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Think about what you eat this holiday season

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear editor:

With festive feasts and holiday treats it is easy to over indulge during the winter season. Doctors Nova Scotia encourages everyone to take a few steps towards eating healthy this holiday season.

The holidays can be both a joyous and stressful time. Some of the stress we feel during this season can be attributed to changes in our routines. We often substitute healthy eating and physical activity for junk food and alcoholic beverages, overeating and channel surfing. 

To reduce your holiday stress, try to limit your junk food intake, avoid drinking excessively and continue to make physical activity a priority. It’s okay to indulge during the holidays; however you still need to get the nutrients, physical activity and sleep that your body requires. 

When it comes to beverages, avoid drinking those extra calories. Reach for milk or water when you are thirsty. 

Avoid guilty pleasures like chips and chocolate when you can. Reach for seasonal favourites but always in moderation. Remember to monitor your portion sizes and follow Canada’s Food Guide recommendations. Do your best to ensure that your holiday diet is balanced and your body is getting the nutrients it needs.

Eat breakfast and avoid skipping meals throughout the day and over indulging in the evening. When dining choose foods that are baked, broiled, roasted or poached.  Also, try bringing your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.

Try to plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t just about food. Turn baking time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, art decorations or a gingerbread house.

Though the holidays may be filled with tempting foods, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the year. Doctors wish you a healthy, happy and joyous holiday season. 


John Finley, MDCM, FRCPC