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How to Stay Healthy in the Hudson Valley This Holiday Season

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One local RDN shares her five secrets to make healthy choices around the dinner table and feel your best during the holidays.

With year-end festivities in full swing, we at HVM can already feel our jeans getting a little more snug (though we blame it on our proximity to the wonderful restaurants of the region). But before giving into more regret and the reality of a new dress size, we enlisted the help of Taylor D’Anna, a registered dietitian (RDN) and former professional ballet dancer. We asked her, “How can we keep healthy during the holiday season?” And here’s what she told us:

Don’t Skip Breakfast on Holidays

It seems that during the holidays we often choose to skip the most important meal of the day to “save room.”  But then, by the time Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner comes around we’re completely ravenous. Having a protein- and fiber-packed start to your day can help curb your inner monster when it is time to chow down.

Try New Ways of Presenting Tired, Old Dishes

Opt for new recipes that incorporate local produce. The Hudson Valley is rich in resources and fantastic agricultural experts. Find a local farmer’s market and partake in varieties of produce that are unfamiliar. Or, spruce up an old boring vegetable dish to help entice even the pickiest of guests. Apple cider roasted Brussels sprouts come out sweet and tangy with the traditional bitter notes.

Grab a Smaller Plate

In the U.S., dinner plates have grown to be an astounding 11-13 inches. Try finding nine-inch plates for a smaller vessel to pile up the goods. Two inches may seem insignificant, but it can help reduce your intake and maybe even your waistline.

Fill up With Veggies First

Start your buffet plate by piling up those vegetable dishes. By the time you get to the macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, you will just have just enough room to just squeeze in the perfect bite.  Vegetables are high in fiber, so consuming more of these nutrient-dense dishes may help you from reaching for a second helping of those carbohydrate and fat-laden dishes.

Drink up!

No, not the whole bottle of Pinot! Make sure to drink plenty of water prior to meals and in between bites. Just eight ounces of red wine will run you an additional 192 calories and one bottle of beer, approximately 150 calories. Try adding some flair and seasonal flavor to your water with exciting ice cubes. Freeze rosemary springs and cranberries in an ice cube tray for a visual and edible treat that’s healthy, too.


Related: 6 Stellar Wines to Serve for Thanksgiving in the Hudson Valley

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