Have a healthy holiday season

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‘Tis the season for celebration!

As Canada’s Family Grocery Store, family and food are at the very heart of everything we do, and we know that food becomes central to creating joy during the holidays. With many of the best holiday gatherings focused on food, it can be difficult to avoid overindulging. But rest assured, the Sobeys dietitian team is at your service to help you enjoy the pleasures of the season without losing sight of your health goals. It’s all about balancing food and fun with family.

What’s your party plan?

Here are a few suggestions to help build the 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 Sobeys’ 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 the produce department or a shrimp platter from the seafood department. Need to bring a snack? Look for mixed nuts or trail mix in the bulk section or grocery aisles.

Take stock

Survey the buffet table before filling your plate, then consciously choose your favourite healthy foods and skip your least favourite or those less healthy. You don’t have to eat something just because it’s there!

Grab 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 = 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, though — 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 that are lower in calories like water, sparkling water or diet pop. Limit drinks that are high in sugar 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 neighbourhood to see the Christmas lights and decorations.

• Celebrate winter with activities that you can’t do any other time of year. Skating, skiing and snowshoeing are all great choices.

• Go sledding or build a snowman with the kids in your life.

• 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 special moments with family and all that the festive season has to offer!

Pomegranate Salsa

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 pomegranate, seeds only

½ cup (125 ml) red onion, finely chopped

1 medium Jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced

1/3 cup (75 ml) cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup (75 ml) parsley, chopped

1 tsp (5 ml) mint, chopped

2 tsp (10 ml) canola oil

3 tbsp (45 ml) lime juice

1 tbsp (15 ml) lime zest

¼ tsp (1 ml) pepper

Directions:

1. Cut the top off the pomegranate, score the peel into four quarters and pry open the fruit. Submerge in a large bowl of water. Peel seeds away from skin and membranes. Discard skin and membranes, drain water and reserve seeds.

2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

Calories: 33, Fat: 1 gram, Carbohydrate: 5 grams, Fibre: 1 gram, Protein: 1 gram, Sodium: 3 milligrams

Tip: Replace your traditional cranberry sauce with this flavorful salsa. Use ½ jalapeno pepper if you don’t like a lot of spice.

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

Did you know? Sobeys Dietitians offer a variety of free nutrition classes and one-on-one counselling. For more information contact Teresa at (902)-755-3645 or email to Teresa.flynn@sobeys.com.