Monday, November 19, 2012

A Healthy Thanksgiving

Our country proudly kicks off the holiday season with an entire day dedicated to food. I'm looking at you, Thanksgiving. 
 A friend recently told me, “Thanksgiving is a dietitian’s worst nightmare” – referring to the sometimes (okay, often) over-indulgence that takes place.  And we all know it doesn’t stop at Thanksgiving. The candy canes and peppermint chocolate in the office, the shortbread cookies from you neighbors, the casseroles and pies at family gatherings, the festive cocktails you enjoy with friends...the list goes on. Food is everywhere!

But, rather than fearing the holiday season for the toll the extra food may take on your waistline and your health, I want you to look at the cup half full. By simply changing your perspective and altering a few habits, the holidays can actually be a great opportunity to nourish your body with really good nutrition, while sharing it with those you love.

The holiday season is a great time of year to take advantage of some healthy eats. So what’s in season right now? 

Well for starters:

apples, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, peppers,  pomegranates, potatoes, and sweet potatoes &

I love defending foods I love. Despite the bad reputation surrounding potatoes -- thanks to the low-carb diet craze a few years back -- potatoes can actually be part of healthy diet.They’re packed with vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and also rank high on the satiety chart – that is, a serving of potatoes appeases hunger and leaves you feeling satisfied long after you’ve finished eating it. 

My best advice? 

When enjoying this seasonal item, stick to a serving size of about ½ cup and limit added toppings, such as butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon bits to reasonable portions.

And while all vegetables have their nutritional perks, cruciferous vegetables – including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower – deserve a little extra attention. These veggies contain unique compounds called glucosinolates which are not only responsible for giving these vegetables their pungent aroma, they have also been associated with a bounty of health benefits, including lowering risks of lung, stomach, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer. 

And now, for a recipe. 

Cauliflower Puree

While baked potatoes are always a classic favorite, a cauliflower puree is an easy way to switch up a traditional meal. It pairs well with a serving of your favorite grilled fish and a side of roasted veggies. &

Serves 4

1 large head cauliflower
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cut cauliflower into florets and place florets and garlic clove in a steamer basket. Fill medium pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to simmer and place steamer basket with cauliflower and garlic over pot. Cover and steam about 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender. 

Put the florets and garlic in a food processor. Add the olive oil. Puree until smooth. Season with sea salt and black pepper. 

Add back to the cooking pot and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Enjoy, preferably with those you love.

These seasonal tips & recipe were featured in last month’s
Health & Family Guide for The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
For more “In Season” tips & recipes, pick up the next issue of
The Health & Family Guide on December 21st.

No comments:

Post a Comment