Marla Ahlgrimm | Q&A for the Holiday

Marla AhlgrimmChristmas is nearly here and while you might have avoided overindulging at turkey time, December 25th brings in a whole new batch of temptation. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm answers a few common questions on how to maintain a balanced diet throughout the holiday season.

Q: I have so many parties to attend. I don’t want to be rude; what can I do to enjoy myself without snubbing the food?

Marla Ahlgrimm: How you manage your cravings and temptations starts with breakfast. You’ll be less likely to over-do it if you begin your day with something hearty and heart-healthy such as oatmeal, fruit, and a boiled egg.

Q: What are the foods I should absolutely avoid?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Baring food allergies, I’d say it’s okay to sample a little bit of everything that catches your attention. But look to non-processed treats first. Things like fresh fruits and seasonal homemade baked goods are a good choice; even the sweet treats won’t be filled with artificial preservatives and commercial dyes.

Q: I really don’t want to gain ten pounds this Christmas…

Marla Ahlgrimm: Chances are, you won’t. Most people actually only pack on a few – less than five – pounds throughout the winter months. And the reasons for the extra padding may be an evolutionary defense against the winter. Either way, there’s nothing to worry about if you pace yourself and eat with intention instead of mindlessly grazing. You’ll more than likely trim up naturally come spring.

Q:  How can I avoid too much salt throughout the season of soups and comfort foods?

Marla Ahlgrimm: For the most part, the salt we intake doesn’t actually come from what we add to our foods while cooking or at the dinner table. Processed foods contain entirely too much sodium, so stick with foods you make yourself and, if you’re still concerned, use spices instead of salt to season your plate.

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