dietitian_gieseman2013Staying healthy during the holiday season is a common struggle. We’ve compiled five simple tips from Julie Gieseman, RD, LD, CDE, a Hy-Vee dietitian and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Central Iowa Dietetic Association. She is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and trained wellness coach.  She recently taught a LEARNwest class on Holiday Appetizer & Wine Pairing.


Five Tips for Keeping the Holidays Happy and Healthy

  1. It’s tempting to stay up late decorating, shopping, and cooking during the holidays so don’t forget to Stop, Drop, and Roll: Stop what you’re doing, drop into bed, and roll over! Your body will thank you for the extra sleep which can help you fight off illness, make better food choices, and have more energy to enjoy the holidays.
  2. Stick with your exercise regimen. Especially during the holidays, it needs to be a priority. Remember: minutes, not hours — ten minutes is better than nothing. It can burn off a few hors d’oeuvres or a drink and be a healthy release of stress.
  3. Make sure to still get your nutrients. Fill up on healthy food by eating five fruits and vegetables each day, before allowing yourself to snack on holiday treats. Have a hard-boiled egg, an apple, and a healthy drink like water or tea before you attend gatherings where lots of unhealthy foods will be available.
  4. Be mindful of what you’re eating. Pace yourself by taking smaller bites, chewing thoroughly, and putting down utensils between each bite. You can also record what you eat, to help you avoid a holiday binge.
  5. Don’t forget one of the best parts of the holidays: enjoying the people around you. This can also help with staying healthy. Socializing can provide a distraction from food, and you can showcase your holiday spirit by sending your leftovers home with others.