Have a healthy Holiday season

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Tis the season for celebration! Since many holiday gatherings are focused on food, you might find it difficult not to overindulge. Our team of Sobeys Dietitians are here to help you enjoy the season without losing sight of your health goals. It’s all about balancing fun, food and activity.

What’s your party plan?

Here are a few suggestions to equip you with your best party plan…

Bring It

Lead by example and bring a better food option to the table. If you’re short on time pre-order a vegetable or fruit tray from the produce department. Already in store? Grab hummus from the deli department and pair it with crackers, mini pitas or pre-cut veggies. Select a ready to eat salad from produce or a shrimp platter from seafood. Need to bring a snack? Look for mixed nuts or trail mix in the bulk food section or the grocery aisles.

Take Stock

Survey the buffet table before filling your plate. Then choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. You don’t have to eat something just because it’s there.

Choose a Smaller Plate

If the option is available take the dessert or appetizer size plate. It does seem more satisfying if your plate is full. Smaller plate = less food. No plate? Try a napkin.

Load Up

Yes, load up on vegetables or salad options! Vegetables provide fibre and help keep your blood sugars stabilized. Enjoy veggies with a little dip!

Take 2

Try picking one or two appetizers and then move away from the table or food area and take your time eating.

Beware of the Small Bites

‘Tis the season of little bites! Appetizers, chocolates and holiday squares may seem harmless because they are bite-sized. Don’t be fooled. These foods can be high in calories, fat or sugar and can quickly add up.

Savour the Holidays

Have holiday treats! The secret is to fully enjoy what you are eating. Allow yourself time to taste and enjoy every bite without feeling guilty. Savouring a smaller portion of a favourite treat can satisfy your craving. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Put your fork down between bites. Stop eating when you are full or if you are not enjoying the food.

Cocktail Hour

Choose drinks lower in calories like water, sparkling water or diet pop. Limit higher sugar drinks like pop, punch or eggnog. Be sensible with alcohol. Make every other drink a non-alcoholic one. Try light beer, non-alcoholic beer or wine spritzers.

Stay Active

It’s all about balance. Have you found yourself indulging a little too often? Balance this by enjoying fun holiday activities with family and friends….or on your own if you are in need of some peace and quiet.

• Walk around your neighborhood to see the Christmas lights and decorations.

• Celebrate winter with activities like skating, skiing and snowshoeing.

• Go sledding or build a snowman.

• Walk a little more while you are Christmas shopping. Park farther away, take a few extra laps around the mall or stroll through the downtown streets.

Most of all, enjoy everything the festive season has to offer!

Hungry for more? Like @SobeysDietitian on Facebook and Twitter for more tasty tips & recipes or receive our schedule of events and Healthy Bits & Bites Newsletter directly to your inbox! Register at www.sobeyspharmacy.com/newsletter.

Nutrition Events

Join Teresa for her upcoming Taste & Learn classes: Holiday Appetizers on Tuesday, December 11th from 12-1pm at Sobeys Westside, and Holiday Desserts on Friday, December 14th from 12-1pm at Sobeys Aberdeen.

To register please contact Teresa at 902-755-3645 or Teresa.flynn@sobeys.com.

Creamy Pumpkin Seed Pesto Dip
Makes 2 cups or 500 ml
Ingredients:
¾ cup 175 ml Pumpkin seeds, shelled
2 cloves Garlic
¼ cup 60 ml Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup 250 ml Basil, fresh
1¾ cups 425 ml Greek yogurt, plain, 2% M.F.
¼ tsp 1 ml Honey
¼ tsp 1 ml Cayenne pepper
¼ tsp 1 ml Pepper
Directions:
1. Heat pumpkin seeds on low heat in a dry frying pan until they turn fragrant.
2. Blend seeds, garlic, cheese and basil in a food processor until smooth.
3. Pour into a bowl and fold in yogurt, honey, cayenne and pepper.
4. Place in fridge to chill until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving (2 tbsp or 30 ml):
Calories 87
Fat 6 grams
Carbohydrate 3 grams
Fibre 1 gram
Protein 6 grams
Sodium 12 milligrams
Tip: Jazz up your lunch by using this dip as a sandwich spread.
Source: Sobeys Dietitians