letting things slide with our eating choices at this time of the year. It’s the blame game! When in doubt, eat what you want and eat an extra serving of it, and blame it on the holidays!
Well, hopefully we can all be more sensible than that. Now is as good a time as ever to revisit some healthy choices you can make in your food selection now, and throughout the year as well.
If you can learn some basic alternatives to fattening foods, you will have the tools to make good choices wherever you are: cafeteria, friend’s house, potluck, restaurants, etc. The Discovery Health Channel had some great healthy tips to share:
- Pick mustard instead of mayonnaise because there is less calories and fat in mustard.
- Pick brown rice, whole wheat, rye or oat bread instead of white bread (In general, it is a safe assumption to stay away most foods that are white, with the few exceptions of cauliflower, potatoes, fish or the like).
- Pick the white meat when eating turkey or chicken instead of dark meat, red meat or pork (most of our fat intake comes from animal fat; white meat contains less fat).
- Pick baked or broiled over fried, battered or breaded of just about anything.
- Pick water over juice and soda. Some juices contain just as many carbs and calories as a small bag of potato chips. Try to at least remove caffeinated soda from your diet and replace it with [herbal] tea or water — have two glasses of water, or cups of tea, per every can of soda. If you knew how many calories you are saving in drinks alone, you will thank yourself for this change!
- Pick low-calorie sauces and ask to have sauces and dressings served on the side. (Usually more sauce is poured on that one dish than you could need for 2 or more meals!)
- Pick fat-free milk and cheese made with skim milk instead of whole milk (This goes hand-in hand with the fact earlier that most of our fat intake comes from animal fat).
- Pick vegetables as side orders instead of fries and chips. Steamed veggies are preferable over creamed veggies.
- Prepare to pack fruit and nuts to hold you over to the next meal, rather than opting for fast food or snacks from a vending machine.