Help! The holidays are coming!!
Here are some quick tips to deal with the holidays if you have an eating
Are you concerned that you might receive food/body comments from
others? It’s unavoidable sometimes. Practice role playing what you might say back
to someone. Also try and understand
where people are coming from, for instance“you look healthy” might be
translated to someone with an eating disorder as “you look fat”. Please keep in mind that the eating disorder
is known to distort this comment. The
person many times is saying it because
they do care about your health.
For many-time offenders (i.e., the relative who keeps telling you to eat
more or eat less) see if you can speak to them before the event. Many times people don’t even realize their
comments are triggering. They are
helping out the only way they know how.
How about teaching them about how that comment makes you feel? Many times the individual does not even
realize that their comments are so upsetting.
You may want to try to to talk to
people before the event, in a calm fashion rather than at a holiday which might
be quite stressful.
“Aren’t you going to take any more food- you know you need to eat?” can
be followed by an” I’m fine thank you”. “ I am following my meal plan, or I
know when I have had enough to eat, thank you”. The more you can put yourself in control of
the situation , the better.
Make sure you have lots of support- if there is someone you can call
before or after the holidays and is a great support system for you- definitely
reach out to them. Also attend all
support groups an/or therapy /nutrition that you usually would attend. Even though you might be busier during the
holidays your support group or program
can help you with some of the stressors that can occur.
Try and focus on the company and the conversation, not just the food. That is what the holidays are supposed to be about right? Being thankful for family and friends, and of
course for ourselves.
Going on a long car trip? Not sure how/what foods to pack?
First of all, have a cooler large enough to fit one meal and snacks for your family. Most importantly make sure to have a cooler ice pack as well.
For lunches: pack sandwiches to go- pb and j, deli sandwiches (turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato); all on whole wheat bread. Pack some fruit such as washed grapes and clementines (just have a trash bag ready also!).
Other items I recommend packing so you don't fall prey to the convenience store items which are: a)pricey b) not always the healthiest are:
Granola bars, such as kind bars, Larabars, Cliff bars, Nature Valley protein bars, and trail mix. Also, air popped popcorn is a good idea (Skinny
Pop tastes great and is easy to pack), and pretzels. Why not get some go-gurts for the car (no spoon required), or small drinkable yogurts. Part skim mozzarella and cheddar cheese sticks are easy to throw in the cooler as well.
Of course, everyone should have a non-disposable water bottle with fresh water.
These snacks will keep you satisfied and well nourished for your trip!
I frequently get asked for ideas for starches for dinner.
Here are a few!
baked potatoes (1 small baked)
baked sweet potatoes (1 small baked)
roast potatoes (recipe below)
couscous (1/2 cup serving size)
pasta or whole wheat pasta, keeping in mind that the serving size to start with is 1/2 cup!
Be sure to have your other meal components on the side- 3-4 oz. of protein and your veggies.
When you are in a hurry and really want fries- have these on hand- Alexia brand oven fries (in freezer section, near the other fries) These are baked, not fried.
for this recipe, I recommend olive oil instead of vegetable oil
Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Don't have time? Don't worry.
Check and see if you have any of these items:
canned beans plus rice plus any vegetable plus any cheese
Cooked chicken plus rice or pasta or potatoes plus vegetables
tortillas or wraps and any meat, beans, or cheese plus veggies
If you have any of these items on hand just combine them and microwave them until warm!!!
Better yet if you have any bagged lettuce or carrots add those too!
If you don't have any of these items, not to worry- it gives you a good idea of what to have in stock for the next time you have a crazy schedule or a crazy night!!!!
Absolutely not. Within one hour of waking you need to refuel
your body. Your brain requires nutrients
to function (especially glucose from carbohydrates).
“I feel like I’m being ‘good”
by waiting to eat”. Trust me, you are
not doing yourself any favors. Anytime
you delay eating during the morning/afternoon hours it sets you up for more
eating later on in the evening. Studies
have shown this to be true.
“My lunch period is at 10:50
or 11 so I don’t need to eat anything before that”. False!
For the same reasons mentioned you still need to eat something in the
“What is a good
breakfast”? Look at the UDSA myplate (www.choosemyplate.gov). You want a little of everything. Preferably a whole grain carbohydrate
(cereal, oatmeal, granola) and some protein/dairy- yogurt, milk (can be almond
or soy milk also) or peanut or nut
butter or an egg, and some fruit or vegetable.
