Healthy Living Tips from
The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine | November 2022
HEALTH TIP : Keep Fit During the Holidays
Starting at Thanksgiving and through the extended holiday season , we all face extraordinary challenges with trying to balance eating right and having fun ! This year as more families will likely embrace in-person holiday gatherings , Deborah Heart and Lung Center cardiologist Renee Bullock-Palmer , MD , wants to remind everyone that even while gathering with friends and family , try to keep healthy eating on your dinner plate . The last thing you want to do is put on some excess weight this holiday season . “ Most of us are aware that being overweight contributes to many cardiovascular diseases ,” she says .
Be Mindful of What you Serve
Dr . Bullock-Palmer notes that although we should keep our health habits in mind , it doesn ’ t mean we have to punish ourselves . “ You can enjoy your goodies without feeling bloated and putting a toll on your waist and your heart . Strategy , not denial — is the key to success .”
Here are some heart-healthy suggestions that can leave you satisfied without the extra pounds :
�� Look for the stars . Take stock of your traditional holiday foods and highlight what ’ s naturally healthy . For example : Turkey topped with gravy -- but minus the skin -- is an American Heart Associationapproved entreé . And is fish a part of your holiday tradition ? Indulge !
Create NEW favorites . If your table groans under the weight of buttered rolls , creamed onions and rich foods , replace one of two of those heavy hitters with a new recipe – like a platter of seasoned , roasted winter vegetables or red lentil & brown rice cakes ! Exchange a dozen cookies for low-fat meringues flecked with mini chocolate chips . And look to the season ’ s harvest of cranberries , apples , pears , brussel sprouts , pumpkin and squash for creative inspiration .
Practice portion control . If you can ’ t eliminate it or make it more healthful , plan to limit it ! Put a dollop of Grandma ’ s must-have giblet gravy on the side of the plate and dip your turkey in it for taste . Enjoy half a cup of eggnog -- but just on a special occasion -- when it means the most to you .
Keep the rest lean and green . Don ’ t squander precious calories on a stale , store-bought cookie during a Wednesday coffee break ! Be mindful of healthier eating amid the festivities and you ’ ll buy yourself the flexibility for special indulgences .
Skinny it down . Transform sweet potato pie into a side dish of freshly baked sweet potatoes with a touch of cinnamon . Replace the beef in Uncle Joe ’ s New Year ’ s Day Chili recipe with ground turkey and red beans . Check out cookbooks , holiday magazines and online sites which have a health focus and learn some culinary tricks . You ’ ll be surprised at how much old-fashioned flavor is retained by making clever substitutions !
Party on . Whip up a low-fat yogurt dip and cut up some crunchy crudités , or prepare an angel food cake with a compote of fruits marinated in juice .
“ With a little planning and substitution , you can make the holidays healthier ,” adds Dr . Bullock-Palmer “ so that when New Year ’ s rolls around , you aren ’ t scrambling to make lots of resolutions to lose weight and get back on track . Stay mindful now , and you ’ ll thank yourself later .”
For more information visit www . DemandDeborah . org or call 855-646-3484 .