So you have survived Halloween and the sugar fueled candy fest and we have made it through the eating frenzy of Thanksgiving. Now we just have to contend with the month of December and the constant onslaught of cookies, cakes, drinks and a whole host of decadent treats to derail our healthy lifestyle. The good thing is there is still 5 weeks before the Christmas and New Years holiday so we can use this time to prepare.
I don’t know about you ,but I am still paying the price for Thanksgiving, even though I never seem to eat that much at the Holiday meal, I spent the days after having a bite of stuffing here a smidge of pie there. It isn’t the weight I worry about as much as the fact that I don’t feel great when I eat like that and it lasts for days after. For my teenage daughter I was pretty stunned how badly she broke out after the dairy laden meal, dairy is her nemesis when it comes to teenage hormonal break-outs and I shouldn’t be surprised.
So as a practitioner that focuses on prevention it is time to start now. We have several weeks to strengthen our immune systems, lose a bit of bloat and excess weight and get ourselves feeling fit and energized, and ready to tackle the craziness of the holiday season. I could give you a list of daily shifts in your diet or exercise regimen to tackle these challenges but I am giving you one simple tip that if followed will help ensure you stay healthy through the holidays. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES! Yes that is it and I can’t say it enough. If you consume your 9 fist size servings of fresh vegetables, 3 can be a fruit, I promise you will be filling yourself with the fuel you body needs to thrive and prevent yourself from overeating unhealthy foods. All the vitamins, minerals and fiber are guaranteed to keep that immune system strong and energy levels high. So go ahead and eat that rainbow and remember the brown that is chocolate isn’t part of it!
Here is a staggering statistic that I love to remind people of at Thanksgiving time, at the average Thanksgiving meal each person consumes 2 sticks of butter! That is 1/2 pound per person of pure dairy fat! That butter hides in pie crust, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing just to name a few. Now this does not mean you should not indulge and enjoy the holiday but here are a few simple suggestions to make one of our favorite holiday meals just a bit better for our health and waistlines.
- Use chicken or vegetable broth to add moisture to stuffing and potatoes to drastically reduce the amount of butter needed
- use lots of fresh herbs such as Rosemary, Sage, Parsley and Thyme to add flavor, and always remember that fresh herbs are also dark green leafy vegetables which adds loads of vitamins and minerals to your favorite dishes
- use gravy sparingly, a good gravy should have a rich enough flavor that you don’t need you meal to be smothered
- skip the crust, unless it is truly your favorite part, eat the filling of the pie and leave the butter and refined flour crust on the plate to avoid lots of extra calories
- Don’t starve yourself all day before you eat, be sure to have a protein and fiber rich snack before eating to help control your appetite, think Hummus and veggies as a snack during football
This is a start and won’t make huge changes to your mealtime. Remember it is all about balance so aim to eat loads of fresh veggies early that week and that weekend to help your body recover from the onslaught that is the Thanksgiving meal,
It seems like summer was just here but already we are starting to think about the holidays. The Optimal Kitchen is about helping people focus on the prevention of illness and maintaining optimal health, so I have developed a few new products specifically designed to aid clients in this quest. These new items will be available at the Eastham Turnip Festival, the Wellfleet Harvest Market, and the Orleans Indoor Market as well as on line. Come visit me at any of these locations and learn more about how the Optimal KItchen can help you and your family stay healthy this Holiday season and all winter long.
HOLY HABANERO: This tincture with its high levels of capsascin is great for reducing inflammation, especially for those suffering from arthritis and other types of pain. Add to foods to give them a kick or use in cocktails.
GINGER STEVIA SYRUP: This sugar free simple syrup is a healthy sweetener with the added bonus of ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties. It is ideal for sweetening everything from cranberry sauce to homemade ginger ale. However I believe many people use this for making cocktails helping reduce the amount of sugars in your drinks which helps prevent those holiday hangovers.
OPTIMAL BOOST: This is our answer to fire cider. Optimal Boost blends together the Ginger Stevia Syrup, Holy Habanero and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar all infused with fresh Tumeric root. This powerhouse blend helps boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and promotes overall wellness. I even got a ringing endorsement from my 15 year old who last night asked if I had any Optimal Boost because as she said, when she drinks a shot everyday she feels much better, and her skin is even better!
November and December can be challenging months for many reasons. There is often an emotional toll layered on top of the physical, not to mention all the demands put on us by the holiday season. Staying strong and healthy can make a big difference and here at the Optimal Kitchen we are doing all we can to keep our community healthy and strong.