ON THE JOB
Q: How can we eat right while enjoying our holiday favorites?
A: Around the holidays, there are more food choices at meals and often foods are prepared with more fats and sugars, which contribute to excess calories.
Controlling portion sizes of all foods will prevent overeating and keep calories more reasonable. Balance celebration meals with lighter, lower-calorie meals at other times during the day or week.
At the celebration meal, be selective by choosing only your favorites and keeping portions sample-size.
Q: Many people travel for the holidays. How can we eat right while out on the road?
A: Pack healthy snacks such as raw vegetables, fruit and nuts to prevent getting overly hungry or to supplement meals purchased on the road.
Choose smaller portions and add a side salad or vegetable soup.
Avoid or limit beverages with calories by drinking plenty of water or choosing unsweetened tea with lemon or a diet (sugar- free) beverage.
Q: Are treats like pumpkin lattes and peppermint milkshakes OK in moderation?
A: Treats can be a part of a healthy diet, but keep the portions small. Choose the smallest size for lattes and milkshakes, and limit to only one treat that day.
Q: Where can we find healthy support and recipes?
A: Let family and friends know your plans to stay healthy throughout the holidays.
They will be happy to support you and may be working on their own healthy habits.
Q: What issues do people face the most when overeating during the holidays?
A: Overeating is uncomfortable for everyone, but can be more of a problem with people who have medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Blood sugar and blood pressure can increase above healthy levels with excessive intake of foods and some beverages.
Q: What are some helpful hints for big holiday parties and get-togethers that involve a lot of snack foods and appetizers for grazing?
A: Do not skip meals prior to parties.
Have a light, healthy snack, such as fruit and nuts or raw vegetables and hummus, before going to the party.
After arriving at the party, choose a plate and fill with sample sizes of only those foods that are special.
Enjoy and then position yourself away from the food and enjoy good conversation with friends and family.
To reduce excess calories from beverages, choose sparkling water with lime or any sugar-free beverage.
If you consume alcohol, choose wine, light beer or a mixed drink made with club soda or sugar-free soda and alternate with water.
NAME: Ronda Elsenbrook
BUSINESS: Kelsey-Seybold Clinic’s Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center, 11555 University Blvd., Sugar Land
EXPERIENCE: Registered and licensed dietitian working in general nutrition, wellness, weight control and disease management for more than 20 years
EDUCATION: Bachelor of science in nutrition, registered dietitian and licensed dietitian