Good examples are: cereal, milk and berries; toast with peanut
butter and fruit; yogurt, granola and fruit; egg and toast; oatmeal with walnuts, a little
brown sugar and some milk and raisins. On the go? Have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a
granola bar and yogurt. You could also throw a scrambled egg with some cheese
and veggies in a wrap and go!
In addition, if you go to
school or work you will be able to concentrate better after having a decent
So let’s start tomorrow with
Aileen Birkitt, RDN
Hi all. Want to have a more "plant based" diet but not sure where to begin?
Here is an easy way to start.
Stock up on: 1 can of each- black beans, white beans, chickpeas
whole wheat tortillas (8-10 inch)
quinoa or whole wheat couscous
jar of pitted kalamata olives
sharp cheddar cheese
lettuce (dark green leafy- spinach, kale, romaine, red leaf)
fresh sliced peppers (red, green and/or orange)
rinsed, sliced and stemmed mushrooms
or any other vegetables
When you need a quick lunch or dinner, open a can of the beans, rinse them (to remove the sodium)
put in tortilla. add 1/8 cup cheese, any leftover fresh or frozen veggies, 1/4-1/3 cup rice, top with salsa
roll up, microwave for 2 minutes- done!
coat a nonstick pan with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 minced clove garlic, 1 can of rinsed beans (your choice) ,add 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and 1/8 cup parmesan, and fresh or frozen veggies of your choice. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Serve over 1/3 cup brown rice.
open a can of chickpeas, rinse. Cook quinoa or whole wheat couscous according to package instructions.
Serve beans over a plate of salad greens and any other fresh chopped veggies. Add 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or crumbled feta cheese, 1/3 cup quinoa or couscous. You can even add 8-10 pitted kalamata olives. Use a balsamic/olive oil dressing.
If you always keep these ingredients on hand and replace after using you will always have these "go to" meals!
Here is a quick, healthy lunch idea!
First, marinate about 3-4 chicken breasts in 1/4 cup dressing for at least an hour.
Use an olive oil based dressing (Good Seasons or Paul Newman's are some ideas)
If you have a George Foreman Grill, preheat to medium high, then spray with cooking spray and place on grill for 15 minutes for thin cuts or 20 minutes for thicker
If you do not have a George Foreman you can either grill outside or sauté for about 20 minutes until cooked through.
Slice them up and add to salad or a sandwich or wrap or pita! Save the leftovers for tomorrow's lunch!
Remember the safe internal cooking temperature for chicken is 165 degrees.
Collard greens sautéed in garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes makes a great topping for pizza! ( I just buy the pre-made dough in the grocery store refrigerated section, add pizza sauce (Classico is pretty good), add part skim mozzarella and cook according to package directions. Add the collards after you take the pizza out of the oven for a healthy, delicious pizza topping! Plus, the red pepper flakes give it a little bite. This is especially great if you have leftover collard greens from making a soup or another dish. Re-purpose I say!!!
10 Tips for Eating
During the Holidays
1. Be Mindful. Of conversation, of food, of drink, of your
2. Focus on the gathering for
conversation, not just the food.
3. Eat regular meals and snacks prior
to your holiday meal. Don’t “save up”
and not eat all day. You will probably end up eating more later and will probably be
more uncomfortable after eating later on in the day if you do that.
4. Check in with yourself BEFORE you
are full. Put your fork down and wait a
few minutes. Remember it takes 10-20
mins for the stomach to fill up.
5. Stop before you are stuffed, stop
when you are just satisfied.
6. Bring the healthy side dish or
vegetable or salad. That way you know
there is something to fill up on first.
7. If you drink alcohol, have a full
glass of water nearby for every drink you have. Also, try to stick to the lighter beers or a glass of wine. This will help to prevent dehydration and to keep you from drinking too
8. Take a walk. Get your group to take a walk after dinner or
maybe you have time to go in the morning before your gathering. Just make sure to move around during the day.
9. Even if family pushes you to eat
more, stop if you are full. Try asking
for a to-go container or a bag to take it home in so you can have it later. “I would love to but I don’t have anymore
room..” I would love to try it tomorrow when I have a little more room...looks
delicious” are some good responses.
10.When eating dessert, have a small slice of
one thing or a tiny sliver of a couple
things. If you are stuffed (try not to
be!) you may want to forgo the dessert and take it home for later.
And, most importantly, ENJOY!!!!