Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beat the Holiday Weight Gain (Yes, You Can Still Have a Cookie!)

It has been a long, long time since I have spent some time with this blog...where have I been?

Well, folks, it has been a time of unbelievable change for me which will lead to a completely fresh start in the New Year. In just three weeks, I will give up my much-loved role as Nutrition Operations Manager at Choices Markets, a position I created and have had the utmost privilege to hold. I have been working on a shiny new website,, which is almost ready. When it's ready, I will move my blog to my new website so be sure to subscribe for lots of great tips and some special surprises too! 

In the New Year, I will embark on a new journey - both as an entrepreneur and as Education Specialist for the wonderful Bio-K+ Probiotics. I appeared on the Natural Health Show this past weekend talking about Inflammation and Probiotics on their behalf and you can listen to the show here. I will continue to do talks throughout North America, write, work with conscious natural food companies and I will be able to spend more time seeing private nutrition clients here in Vancouver. 

I hope you will continue on in this journey with me...I am deeply thankful for all of your support over the years! 

And lest you think that post title was a bait and switch, never fear! This past Sunday I was featured in The Province giving my tips for surviving the holidays without packing on the pounds. See the feature here

As a bonus, I want to share my top 10 healthy holiday foods with here goes!

1. Cranberries

Cranberries, minus the pound of sugar, are incredibly anti-oxidant rich and the pigments in cranberries help prevent certain types of bacteria from adhering to the mouth, stomach and urinary tract.

2. Satsumas/Mandarins

Citrus fruit are seasonal, if not local, and come with plenty of phenolic compounds and vitamin C to help strengthen your immune system and possibly help prevent stomach cancer.

3. Almonds

Nuts are delicious and nutritious - just try not to eat them roasted and salted! Keep raw nuts on hand for snack attacks and for a healthy holiday treat, lightly toast raw nuts and toss with either tamari or a blend of your favourite spices.

4. Figs

Figs are a holiday delicacy worth eating year round. Figs are rich in fibre and contain a host of minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.

5. Turkey

It's not the turkey that weighs you down, it's the gravy! Turkey is a lean protein source that helps to bust the carb fest we all take in December. Whenever you can, buy ethically raised (organic if possible) birds to ensure a better life for the animals that feed us. 

6. Chocolate

Dark chocolate, 80% cocoa or higher is a perfect after dinner sweet that satisfies without a lot of sugar. For the true anti-oxidant benefits of chocolate however, you need to buy raw cacao, which you can make into truffles and chocolates in no time flat.

7. Pomegranates

Fresh pomegranates are available around the holidays and they are the perfect snack for munching as you watch a holiday movie. They take plenty of time to eat and each seed is packed full of fibre and potent anti-oxidants.

8. Spices

Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger are all incredibly satisfying, anti-oxidant rich and lend a festive flavour to healthy foods. Use them to create a mulled wine or cider as a healthier alternative to heavier drinks like egg nog. Use them in homemade whole grain baking or scent the air by boiling cracked, whole spices and citrus slices on the stove.

9. Peppermint

Peppermint soothes the digestive tract and may even bring relief to IBS sufferers. You can find the pure, edible oil in gourmet shops to flavour homemade dark hot chocolate or even tea.

10. Sweet Potatoes and Yams

When roasted with a touch of maple syrup and olive oil, yams have a caramel-y sweetness that satisfies without going to the extent of making the traditional candied variety. Yams, with their skin, are a great source of fibre and vitamin A for healthy skin and immunity.