Jay of Sunshine

It's Still a Beautiful World

The Yuletide, Yum Yum and Your Health

on December 22, 2016

It’s that time of year again when children’s eyes sparkle with expectations, the spirit of giving is alive and family and friends get together to spend quality time. It is also at this time when many tables are laden with savoury meals and treats – a high point of the holidays. However, food lovers ought to be mindful of the possibility of weight gain and the overindulgence in foods that are high in sugars, salt or fat. To maintain good health, we should consider healthy options, monitor our food intake, and be sure to include some exercise.

Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing our favourite foods with meals that are tasteless and unappetizing. You can substitute the ingredients. Skimmed, coconut or almond milk can replace the regular dairy milk that we use in the mash potatoes. Raw or steamed veggies are great substitutes for the mayonnaise laced pasta salad. Do some research on healthier substitutions. You will be happy you did!

honey-jerk-chicken

Don’t you want to dig in? No fried foods here, just Honey Jerk chicken, steamed callaloo (one of the most enjoyed vegetables in Jamaica) and diced baked sweet potatoes. Photo courtesy of http://bestjamaica.com/

Substituting regularly used ingredients with healthier options is good, but it does not give anyone an excuse to overindulge. You need to monitor the amount of food you pile onto your plate. Choose smaller plates and eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. You can enjoy your favourite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down and get comfortable. According to www.cmpc.com  if you overeat at one meal you should go light on the next.

In addition choosing healthier ingredients and monitoring the amount of food consumed, you should not forget to plan time for exercise. The Jamaica Gleaner article on ‘How to avoid overeating for the holidays’ states that exercise helps to relieve holiday stress and can prevent and combat weight gain. Brisk walking, skipping or jogging for 15-20 minutes every day can offset weight gain and poor health.

20150222_074523

Me getting ready to break a sweat at a 5k walk/run

We know that the season would not be complete without the scrumptious food and luxury of relaxing. It is easy for anyone to go overboard around the dinner table and it is difficult to get up and go jogging. Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also a time when we should take our health into consideration. You do not have to compromise your health during the holidays. Choose healthier food ingredients, monitor your food intake and exercise and the matter of health will be one less problem to carry into the new year.

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