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11 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating:

Christmas is just around the corner.  It is a time of celebration centred on friends, family and food. But how do you get through the season without over indulging?

Shopease would like to offer some tips that will help you enjoy all the great food available at this time of year AND still make healthy choices.

Christmas is just around the corner.  It is a time of celebration centred on friends, family and food. But how do you get through the season without over indulging?

Shopease would like to offer some tips that will help you enjoy all the great food available at this time of year AND still make healthy choices.

1. Eat regular meals; in fact, it can even help to eat something healthy before going out to an event. If you fill up on a nutritious salad or hearty soup you won’t be tempted to treat high calorie snacks as a meal.

2. Enjoy all of your favorite things but skip the rest. If you love eggnog and shortbread, but you don’t get too excited over rum balls or pâté, stick with your first love. It is also helpful to consider whether the thing you are about to put on your plate is something you can have anytime of the year, such as a store bought cookie, scoop of ice-cream or handful of chips. If yes, take a pass. Stick with the foods and treats that are seasonal, because when else can you have a candy cane cookie?

3. When you are presented with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and maple syrup drenched squash, take a small amount of each thing; you can always go back for seconds of your favorites. Try loading your plate without having your food touch. If you can’t pass on the gravy, put it on one thing, rather than covering everything on your plate.

4. Watch the liquid calories; they will sneak up on you. You might be surprised at the calories in pop, juice and alcohol. A glass of wine is usually around 125 calories, a beer or can of pop can have up to 150 calories. Eggnog can have over 350 calories even before you add the rum. Ask yourself “do I want the eggnog or that piece of cheesecake?” Try mixing juice with club soda, alternate drinks with a glass of water and select the non-alcoholic punch. Consider volunteering to be the designated driver; you will reduce your calorie intake and your friends will appreciate the offer!

5. Holiday time can be busy, but try to stick to your regular exercise routine. If getting to the gym isn’t possible, think about other ways to burn off those extra calories. Try to exercise every day, even if it is walking to an event.

6. Plan ahead. If you are going to be shopping all day, put something in the crockpot for dinner or take a healthy snack with you. These steps will help you avoid the temptation to grab some fast food on the way home. If you’re going out for a big dinner, eat lighter meals during the day.

7. Be mindful of what you are eating. You don’t want to eat that piece of fudge and not even be aware of it. Sit, focus on what you are about to eat, take small bites, pay attention to the taste and texture and truly enjoy the treat.

8. Don’t stand in the kitchen or in front of the snack table. Put some things on your plate then walk away from the food.

9. Low calorie snacks can be yummy too. For example, salsa is a better choice than a cream cheese dip.

10. Think small. Make smaller quantities, cut snacks into small pieces, take smaller amounts and freeze leftovers in small packages. Try a small piece of dessert or better yet, share with someone.

11. Read the labels on all store bought holiday treats.

The Canadian Diabetes Association also offers “7 Tips for a Diabetes Friendly Holiday Season.”

Shopease wishes you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!