As we enter into the winter and holiday season, our diets can go from healthy to seeking comfort food. We even forgo exercise for the couch and can often be more tired. To help us beat the winter slump, we spoke with registered dietician, wellness expert, certified personal trainer and author Erin Palinski-Wade who shared some amazing tips on how to be healthy all year long as well as how to avoid the trap of bad winter health habits. Check out her tips below to stay healthy this winter!
Momtrends: With the holiday season coming, we would love to hear about what some of your favorite flavors are and how you naturally add flavors to food.
Erin Palinski-Wade: For the holiday season, my favorite seasoning is cinnamon for its great aroma, taste, and many health benefits! For instance, research has shown cinnamon can help to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce blood pressure, and even reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels. You can add cinnamon onto seasonal holiday foods such as sweet potatoes, sprinkle on coffee or tea, or even seasonal fruits and vegetables like pumpkin and apples.
In addition, peppermint is a great holiday seasoning and can help to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. You can use it to flavor foods such as teas, coffees, yogurts, cottage cheese, and even with meats such as lamb.
Momtrends: What should people look for when they want to take a multivitamin?
Erin: In order to maximize energy, improve well-being, and prevent disease, you must make sure you are providing your body with the right amount of vitamins and minerals each and every day. Since even the healthiest eater can fall short on balancing meals at times, leaving holes in your daily nutrient intake, a multivitamin is essential to good health. When choosing a multivitamin, you want to find a brand that provides your body with just the right nutrients in the right amounts to fuel your life and improve your health.
You want to look for a product that provides about 100% of the RDA in vitamins and minerals and not much higher to prevent potential serious health consequences of mega dosing, such as Geritol Multivitamin, which provides a great balance of the essential nutrients you need in just the right amounts with 100% of the RDA of 12 essential nutrients.
Momtrends: The holiday season can also be exhausting! What are some of your tips to combat tiredness?
Erin: Fatigue during the holidays can be caused by many reasons, including lack of sleep, increased stress, poor diet, dehydration and iron deficiency anemia. Making sure your diet is rich in B vitamins and iron can help to combat fatigue and improve both mental and physical energy.
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In addition to a well-balanced diet, taking an established, trusted multivitamin that provides 100% of the RDA in vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins which convert food into energy, can be a great way to help boost energy and well-being. Geritol Multivitamin is a terrific choice as it provides close to 100% of the recommended allowance of many essential nutrients, including vitamin C which can help to lower stress hormones such as cortisol that can peak during the holiday season, without the mega-dosing you can find in many multivitamin products.
Sometimes fatigue can be caused by an actual nutrient deficiency. If a low iron intake or deficiency is found to be the cause of your fatigue, you will want to speak to your physician about taking a daily iron supplement to boost your levels and your energy. Because some iron supplements can cause negative side effects such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and bloating, you want to choose a supplement that will be the best tolerated so you can be consistent with supplementation. That’s why I love the line of products offered by Feosol, which provides three unique iron formulas so you can find the supplement that is best tolerated by you.
In addition, make sure to stay hydrated throughout the holidays as even slight hydration can dramatically reduce energy levels. Aim for at least 64 ounces of fluid per day and an addition 8 ounces for every 30 minutes of physical active.
Momtrends: What are some of your favorite healthy holiday recipes?
Erin: One of my favorite healthy holiday recipes is Salted Caramel Apple Crisp found in my new book, Flat Belly Cookbook For Dummies (with co-authors Kristina LaRue, RD and Tara Guidis, RD):
Salted Caramel Apple Crisp
Prep time: 5 min Cook time: 25 min Yield: 4 servings
1 honey crisp apple, peeled, cored and cut into small slices
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons fat-free caramel syrup, divided
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine the apple, cinnamon, and lemon juice until coated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a fork or your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
4. Place 4 ovenproof ramekins on a baking sheet and coat them with cooking spray.
5. Evenly distribute the apples in the ramekins, and top with the caramel sauce.
6. Place the crumbled oat mixture on top of the apples and bake the apple crisp for 25 minutes.
Per serving: Calories 179 (From Fat 66); Fat 7g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 16mg; Sodium 138mg; Carbohydrate 28g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 2g.
Tip: For creamy decadence, serve this crisp with a scoop of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt.
Another of my favorite holiday recipes (also from the new cookbook) is a healthy take on the traditional mashed potato or sweet potato pie:
Sweet Potato and Carrot Bake with Pecan Crumble
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 10 min Yield: 8 servings
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, finely shredded
2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, crushed
1/3 cup graham crackers
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the diced sweet potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl.
3. Heat the potatoes in the microwave for 8 minutes on high until softened.
4. Mash the sweet potatoes and carrots together until combined.
5. Stir in the almond milk and cinnamon.
6. In a separate bowl, mix together the pecans, graham crackers, agave nectar, and coconut oil. Mixing together until crumbly.
7. Spray a 9-x-9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
8. Add the sweet potato and carrot mixture to the pan and spread evenly.
9. Top with the pecan crumble and dust with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
10. Bake for 10 minutes, until the crumble begins to turn golden.
Per serving: Calories 133 (From Fat 49); Fat 5g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 58mg; Carbohydrate 20g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 2g.
Note: Don’t have agave nectar on hand? You can use honey instead.
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