Tonawanda News

December 16, 2013

APRONS READY: Survive the holidays; be mindful of what you eat

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — I have made the effort to eat healthy all year, though I have eaten unhealthy snacks and desserts in moderation. Immersed in the holiday season, I’m around all of the wonderful foods that I can only have this time of year. What’s a girl to do?

My goal for the holiday season is to maintain my weight and not reverse the efforts I’ve put in this past year. To do this, I will enjoy small portions of my favorite holiday foods and avoid the breads, buns and potatoes that I can enjoy any time of year. 

Here are some tips on how to maintain your weight during the holidays.

• Keep your table and plate colorful with lots of fruits and vegetables.

• Remember that many appetizers are 100 calories or more per serving. Avoid grazing, it adds up quickly.

• Chew sugar-free gum when you are cooking or baking so you are not tempted to sample.

• Drink plenty of water.

• Be active every chance you get. Take extra steps whenever you can. Go sledding with the kids.

• When at a party or gathering, sit or stand away from the snack table. You’ll eat more mindfully if you have to shuffle through a crowd or leave a conversation to get something.

If you are asked to bring a dish to a holiday gathering, make something delicious and healthy. Others will appreciate the option as well. If you don’t have time to make a dish, bring a basket filled with fresh fruit. This quinoa side dish is easy to make, delicious, and travels well. 

Holiday quinoa

1 cup quinoa prepared according to package directions

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion diced

1 cup broccoli florets

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Salt and pepper to taste

Using a non-stick fry pan, stir fry onion and broccoli florets in olive oil until tender. Mix cooked vegetables with warm quinoa, cranberries and pecans.

Nutritional information: calories 170, fat 4.5g, protein 2.8g, fiber 1.7g, sodium 5.7g.

Jennifer Grier works with Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play. It is a five year grant awarded by the New York State Department of Health to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County. The grant aims to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases among the people of Niagara Falls by making it easier to be physically active and to eat more healthy foods. CCE Niagara County provides equal program and employment opportunities.