Keeping Your Holidays Healthy

The fall and winter holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I feel a little more pep in my step as I look forward to family gatherings, beautiful holiday lights and – of course – the delicious food. I am often asked, “How do you get through the holidays when there is so much temptation for decadent dishes and sweet treats?” My response is, “I enjoy the food!” I’m not one to deprive myself of these holiday treats and I don’t think you should either.

So how do you keep the balance in a way you can feel good about? Here are two tips:

  1. Control your portions. It’s not always easy, but I do my best to keep to just one small serving or piece of whatever indulgent food I’m enjoying.
  2. Keep with your daily healthy eating. The food that you eat every day is what makes the biggest different in your long-term health, not what you reach for at your work holiday party or Christmas Eve dinner.

My other trick is to keep a batch of my favorite homemade broth in the fridge for a daily dose of gut health.  Both bone and vegetarian broths are immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and offer minerals and electrolytes to keep you feeling good well into the New Year. Here is a seasonal vegetarian favorite I’vebeen enjoying:

Holiday Broth

Ingredients:

  • Apple – 1 medium
  • Mushrooms – 1 C
  • Garlic – 2 cloves (gently smashed)
  • Carrots – 3
  • Squash (any variety) – 1 C
  • Bok choy – 1 C
  • Sweet potato – 2 small
  • Turmeric – 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon sticks – 2 whole
  • Thyme – several sprigs
  • Rosemary – 3-4 sprigs
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Directions:

  1. Cut produce into 1” pieces and place into stockpot.
  2. Add fresh herbs, spices, cinnamon sticks, salt and pepper. Finish with extra virgin olive or coconut oil.
  3. Fill stockpot with water until contents of pot are mostly covered. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to boil, and then reduce to simmer, stirring periodically for 90 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Strain contents of broth and enjoy!

Reheat on the stove-top as desired. Lasts for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Erin Pellegrin RD, LDN

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