Holiday Health Survival Guide

Brace yourselves, Halloween officially kicks off the food frenzy that we like to call “the holiday season.” From here on out, we will be bombarded with fat-filled, sugar-loaded, ooey- gooey, rich and delicious treats that will not only add some junk in your trunk, but might just create some real serious health issues. Did you know that heart attacks peak in December and January? And actually most heart attack-related deaths in the US occur on December 25th, second highest being December 26th, and third January 1st. Many theories exist as to why this occurs, but I don’t think we need scientific backing to realize that people eat and drink too much, and exercise and sleep too little during this “heart-attack season.”

So I am pleased to kick off this season’s Holiday Health Survival Guide. I will continually update the blog with simple tips to keep that coronary disease at bay this year- and of course that excess junk OUT of your trunk! Ok, so some tips are pretty obvy – but I would not be the dietitian I am without stating the obvious here and there. Plus, we all need some reminding from time to time- especially after throwing back a spiked eggnog…or three.

Here are the first 3 tips to your Holiday Health Survival Guide:

1. Do other stuff – brilliant, I know. But seriously, don’t plan everything you do this season around food. Come up with other things to do with friends and family, and leave the eating for the parties that you will be attending and of course the holidays themselves. One great thing about November and December is that there is TONS to do in the community. From holiday concerts, arts and craft fairs, festivals, shopping, tree-trimming, and millions of other events. Get a calendar, go online, and plan out the next two months based on all of the fun things there are in your locale.

2. Moderation – I know I know, you are totally sick of hearing, “everything in moderation.” Well, guess what, my friend…get over it! This is the key to staying happy, healthy, and heart-attack free this holiday season. Absolutely positively do NOT deprive yourself from those holiday treats that you yearn for all year long- just refrain from gorging yourself on them. Sometimes just the idea that you will only have these foods once a year is enough to send you into a gluttonous panic in which you knock everyone out of your way to hoard your treats in a closet somewhere. Instead of eating ½ of the pumpkin pie with a spoon (you’re lying if you say you haven’t done this-or at least imagined doing this!), get a grip, and have a reasonably-sized slice while savoring every bite. If we want to obtain or maintain our junk-free rear, we simply cannot overdo it- but we can still enjoy the amazing foods we love so much.

3. One to Two Drink Max- Listen, I love a Peppermint Martini as much as the next guy, but there are simply too many opportunities this season to get sloshed. Drinking too much raises blood pressure, may cause atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), taxes the liver, is linked to many diseases, adds an unbelievable amount of calories to your day, and makes us more likely to make bad decisions. One dirty martini will cost you nearly 250 calories! Control yourselves people! The rule of thumb is to have one drink per party or special gathering, if you must, make it two…but stop there. Drink plenty of water, and do NOT drink and drive. For more in-depth healthy drinking tips, read my post, Tis the Season for Cocktails and Hangovers.

Stay tuned for more Holiday Health Survival tips and tricks! Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list! Until next time!

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