Eat this not that this holiday season | Health

A monthly health column from a local naturopathic health care provider.

  • Thursday, December 19, 2019 1:30am
  • Life
Eat this not that this holiday season | Health

Another holiday season has come — are you going to spend it the same way you did in previous years? It is common for people to engorge themselves with sugar, cookies and alcohol and then set unrealistic fitness goals for January. I want to give you some tips on how to not only survive this holiday season, but thrive. Why start in January when you can get ahead of your goals now?

It is common for people to gain a steady 5-10 pounds per year, slowly but surely this weight gain adds up. Some people work hard to get it off with exercise and diet in the New Year, but with added stress and family obligations this may not always be the case. Not to mention, high fat and sugary foods can elevate cholesterol, blood pressure and wreak havoc on digestion. A large percentage of staying healthy starts with diet and nutrition, and exercise helps maintain.

Imagine your dinner plate as a pie chart when deciding how much of what type of food should go on it. Half should be some kind of non-starchy vegetable that is filled with fiber. Fiber keeps you full by stretching the stomach receptors, it also helps regulate colon health and even cholesterol balance. One third should be a lean protein like fish or poultry. Vegetarian sources of protein include beans and nuts/seeds. The other third can be a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa, full of minerals like magnesium and fiber. Don’t forget to add a healthy fat to keep you full from a plant-based source like olive oil, avocado or coconut.

Eat before you go out to social functions. When you have a protein snack prior to attending an event, you will be less hungry. This will keep your blood sugar balanced so you are less likely to overeat. Try to stay away from the carbohydrates and sugar as these can spike blood sugar levels and store calories easily. Aim for veggie snacks or hummus, or even the cheese plate has a lower amount of carbohydrates. Stick to one or two alcohol drinks, but skip the sugary mixers as these are extra added calories. Have water or sparkling water between drinks to balance the alcohol. Too much alcohol stresses the liver, and gets stored as excess fat.

When you are trying to avoid eating a food, you can replace it with something similar. For example, parsnips or cauliflower mash makes a good replacement for regular white potatoes. Try using coconut or almond milk instead of milk and cream. Coconut oil or olive oil makes a good replacement for butter or margarine. Butter still has casein in it, and so if you are dairy sensitive this may not be a good option. Butter is also a saturated fat which can raise cholesterol just like other saturated fats from dairy and meat products. Almond flour makes a great replacement for regular wheat flour, even for cookies. Many people are looking for a sugar alternative, in which case xylitol or erythritol makes a good replacement that tastes sweet without raising blood sugar. The higher the cacao content of chocolate the less sugar — cacao is actually a great antioxidant.

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic primary care doctor at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com, or call 425-408-0040 to schedule an appointment.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Mount Si Future Farmers of America students, from left James Graham, Elena Rourke, Becca Glover, and Greg Graham. Photo Courtesy of the Snoqualmie Valley School District
MSHS students win top honors at state, county fair

Students in Mount Si’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program took home… Continue reading

Christina Lathrop, owner of Fancy Farms Forest School in Fall City, poses with her goat. 	Photo Conor Wilson/Valley Record
Fall City farmer opens forest school

When Christina Lathrop first bought her residential farm, located minutes from downtown… Continue reading

2021 McLaren GT. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 McLaren GT

By Larry Lark, contributor I’m not sure words can do the 2021… Continue reading

2022 Kia Carnival SX. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Kia Carnival SX

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s the way of the world. As old… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited
Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Many people are unfamiliar with Toyota’s Venza, but… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500
Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500

By Larry Lark, contributor I can’t think of many more fun ways… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE

By Larry Lark, contributor The mid-size 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE has… Continue reading

2022 Honda Civic Touring
Car review: 2022 Honda Civic Touring

By Larry Lark, contributor You’ve all heard and read the idiom attributed… Continue reading

2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited
Car review: 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Hyundai’s “horse” in the compact sports utility market… Continue reading

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

By Larry Lark, contributor It always starts around this time of year.… Continue reading

2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory

By Larry Lark, contributor If you’re looking for a full-size, affordable, luxury… Continue reading

Screenshot
Mt. Si Senior Center re-opens Aug. 2

The Mt. Si Senior Center will reopen its doors for on-site programming… Continue reading