Think it’s impossible to stay healthy and manage your weight this holiday season? Isn’t it inevitable that just the opposite will happen? The statistics are certainly against us, but it’s not impossible.
By Lindy Ford, Clinical & Functional Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist
You can start now by implementing strategies to get more health boosting foods into your life. These superfoods will help you to indulge in a few (think “few”) holiday goodies without entering the new year at a deficit.
Many of these foods include recipes that will help you make them an everyday part of your life.
There are several studies that show that eating a handful of almonds before each meal, helps you eat less. This is because almonds contain satisfying, healthy fats and fiber.
TIP: If you are going to a holiday party or dinner, eat a handful of almonds or mixed nuts before you go.
RECIPE: ALMOND CINNAMON SMOOTHIE https://lindyfordwellness.com/articles/almond-cinnamon-smoothie/
Avocados are a fatty food that helps melt fat. They are full of the right fats—mostly monounsaturates. They are also packed with fiber, phytonutrients and protein that helps with weight management. An avocado contains twice the amount of potassium than a banana without the added fructose sugar. Potassium is a known waist slimmer.
TIP: Eat an avocado a day to keep the pounds away. Enjoy on a salad, in guacamole or in a smoothie.
RECIPE: LINDY’S DELICIOUSLY SIMPLE SHRIMP AVOCADO SALAD
Insulin is well known as a fat storage hormone. A compound in grapefruit is known to lower insulin which helps to manage weight.
TIP: Along with almonds, eat grapefruit before a meal to help with fat loss.
Berries are rich in nutrients, low in calories, high in fiber, and are low on the glycemic index (how fast a food raises blood sugar). What more can I say?
TIP: Berries are highly pesticided and it’s best to enjoy them organic. Frozen organic berries are a wonderful choice when not in season. Stick to no more than one cup of berries a day.
RECIPE: LINDY’S BLUEBERRY COBBLER
5. GRASS FED BEEF
You may think I’ve lost my ever loving nutritional mind on this one. My sensibilities are intact because grass fed beef is not what we primarily find in grocery stores or restaurants. That is conventionally raised beef and it has a host of problems.
Grass fed beef contains none of the bad (antibiotics, steroids and chemicals) and much more of the good compounds than commercial beef. Grass fed contains 20 times more Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which is helpful for weight management. It also contains more omega 3’s fats for heart health.
TIP: Most grocery stores carry grass fed beef. Buy it on sale and store in the freezer.
Well known for its cancer preventing powers, broccoli also contains a lot of filling fiber, calcium and is low in calories. Broccoli also contains a compound called sulforaphane which stimulates enzymes to burn fat.
TIP: Many times frozen vegetables are as or more nutritious than fresh. Frozen organic broccoli florets can be purchased at most grocery stores. Enjoy steamed in broth and drizzled with grass fed butter or parmesan cheese.
RECIPE: BROCOLI & BEEF STIR FRY
Kale possesses the highest antioxidant rating of any vegetable and also contains sulforaphane, a nutrient that assists the liver to detoxify. Kale is rich in potent cancer fighting substances called indoles, and brimming with bone-building vitamin K.
TIP: Enjoy organic baby kale in a smoothie. This is how I get about 2 cups in per day.
RECIPE: LINDY’S GREEN SMOOTHIE: https://lindyfordwellness.com/articles/lindys-green-smoothie/
If you think you don’t like sardines, have you tried the new ways they are packaged? I love the ones packed in spicy mustard. Sardines are inexpensive and loaded with protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Because they are so small and low on the food chain, they’re remarkably free of chemical contaminants (primarily mercury and PCB’s).
TIP: Add sardines to the salad of your choice.
Rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, and also high in potassium and fiber, cabbage is a weight loss giant. It also is high in sulforaphane. Cabbage will help you get ready for cold and flu season. It is also a great immune-booster and cancer fighter.
TIP: Throw it into soups, lightly saute it or put it in salads.
RECIPE: CABBAGE STEAKS https://lindyfordwellness.com/articles/cabbage-steaks/
Add at least three of these food super stars each day and your health will soar.
Lindy Ford is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist who runs a private practice in Wilmington, North Carolina.