Avoiding Unhealthy Holiday Food

The holiday season can be hard on nursing moms. Calories abound during the holidays, but not all calories are equal. Low quality calories can leave you feeling frazzled, hungry and emotional. High-quality calories help you burn energy evenly, keep from being hungry, and give you and your baby baby the best nutrition.

Here are some tips to help you avoid low-quality calorie temptations so your body can continue to meet the needs of your baby, and you can stay up to the task of caring for yourself and your baby through the hectic holiday season.

Don’t go anywhere hungry. If you have an event to go to and you know there will be food served that’s probably not the healthiest, make sure to eat a high-protein snack before you go, such as chicken breast or hardboiled eggs. The protein will keep you feeling full longer so you won’t be quite as tempted to overindulge in low-quality calories.

Eat your veggies first. Always make the largest portion of your plate vegetables, the next priority is protein and if you must, have a few bites of carbs. High-carbohydrate foods are empty calories, spike your insulin levels and set you up to crave more carbs. It’s a vicious cycle that’s best avoided if possible.

Bring something healthy. Brining a healthy side dish of vegetables or protein ensures that there will be at least one healthy choice for you.

Fill up on berries. Berries, particularly raspberries, can blunt the insulin response from high-carbohydrate foods and may even help you feel less hungry. Make berries part of your daily diet during the holiday season and use them as treats or desserts.

Try some fermented foods. Kimchi, a fermented Korean cabbage similar to sauerkraut with a bit more of a kick, also helps insulin sensitivity and helps promote fat loss. Fermented foods also help improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which can help you avoid an upset stomach from holiday indulgences.

When you do choose to indulge, try to stick with whatever is made from the highest quality ingredients–-pick the lesser of the evils. Homemade desserts will always win overprocessed, packaged ones, and dark chocolate should always win over candy. Avoid trans-fats whenever possible, especially if you’re breastfeeding since studies have shown that trans-fats is passed through the breastmilk and may affect the baby’s future health.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby. Visit her blog and website at JacquelineBanks.com.


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