Ahhh, the treats of the holidays. They're everywhere, and we do want to enjoy them. But not too much. Otherwise, we end up feeling not our best. So how can a girl help herself eat in a way that makes her feel great during the holidays? Here are my favorite healthy treats that I keep on display in my kitchen during the holidays. That way, they're in easy reach for times when I want something tasty but light.
- Whole nuts. It wouldn't be the holidays in my home without a bowl of walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts and almonds, just waiting to be cracked open. Part of the fun of eating them is the cracking. Okay, so trying to get that last bit of brazil nut out of the shell can be a challenge. The cracking and excavation, though, help slow eating down, helping us to enjoy and stay in touch with how much we need to feel satisfied.
- Pomegranates. Inside the pretty red exterior of these lovely fruits are sparkly gems called arils that pack a real flavor and antioxidant-rich health punch. Don't know how to open a pomegranate without getting it everywhere? Watch this short video. Although the video advises removing all the arils under water, I like to stop at the point where I break the pomegranate apart, without removing all the arils. Then I take my time as I snack to remove them a few at a time. Again, that slows eating and increases enjoyment.
- Citrus fruit. Clementines, tangelos, pomellos, red grapefruit, oranges, all wonderful wintry sweet treats. If they seem a bit expensive, compare them to the cost of a box of truffles. :-)
- Apples. It's said there are over 7500 varieties of apples. Amazing...and such opportunity for discovering new favorites! Some of my favs: Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Jonathan Gold. When you have a bit of time, try this yummy recipe for baked apples. If you don't have fresh figs available, use dried fruit or berries.
- Written by Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, owner and director of Green Mountain at Fox Run, a women's retreat for healthy living without dieting. Don't miss Green Mountain's special week on Mastering Binge Eating, Emotional Eating, and Compulsive Eating, January 8-12, 2012.