Eating Healthy at Holiday Gatherings

| JoAnna Weinand

I have found eating healthy around the holidays to be quite tricky. Take for example, my annual family gathering…I have found eating healthy around the holidays to be quite tricky. Take for example, my annual family gathering…
I show up and the counter is filled with appetizers before the main meal will be served. I can smell the bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers and can’t wait to indulge in the 7-layer chip dip. Maybe there are some munchies like almonds, cashews, pretzels, and cheese puffs. All of these options before the main meal of barbeque ribs, breaded coconut shrimp, mashed potatoes topped with gravy, green bean casserole, and grandma’s famous dinner rolls. And let’s not forget all the cookies, gingersnaps, melting moments, sugar cookies, and rum balls (just to list a few).
There are so many appealing foods being served, and some of them, not the healthiest. This can make it difficult to make good, healthy choices. But just because it’s hard, does not make it IMPOSSIBLE.

Here are some suggestions to help you through those holiday parties and gatherings:

• Often times, people gather around the hors d’oeuvres table and are full before the main meal is served. Bring a game with for your family and friends to play before dinner to try and avoid this habit.
• If you’ll be attending a buffet style gathering, try not to show up overly hungry. This can lead to over eating.
• Try and remember how the food is going to affect how you feel. Over indulging can lead to feeling sluggish.
• Bring some healthy foods along!

o Fruit or veggie tray – munch on these healthy, low calorie options  before the main meal.

o Bring a delicious salad to share – add some fresh fruit, nuts or seeds for some variety

o Bring yogurt parfaits for dessert – a healthy alternative to all those cookies

• Offer to help with the dishes. Not only will this get your brownie points, but it will also help with the temptation of going back for seconds.
• Another suggestion to avoid over indulging, go for a walk after the meal! Movement after eating is also going to help you digest your foods and help maintain your energy level. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the Christmas lights!

Contact us today for any dietary questions or concerns, or to receive your free consultation. Visit our dietary services webpage to learn more about us.

Happy Holidays!

JoAnna Weinand graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2013 as a Registered Dietitian and started her career in New Mexico, working with many different disease states including diabetes in children and adults, kidney disease, malnutrition, weight management, and many different gastrointestinal diseases.

JoAnna has an adventurous spirit and her career has taken her from many different places, from New Mexico, to California, North Dakota and Alaska. She has worked in many different settings including hospitals, dialysis centers, skilled nursing facilities, gyms, and within the community with youth and adults in Alaska.

JoAnna has always had a passion for nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. In her spare time, she loves to travel, mountain bike, rock climb and backpack. Living back in Minnesota, she also loves to spend time with her family.

JoAnna believes that nutrition is not “one size fits all” and each nutrition plan should be tailored to meet an individual’s needs. JoAnna enjoys working with many different disease states and developing the right plan so each person can reach his or her own personal goals.

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