Joelle Reizes - December 17, 2013
While the holidays should be a time of celebration, they actually fill many with a sense of dread. Many people, especially those focused on healthy aging, see festive parties filled with delicious food as a land mine ready to blow up all the positive choices they’ve made throughout the year.
That treacherous landscape can be navigated successfully with a little foresight and planning. These tips provide a plan to enjoy the treats of the season without derailing your healthy aging lifestyle.
- Careful portion control is a way to savor different items without going overboard on calorie intake. A bite or two provides just enough flavor to satisfy the taste buds and avoid that too-full feeling. Women’s Health suggests using some self-deception by choosing a smaller plate to fill, tricking the brain into thinking more food is being consumed.
- As with many things in life, holiday dining should be about quality, not quantity. It’s easy to fill up on the ever-present snacks loaded with empty calories that can lead to mindless consumption. According to Real Simple, choosing to eat special seasonal items such as a child’s first batch of cookies can be more physically and emotionally filling.
- Well-prepared quality foods don’t need high-fat additions to taste delicious. Lean meats and fish can be enhanced by low-calorie spices and seasonings instead of butter and oil. Hearty winter vegetables such as sweet potatoes and butternut squash make luscious yet healthy side dishes. Even a rich favorite like potatoes gratin can be enjoyed guilt-free with Cooking Light’s cheesy, low-fat version.
- When the star of a dish is a healthy protein, fruit or vegetable, it can be dressed up with a luscious sauce or topping to seem more indulgent. Keeping the richer part to an add-on allows for better taste proportions, avoiding a heavy, weighed-down feeling. A simple chicken breast provides endless possibilities with this variety of topping suggestions from Food Network.
Education is the best foundation for healthy aging. This holiday season and year-round, Life Line Screening stands behind healthy aging choices and being proactive with health. While the holidays mean more opportunities to indulge in unhealthy foods, they also mean more opportunities to make smart choices. Enjoy your holiday activities the healthy way. You can do it.