Six Simple Tips to Stay Healthy Through the Holiday Season

Don’t Just Survive the Holidays. Thrive Through Them…

Still battling a post-Thanksgiving Tofurky trance? A mashed potato murk?  A pumpkin pie high? Instead of waiting for January to climb back up on the healthy wagon and out of the food fog, why not start now? Mitigate the mayhem of the season and bump up the body love fest with these 6 simple tips:

  1. Persist with fitness. It is all too easy to let your routine slip to the sidelines with traveling, festivities, and busier schedules that are typical this time of year. But that is why it is even more important to stay the course and squeeze it in. However you can, make it happen. Turn social gatherings into bonding fit fests by going for a walk or taking an exercise class together, or doing yoga in the living room before a meal or first thing in the morning. Social support is superb in stick-to-it-ness. Try literally entering your workout onto your calendar weeks (or at least days) ahead of time to ensure it happens.
  2. Start with fruits or veggies at every meal. Since fruits and veggies both offer the fewest calories per gram than any other foods and are high in satiating fiber, these are the ideal items to preferentiate at every meal. Studies have found that starting your meal with a piece of fruit, salad, or soup decreases overall caloric intake at a meal.
  3. Prioritize the 6 daily 3’s:
      • 3 servings of leafy green vegetables (1 serving equals 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked and include options such as asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, dandelion greens, green beans, kale, any type of lettuce, sea vegetables, etc.)
      • 3 servings of legumes (1 serving equals 1/2 cup of any bean, lentil, pea, or soy foods)
      • 3 servings of fruits (1 serving equals 1 medium piece or 1 cup)
      • 3 servings nuts and seeds (1 servings equals 1/2 ounce or 30 grams)
      • 3 servings other colored vegetables (1 serving equals 1/2 cup)
      • 3 servings exercise (1 serving equals 20 minutes of activity)

     

  4. Predict, plan, and prepare. Know where your next meal will be and make arrangements to have healthy options wherever that may be. Traveling? Here are some Healthy Travel Tips. Dining out? Here are my Top 5 Tips for Dining Out. Visiting friends or family? Ask to bring a wholesome dish or two for yourself and to share.
  5. Opt out instead of pushing portion control. Sometimes just saying “no” is so much easier. Otherwise, that first bite of hyperpalatable food stimulates the hormonal cascade that kicks in and seduces you into “just one more bite”…and “one last one”…and on and on down that rabbit hole.
  6. Discover and experiment with healthier indulgences. Swap date paste or pure maple syrup for sugar in recipes, try aquafaba instead of egg whites in meringue-like dishes or other egg substitutes in any type of recipe, and use fruit and vegetable purées instead of oil.

Most importantly, embrace this special time of year and savor the love that comes from taking care of yourself psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually as well as physically…

Wishing you a very healthy, happy holiday season!

The post Six Simple Tips to Stay Healthy Through the Holiday Season appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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6 Tips to Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

Still battling a post-Thanksgiving Tofurky trance? A mashed potato murk? A pumpkin pie high? Instead of waiting for January to climb back up on the healthy wagon and out of the food fog, why not start now? Mitigate the mayhem of the season and bump up the body love fest with these 6 simple tips: Persist with fitness. …

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5 Reasons to Bypass the Turkey this Thanksgiving…and Everyday

Nearly 46 million turkeys are brutally raised and slaughtered just for Thanksgiving in the U.S. each year. Here are 5 reasons to bypass the turkey this Thanksgiving…and everyday: 1. Bred for both size and speed of growth, turkeys more than doubled in size since 1929 from an average of 13 pounds to an average of …

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Sweet Potato-Pecan Pie

This delicious pie is similar to pumpkin pie but it is made with sweet potatoes (or yams) instead of pumpkin. The filling is sweetened with dates, thickened with a little oat flour, and the Pecan-Date Crust is just like a sweet, crumbly cookie! Note: As mentioned above, this pie can be made with yellow-brown sweet...

