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Lifestyle Author: June M. Lay, M.S. - Lifestyle Columnist - Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

My Top Holiday Foods!

By June M. Lay, M.S. - Lifestyle Columnist -
Dec 17, 2011 - 10:01:16 AM

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( - This week I'd like to discuss my fav Top Holiday Foods, that is! I believe in the "Power of Food" and while we may overeat during this holiday season, I think we can have it all with my top ten foods, that is enjoy and maintain our weight too. One concrete step we can take this season and beyond, is to eat foods that offer us the most overall benefit to accomplish our goals (notice, we're talking about what we can add to our diet, not take away!). So, here's a list of "My Top Ten" favorite foods for the holidays and year round, which are healthy, contribute to disease prevention, aid our weight management efforts, and are delicious especially if we prepare with some creativity of course! So, I hope you'll choose to make them your top too!

Here goes just a quick look at my top holiday foods

Yogurt: As close to a #1 food as it gets, my motto is " A Yogurt a Day". A light food loaded with nutrients such as high quality bone building calcium, high quality protein, vital B vitamins with healthy immune boosting bacteria known as probiotics (the kind that line our gastrointestinal tract). A great food, snack or snack topping; it's portable and easy to find. Studies indicate that those of us who have diets high in low fat dairy products have an easier time staying trim! I love my yogurt for a quick breakfast to start the day or on the run; just add fresh blueberries, non fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup skim milk, chopped ice and blend.Of course, non fat yogurt makes a great foundation for healthy dips and sauces for our holiday parties.

Salmon: Higher in fat than our other fishes, but with the Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to our skin, brain, heart and arteries to name a few. What more can we ask for in a tasty fatty food? Serve it poached for a great holiday appetizer, with a great dill yogurt based sauce on the side!

Lobster Most of know that shellfish is low in total fat, lower in calories than meat, but that it is also high in dietary cholesterol. Well, lobster, king of the crustaceans has just about the lowest amount of cholesterol of all the shellfish. Lobster has about 50 mg of cholesterol per 3 ounce serving, and at about 100 calories, we've got a high protein low fat source to add to our holiday appetizers. Of course, this doesn't include drawn butter! Sorry... ever feel so light on your feet after a porterhouse?

Legumes: I Label these beans as a "Powerhouse Food" in one of my tips. Legumes are a powerful energy food with vitamins, minerals, iron, B vitamins, and fiber along with an almost equal proportion of quality protein included in the list of meat alternatives. Legumes also contain a high proportion of soluble and insoluble fiber, disease fighting phytochemicals and when we add them to our tomato based salsas with toasted sliced tortillas on the side, we've got another great finger food for our party.

Tomato: The tomato's claim to fame is its high content of Lycopene, a disease fighting phytochemical known especially to be helpful in the fight against prostate cancer. And since the tomato is so popular, versatile, widely available, tasty raw or cooked, I rate it a "Superstar Food". Start with a spicy Bloody Mary for the holiday raising the metabolism a bit, along with it as a filling drink (a great natural appetite suppressant when arriving at a restaurant) with a lobster cocktail and enjoy the holiday without extra calories (High blood pressure? Watch the sodium in canned tomato juice though).

Avocado One of my favorite fats, the avocado is a healthy fat made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. Good for our heart, and for our body as a whole, it can satisfy our brain's fat satiety center, lessening cravings and creating a feeling of fullness. Great news is that when we add 1/4 of a small Haas avocado to a pre-entree salad, we're taking in less calories than a tablespoon of salad dressing. Slice it up and add it to a tomato salad as a holiday buffet dish with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, and we have great taste, and good health!

Asparagus: A newer addition to my list based upon some new research, asparagus just may help relieve a hangover (good for holiday parties?). A study reported in the Journal of Food Science, reported that the amino acids (main antioxidant made up of amino's is glutathione) and minerals in asparagus may ease hangovers and protect liver cells from the toxins in alcohol, which are metabolized by the liver! I love my asparagus grilled with a drizzle of olive oil added to my holiday salads. And yes, I know all about the odors when we visit the restroom, but rest assure, it's the very sulfur compounds being excreted that are part of the phytochemicals that make asparagus so healthy!

So there it is, just some of the foods to add to our shopping list that make "My Top Holiday Foods" to eat more often this season and beyond, which might be easier to do than what too many of us focus on, not eating all those "bad" tasty foods.

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Here's to healthy and fun eating this holiday season!

June M Lay M.S.
Enjoying my tips? Get a head start thinking about a New Year weight loss goal with my book. Here's the link to Amazon,

Junefit is included in Google's top ranked women's health resources, scroll midway's_Health/Resources/

June is Lifestyle Columnist at

copyright 2011, junefit. All rights reserved.


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