Skip to main content

A Healthy Plate for a Healthy Holiday


We humans hate being told what to do. If you are a parent than you know that all too well! But its also true of us adults. Too many restrictions on our actions or choices and we will start to rebel. This is one of the reasons that strict diets rarely work long-term.

One thing that can be helpful, if you are trying to cut down or eliminate an unhealthy behaviour, is to change the way you think about it. Researchers consistently find that if dieters tell themselves they 'can't' have something, they are far less likely to adhere to this rule, than if they say, I 'don't' eat that. In other words, its a personal choice, not an imposed restriction.

When I read about this, I realized that I have naturally always done that. I don't eat sugar or refined carbs. I don't eat fried foods. I don't regularly consume red meat. And I never feel resentful. Actually, I don't really ever think about it. My diet just doesn't include these things.

Now I have lots of clients, and friends and family, who are unwilling to give up anything, when it comes to their diet. Even then, there is a simple way to keep some of your less healthy foods in your diet, and that is to ADD to it. Add large quantities of veggies and some fruit, and keep those not so nutritious foods portion controlled.

A super simple strategy to losing weight or simply improving your diet, is to use the healthy plate approach. This means filling half your plate with veggies at each meal, and one quarter each with protein and starch. You can even buy sectioned plates to help you do this!

This works so well because while you may be cutting portions down on carbs and protein, you are heaping your plate full of high fibre, low calorie goodness, so you won't be hungry!

If you are on a weight-loss plan, or are simply worried about gaining weight over the holidays, try this approach. It means you can still have small portions of your favorites (ham, turkey, stuffing, etc.), but won't be going overboard, and will still feel satisfied and energized by all that good veggie nutrition.

If your holiday table doesn't usually include many healthy veggie dishes. Make some to add and create new traditions! Vegetables need never be boring. One caveat though, avoid preparing your veggie dishes with lots of oil, butter, cheese, etc., or they are no longer low-cal.
ere are 2 flavour-packed veggie recipes to try:


Molasses and Soy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes, diced
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
Grated fresh ginger, about 2 tbsp.
2 cloves garlic, minced

Toss sweet potatoes with all other ingredients. Spread on parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 375F for 45 minutes, or until tender.




Roasted Veggies with Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) and Orange

You can use whatever veggies you prefer, so modify as desired.

2 lbs Brussels sprouts
4 celery spears, sliced
1 cup dried and rehydrated shitaki mushrooms
1 onion, sliced
Zest and juice of 1 navel orange
1-2 tbsp. Korean hot pepper paste
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

If Brussels sprouts are large, cut them in half and discard tough outer leaves. Toss veggies with the other ingredients and spread out onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 375F for about 30 minutes, or until tender.


I have shared this post with Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Blackfly Coolers: Product Review

Summer is over! Well, at least if you're a student. Officially it doesn't end for a few weeks, and it certainly still feels like summer. Yeah, I hate it. This f*cking hot, humid weather needs to end NOW! We made the most of our last weekend of the summer with our annual trip to the CNE on Friday, with a crowd of friends. It wasn't unbearably lot, thank goodness, and the girls and their friends had a blast on the rides.  Saturday I had to work, and Sunday was errand day. Monday we took the girls berry/apple/pear picking but didn't last long due to the heat. I organized the house to prepare for the construction workers starting back up yesterday, while Adam took the girls for a swim in our neighbourhood pool.

Yesterday was the first day of school. Grade 2 and Grade 5. Yep, the girls are growing up.  We are fortunate that the girls don't have much anxiety about school, they are so much more confident than I ever was as a kid! But now, in the midst of our reno chaos, …

Live Clean

I have been committed to living a healthy life through nutrition and fitness for over 20 years now.

It took me a lot longer to pay attention to what I was cleaning the house with and what I was putting ON my body as opposed to IN it.

When I got pregnant with Big A I started reading about the toxins in a lot of commercial cleaning products and switched to the all-natural, eco-friendly stuff. When I became pregnant with Little A, I switched to all-natural, eco-friendly personal care products.

I am all for being environmentally friendly for the good of the planet, but to be honest, what really motivates me to make these types of changes is concern for my family's health.

You may remember I mentioned giving up my favorite perfume a while back because it apparently is full of nasty chemicals. I switched to the "Red Tea" scent made my Roots, which is supposed to be somewhat "natural". This was only after a number of trial and errors. I first found a woman in …

Panang Curry

When we go out for Thai food, one of my favorite things to order is the panang curry. But there is no doubt when this dish is made in a restaurant, it packs a hefty wallop of fat, sodium and calories.

My version is lightened up, but still rich and flavourful and it is super simple to make.

Traditionally, panang curry is made with either beef or chicken, but I made it vegetarian, using dried seiten (wheat gluten) I got at T&T a few weeks ago. If you are not sensitive to gluten, this is a great source of vegetarian protein. If you cannot find it dried, you can get it prepared at most health food stores. Alternatively, you can use tofu, or the more traditional chicken or beef options.

This dish also doesn't usually have much vegetable matter in it, but I love how yummy veggies taste when simmered in this sauce, and it makes this a healthy one-pot meal. Use whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand.

Protein of choice (2 cups seiten or 1 lb organic tofu, boneless skinless ch…