by Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD
The holidays are some of the most special times of the year. Yet, we often find ourselves in dietary mayhem, trying to save our waistlines while sampling our favorite dishes. This year, instead of waiting until the dietary damage is done, try taking care of yourself (physically, mentally, and spiritually) and allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods while acknowledging the fact that next year they will return and you can again delight in them. Take time out for yourself and create space in which to indulge in the other aspects that fulfill your life– family, friends, pets, sunsets, music, a morning walk, etc. Often, we get so caught up in taking care of others, that we neglect to take care of ourselves. This year, book a massage, sign up for those guitar lessons you’ve been interested in, turn off the TV an hour earlier and treat yourself to an extra hour of sleep each night. As far as nutrition, nourish yourself with comfort foods (and yes, comfort foods CAN be healthy!)
Try steel-cut oatmeal with 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, 1 Tbsp slivered almonds, 1/2 cup fresh/thawed blueberries (or 1/4 cup dried blueberries), 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
BANANA PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH
Top 2 slices toasted whole wheat bread with 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter, 1 small, sliced banana, and a dash of cinnamon
Layer yogurt, berries and a granola-type cereal (try Nature’s Path variety or Kashi “Go Lean Crunch”) one on top of another in a parfait glass and enjoy! Bonus: Calcium-rich dairy foods can help decrease PMS symptoms.