Archive for November, 2014

Slides from Prostate Seminar – Sunnyside Public Library

The slides below were presented by Graham Beaton, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, at the Sunnyside Public Library of Ottawa on September 25, 2014.

Prostate Seminar – Sunnyside Library November 2014

For more on prostate health or naturopathic medicine, please call 613-290-6115.

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Healthy Eating for the Holidays

The Holidays can be a difficult time of year for people who are trying to sick to a healthy diet. From office parties to social events and family gatherings, there are many opportunities to overindulge in foods that are high in fat and sugar – negatively affecting weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. While maintaining a healthy diet around the holidays can be challenging, there are simple steps that you can take when attending an event, or when preparing a meal to ensure that you continue to be healthy and to enjoy the foods of the season.

The first thing to be mindful of regarding eating over the Holidays is to manage expectations. For instance, this may not be the ideal time to start a new diet or to try to lose weight. Instead, plan on how to introduce parts of the new diet while allowing for certain “bad” foods to remain in moderate amounts (as long as a specific health condition does not require an immediate change). Regarding weight, consider shifting the goal of weight loss during the holidays to weight maintenance. Changes in expectations my reduce feelings of frustration over a restricted diet or over the lack of weight loss during the Holiday season.

Next, it is important to have a plan for how to eat healthy over the Holidays. If eating at parties or at family gatherings where there is no control over meal options or food preparation, plan to:

  • Eat a snack or small meal before going to the event. This way, temptations will not be as strong for sugary or fatty foods or the appetizers put out pre-meal. As well, eating beforehand may decrease the temptation to eat to excess.
  • When arriving at the party, avoid going straight for the food. Take time to talk to other guests as this will distract from temptations and from eating throughout the event.
  • Take time to look at all of the available food choices, and choose to balance your selection with healthier options (vegetables and fruits).
  • Keep in mind which foods are highest in fat and sugar (sauces, gravy, stuffing, desserts, etc) and avoid or moderate their intake.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat to feelings of satiety and not to fullness.
    Remember to consider calories in drinks and alcohol – and not to drink to excess.

If hosting a holiday meal, plan to include recipes that are healthy, reduce/exchange foods that are higher in fats and use serving strategies to contribute to better portion control:

  • Starting the meal with an appetizer that is low in calories or fat. For instance, using a vegetable puree can add great flavour to many different foods. One example may be to start the meal with sea scallops on a cauliflower puree with toasted almonds and mint.
  • Start a meal with a hearty soup. A great Holiday soup example is beet borscht topped with fresh cut dill (which gives great seasonal colors). In addition, you can limit salt intake by making your own broth using dried mushrooms (consider dried porcini or chanterelle mushrooms).
  • Serve a winter salad before the main course. Consider a thinly sliced roasted beet salad with goat cheese, kale/arugula, toasted hazelnuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Instead of using butter on cooked vegetables, use extra virgin olive oil. Consider tossing carrots or green beans with olive oil, shaved toasted almonds, garlic, lemon juice and ginger; or Brussels sprouts (simmered in chicken or vegetable stock) with roasted chestnuts.
  • Instead of serving mashed potatoes prepared with butter and/or cream, consider roasted potatoes with dried figs and thyme; or a roasted vegetable dish consisting of sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, onion, garlic and ginger; or roasted squash with shallots grapes and sage.
  • In order to help with portion control, plate food in the kitchen as opposed to at the table which may help people control the amount of food they eat.

The Holidays can be a challenge to maintaining a healthy diet. By planning ahead, it is possible to eat both healthily and enjoyably over the Holidays.

And remember to try and squeeze in some physical activity!

Happy Holidays.

If you have questions about your diet, how your diet can contribute to your health or how a naturopathic doctor can help you, please call 613-290-6115 or visit Graham Beaton is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in practice at Ottawa Collaborative Care Centres – 102 Lewis Street, Ottawa.