5 simple strategies for healthier holidays

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Published Saturday, November 2, 2019

Nourishing yourself is smart for your heart and an effective way to take control of your health during the holidays. November is Eat Smart Month.

One healthy decision, like choosing baked over fried food for lunch, may not seem like much on its own, but success leads to more success and over time those little things add up to more health," Jo Ann Carson, PhD, RD, retired professor of clinical nutrition in Dallas, said. Focus on small, consistent step

The American Heart Association's Healthy for Good Eat Smart Initiative offers five tips for nourishing yourself this holiday season:

  1. Get creative with swaps: Cooking at home is a great way to take control of your diet and tweak favorite seasonal dishes. Reduce sodium by replacing salt with herbs and spices, adding more fruits and vegetables to dishes and using lower-sodium canned and frozen products. Combine lower-sodium foods with regular versions to help your taste adapt.  
  2. Snack smart: To avoid overindulging at holiday gatherings, prep with nutrient-rich, Good Mood Foods that don't sacrifice taste. Check out this no-added-sugars recipe for Cinnamon Sweet Tortilla Chips with Fruit Salsa created by the American Heart Association and Healthy for Good supporter, SweetLeaf. Perfect for a pre-party snack that will keep you feeling full and less tempted by those unhealthy choices.  
  3. Take your time: Don't rush through meals. Enjoy mealtime with family and friends by pausing between bites and savoring your food.
  4. Use time-saving technology: Many grocers make it easy to shop deals and save time with online ordering and pick-up and delivery options. Plus, it's easier to resist that candy bar in the checkout line if you aren't in a staring contest with it.
  5. Practice gratitude:  It can help lower blood pressure, improve your immune systemand spur you to eat better and exercise more. Write down five things you're grateful for and share them with your family and friends. Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.

For more healthy tips and recipes visit heart.org/eatsmartmonth.

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