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The post Sweet Potato-Pecan Pie appeared first on Straight Up Food.

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Raw Cranberry-Persimmon Relish

This cranberry relish requires no cooking, just a food processor for uniform chopping. The sweetness of the persimmons, apple, and tangerine balance the tartness of the raw cranberries. Serve during the holidays alongside mashed potatoes and stuffing. Print Raw Cranberry-Persimmon Relish Prep time:  15 mins Total time:  15 mins Serves: 6 (makes 3.25 cups)   Ingredients...

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The post Raw Cranberry-Persimmon Relish appeared first on Straight Up Food.

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Cyber December

Forget Cyber Monday! How about Cyber December? The more, the merrier! In honor of my brand new book, The Vegiterranean Diet, being published on December 23rd, I am offering a fun deal that lasts all month long: Pre-order or order (beginning December 23rd) a copy of The Vegiterranean Diet and enter to win FREE nutrition …

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Tips for A Healthy Holiday Season

The average person gains 5-10 pounds over the holiday season. But it doesn’t have to be that way… Here are 3 tips for navigating the holidays healthfully all the while enjoying the festivities: 1. Go whole. Pick the wholest ingredients possible when preparing or enjoying dishes. Having the most fiber intact will enable satiety with …

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A Grinch’s Guide to Halloween

Alas, the time of year is rapidly approaching yet again….the week of “All Hollows’ Eve”…the one holiday that I am geared to gravitate away from for multiple reasons. It is a holiday that worships sugar, junk food, and excess, all with a slant of horror, terror, and trickery. These are all ideas that frankly turn …

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Answering Dietary Questions during the Holidays

While the holiday season brings another year to an end, it also brings the power to derail any of our previous dietary improvements. For those of us easily seduced by abundant holiday treats, we rationalize that January’s resolutions will come soon enough—for then we will make our health a priority. But for those of us […]

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Nutmeg Toxicity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Too Much Nutmeg Be Toxic?

The spice nutmeg appears to have a relatively narrow margin of safety.

In my research on cinnamon I ran across a peculiar paper entitled “Christmas Gingerbread and Christmas Cheer: Review of the Potential Role of Mood Elevating Amphetamine-like Compounds.” The author suggested that certain natural constituents of spices such as nutmeg may form amphetamine compounds within the body “sufficient to elevate the mood and help provide some added Christmas cheer” during the holiday season.

This hypothetical risk was raised as far back as the Sixties in the New England Journal of Medicine in an article called “Nutmeg Intoxication.” The paper pondered whether the age-old custom of adding nutmeg to eggnog arose from the psychopharmacological effects described in cases of nutmeg intoxication. Such cases evidently go back to the 1500s, when it was used as an abortifacient to induce a miscarriage and in the 1960s as a psychotropic drug.

Mental health professionals from the ’60s concluded that while nutmeg “is much cheaper for use and probably less dangerous than the habit-forming heroin, it must be stated that it is not free from danger and may cause death.”

The toxic dose of nutmeg is two to three teaspoons.

I assumed no one would ever come close to that amount unintentionally until I saw report in which a couple ate some pasta, collapsed, and were subsequently hospitalized. It was a big mystery until “On close questioning, the husband revealed that he had accidentally added one third of a 30g spice jar of nutmeg to the meal whilst cooking it.” That’s about 4 teaspoons–I don’t know how they could have eaten it! I imagine the poor wife just trying to be polite.

There are also potentially toxic compounds in certain types of cinnamon. See my video Update on Cinnamon for Blood Sugar Control.

We can also overdo other healthful plant foods if we consume too much of the yellow curry spice turmeric, drink too much tea, or eat too much soytoo much seaweedtoo many broccoli sprouts, and even too many raw cruciferous vegetables.

The final video in this three part series on the latest on spice safety is The Safety of Tarragon.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

Image credit: Simo ubuntu / Wikimedia Commons

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