As we celebrate the holidays this year with family and friends, it can be challenging to stick to a healthy diet amidst all the temptation. Before we know it, we’ll be heading off to holiday parties and spending long hours in the airport to join our loved ones around the country. This time of year is wonderful, but not for our waistlines. In fact, research by Johns Hopkins University claims people gain an average of five to seven pounds during the winter months.
However, at Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics, we tell our patients that they don’t have to sacrifice good tasting foods or traditions to stay on track during this festive time. From airport dining to choosing your hotel room, below are some suggestions for enjoying the season while maintaining proper blood sugar levels and avoiding weight gain.
Know when and where your major pitfalls may occur, so that you can plan to avoid them. Try following the 80/20 rule when traveling, it’s difficult to be 100 percent perfect, so cut yourself some slack. Aim to eat healthy 80 percent of the time. A missed meal or poor snack choice every now and then is to be expected. Just make sure it’s the exception to the rule, don’t make it a habit.
Make the available choices as healthy as possible. For example, order a burger without the bun and fries, and substitute them for some veggies. Bring the basics snacks with you like high-quality jerky, fruits, sliced veggies like celery, carrots, avocados, broccoli, nuts and seeds.
Choose Hotels and Restaurants Wisely
Try to pick hotels with a fridge and mini-kitchen. Take advantage of certain complimentary foods or meals provided by the hotel like hardboiled or scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit and nuts.
Check out the local tourist restaurant guide for healthier food choices. Hotels often have these as do airport information booths. Avoid those munchie foods that restaurants set out at your table like bread, crackers, or chips. Instead, ask for a no-calorie beverage and a salad or healthy appetizer.Be particular when ordering food at restaurants and ask your server how meals are prepared. Request healthier options, such as dressings on the side, grilled or broiled foods instead of fried, and substitute vegetables and salads for fried side dishes.
Go to grocery store
If you weren’t able to pack some of your own snacks before leaving, make sure to head to the local grocery store once you’ve arrived at your destination. You can buy some organic, sliced veggies, a few apples or pears, 3 or 4 ounces of nuts, a few avocados, and slices of nitrate-free sliced meats, like the Applegate Farms brand. If you’re driving to your destination, bring a cooler and stock up on some of these healthier choices.
Choose “Lesser Evil” Fast Food
If you’re in a crunch and need to grab some fast food, choose burgers without the bun or wrapped in lettuce leaves. You can do the same with subway sandwiches, or at Chipotle, order the “burrito bowl”. Even fast food restaurants have salads, just add some chicken or steak and avocado slices to make it more satisfying. However, beware of the salad dressings, which are usually loaded with sugars. Just ask for olive oil and vinegar on the side, or a wedge of fresh lemon to squeeze over salad.
Written by: Judy Nicassio, Lead Nutritionist at Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics
Rejuvena Health and Aesthetics helps patients look and feel their best using a revolutionary, integrative approach that includes all aspects of both naturopathic and aesthetic medicine. Rejuvena believes that total body wellness encompasses both the inside and the outside, and that your appearance is a direct reflection of what’s going on beneath the surface. Rejuvena offers the latest regenerative medicine techniques to resolve pain, enhance tissue and wrinkle repair, customized diet plans, organic whole food based supplements and detoxification therapies. To learn more, visit werejuvenate.com or 480-551-9000.