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Healthy Eating During The Holidays
Workshop This Monday, November 30th

By on November 29, 2015

CLIFTON, NJ – The Clifton Health Department is holding a “Healthy Eating During the Holidays” workshop on Monday, November 30th at 7:00 PM at Clifton City Hall, 900 Clifton Avenue, Conference Room 101. Light refreshments will be served. Registration for this workshop is required; please call 973-470-5760 to register.

The holidays are right around the corner! It can be difficult to eat healthy during the year, but especially hard during the holidays. People gain, on average, 10 pounds from October through January. You can avoid gaining the extra pounds and maintain your health by making a plan and sticking to it throughout the season.

Here are some tips that can help you during the busy season:

  • Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before and during meals. Drinking water can help you feel full and stay in control.
  • Have a healthy snack before parties, such as a salad, carrot sticks or an apple, to curb your appetite.
  • Place some space between yourself and the food. Don’t stand next to the buffet. Get your food and move to another room to eat.
  • Bring healthy options with you to parties, such as a vegetable platter with hummus dip, so you don’t get stuffed on stuffing.
  • Don’t eat too fast. Take 20 minutes to finish a meal, put your fork down in between bites. Once you feel full, stop. Put a napkin over or clear your plate and pop a piece of sugar free gum into your mouth to prevent mindless nibbling.
  • Have a “healthy buddy” at a party so you can share goals and encourage each other.
  • Try eating some oatmeal. Oatmeal, along with other complex carbohydrates, triggers your brain to make more serotonin. Complex carbohydrates include whole grains, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. They retain the fiber and nutrient content which your body craves. The B vitamins in oatmeal not only help to raise serotonin levels, but having a bowl in the morning will provide you with enough fuel to keep your energy level up for hours.
  • Eat healthy fats, such as an avocado, raw nuts and seeds such as pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, chia seeds,flax seeds, and fatty fish. Also try cooking with coconut oil, rather than butter, which is also rich in these “good fats.” Incorporating fatty acids into your diet plays a significant role in overall brain health. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are packed with omega 3’s and are also a great source of protein.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Even though coffee and sugar may give you that burst of energy to start, they end up depleting your levels of serotonin. If you are a coffee drinker try switching to tea. Black tea, green tea and other herbal teas have less caffeine than coffee, and have several positive side effects on your overall health. If you have a sweet tooth, snack on a piece of fruit or dark chocolate instead of a refined product.
  • Make sure you exercise. Regular exercise has been proven to decrease stress, increase self-esteem, improve sleep, keep you energized, strengthen your heart and improve muscle tone and strength. So get up and go! You may want to take a stroll to enjoy the holiday lights in your neighborhood.

It is also important to remember and follow the food safety steps: cook, separate, clean, and chill during this time of year. Foodborne illnesses are unpleasant, but can also be dangerous.

The Clifton Health Department is now on Facebook!