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HOLISTIC HEALTH - December 2017 - Kansas City

Tips for Creating Healthy, Active Holiday Events

By Nancy Russell, M.D.


Eating healthy and being physically active can be a fun part of parties and events. Great gatherings are easy to do when tasty, healthy foods are offered in a fun, active environment. Above all, focus on enjoying family and friends.


Make healthy habits part of your celebration. Food and beverages are a part of the event, but they do not have to be the center of the occasion. Focus on activities to get people moving and enjoy being together.


Make foods look festive. Decorate foods with nuts or seeds or use new shapes for vegetables. Add a few eye-catching fruits to a favorite dish, serve up a new recipe, or add a sprinkle of almonds or green onions to add just an extra something.


Offer thirst quenches that please. Make fun ice cubes from 100% juice or add slices of fruit to make water more exciting. Create a float by adding a scoop of low-fat sorbet to seltzer water.


Savor the flavor. Take time to pay attention to the taste of each bite of food. Make small changes to your old recipes or try dishes from another culture to liven things up.


Offer healthy choices in appetizers and desserts. Offer whole-grain crackers instead of chips with a spicy bean dip and add a vegetable tray. Make fruit kabobs or layer yogurt and fruit to create a sweet parfait.


Make moving part of every event. Being physically active make everyone feel good. Dancing, moving, playing active games, wiggling and giggling add fun to any gathering.


Try out some healthier recipes. Find ways to cut back on sugar and bad fats as you prepare your favorite recipes. For example when making a cake or other baked goods, you could use stevia or xylitol instead of sugar or for part of the sugar. Serve an avocado dip instead of a sour cream dip.


Keep it simple. Enlist others participation by contributing a prepared dish, helping with the clean-up or keeping the children active and moving.


Shop smart to eat smart. Save money by offering foods that fit your budget. Buy in-season produce when it costs less and tastes better. Plan in advance and buy foods on sale.


Portion control, even on holidays, can be helpful. Plan ahead of time to eat a healthy snack and drink a full glass of water before you leave for the event to feel fuller. Make an agreement with your spouse or friend that you will watch  your portions; not stand at the appetizer or dessert table but place what you are going to eat on your plate and go sit down to eat. Drink more water or promise to count to 20 before you go get seconds for more food.


Be a cheerleader for healthy habits. It’s never too early for adults to set an example. Keep in mind that children follow what the adults around them do, even at parties.

Evolving Magazine

Kansas City

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Nancy Russell, M.D. has been a holistic Internal Medicine physician in the Kansas City northland for over 30 years at 5140 N. Antioch Road in Kansas City, MO.


Her phone number is 816-453-5545 and website is where you can get more information. Dr. Russell is board certified in holistic medicine and is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and a prior board member.

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