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MT’s Resident Nutritionist Shares 5 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

MT’s Resident Nutritionist Shares 5 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

At Martha’s Table (MT), we’re committed to helping you leave the dinner table feeling well-fed, energized and joyful, especially as the holidays are fast approaching. It’s helpful to be aware of how your body is impacted by your choices and habits. We asked our Resident Nutritionist, Camille Range, for advice on establishing healthy habits this holiday season. Here are five tips she shared with us to help you lead with a wellness mindset while giving your body the care it deserves:

1. “Don’t Skip Meals.”

Try to eat breakfast and lunch on holidays. The most notorious holiday myth is that fasting before a holiday meal will help you eat more and finish your plate. That’s simply not true. Eating a nutrient-rich meal in the morning and afternoon, packed with protein, healthy fats, and fiber will help curb the cravings that push you to overeat during dinner. 

2. “Portion control.”

We naturally overfill our plates during holiday dinners without giving much thought to what’s actually on our plate. Try going into every holiday dinner with a game plan for what you’ll put on your plate and be thoughtful about your choices. A Thanksgiving dinner plate with the traditional recipes can contain upwards of 3,000 calories, which is well over a single day’s worth of recommended calories for the average person. Your plate should consist of half vegetables, one-quarter proteins and one-quarter carbohydrates. Using a smaller plate is a great way to practice portion control.

3. “Load Up On Veggies!”

Winter vegetables are jam-packed with the nutrients we need and are a staple of every holiday dinner. Try going for the veggies that are steamed, baked or roasted with olive oil instead of butter. A salad made up of greens with colorful vegetables like yellow peppers, radish, cucumbers and tomato is a great option to start your holiday meal before heading into the main course! Martha’s Table Joyful Food Markets and Lobby Markets are a great place to load up on veggies, learn new healthy recipes to make at home and support your wellness habits. MT’s Joyful Food Markets are pop-up markets that take place in Ward 7 & 8 D.C. schools. Families are invited to shop at no cost for a variety of beautiful high-quality produce, including bananas, apples, greens, and sweet potatoes, as well as basic shelf staples such as pasta and beans. To learn more about our food access programs, click here.

4. “Stay Hydrated”.

The mind often mistakes dehydration for hunger. Drinking water throughout the day, and especially 30 minutes before every meal, can curb cravings, keep your stomach full, and help you practice your portion control. Water can also help improve your immune system and metabolism–the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy during that post-dinner nap!

5. “Walk It Off.”

Try to leave the dinner table right after eating and, if at all possible, participate in an activity that will get you moving around. The longer you sit at the dinner table after eating, the more likely you are to snack on what’s leftover. A simple post-dinner walk around the neighborhood can do the trick! A walk after dinner has been proven to promote healthy digestion and blood sugar control. You can also try to incorporate a recorded Martha’s Table fitness class into your post-dinner schedule. It’s a great way to bond with family and friends! Recording can be found here.

These tips are meant to help you create healthy habits and achieve your goals at every gathering this holiday season but it’s important to note that consistency is key and Martha’s Table is here to support you through a healthy holiday season! 

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