Health Care - Simple Tips for Healthy Celebrations

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Does the idea of sitting down at the table for a holiday meal fill you with dread? Are you searching for ways to make traditional dishes healthier? Is the idea of entertaining stressing you out? Relax, remember to focus on the people around you and use these tips for a healthier Passover or Easter.
If you are hosting this holiday:
Keep it simple. Just because Grandma always made a traditional feast, it doesn't mean you have to indulge every request or stick to the old recipes. Choose some special things you really enjoy. Ask family members to pitch in and bring a special dish.
Explore healthier fare. Check out Passover recipes from different online sources, a healthy Matzoh Brei, as well as diabetic and low salt recipes. Healthy Easter recipes can be found online by doing simply a research on Google.
Plate the meal. Rather than passing everything family style, make up lovely plates with a bit of everything. This should help with portion size.
Don't stay cooped up. Take a walk, go for a drive, or get out of the house as a group or in smaller groups (or even just yourself if you really need a break). A little fresh air and movement after dinner is a welcome change.
Play a game. If making conversation is a challenge, fill the time comfortably with charades, cards, board games, or even video games.
Plan activities for the kids. New games, coloring books, craft projects or items like bubbles and jump ropes (for those of you not dealing with 30 degree weather!) can go a long way to entertaining the younger generation.
Use the magic word: NO. You don't have to please everyone. You don't have to meet every request. You don't need to run yourself ragged. No is a powerful word. Be pleasant, but be firm.
Breathe: When you feel like it is just too much-breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth-more air out than in. Five good deep breaths can make a big difference in how you feel. Remember it isn't about what is on the table, but who is around it.
If you are a guest:
Don't go to the table hungry. Load up on a healthy snack such as nuts, whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese, or vegetables and low-fat dip.
Drink something warm before the meal. If you are cold, you will be hungrier.
Pick one thing. If you just can't resist that luscious treat, go ahead, have a reasonable helping and then be careful with everything else.
Leave something on your plate. Even if it is just one pea, leave a little on your plate. If it isn't empty, you will be less likely to fill it again and it will signal to those around you to stop offering additional helpings.
Plan ahead. If you know the day will be stressful, plan a reward for getting through. The promise of a bubble bath, good movie, or special treat when you get home will help keep a smile on your face.
Offer to bring something. If your healthy habits are challenging to your host, offer to bring something you know will help you stay on track. A big salad, healthy side dish or fresh fruit dessert may be welcomed by other people at the table as well.
Celebrate and enjoy the holidays and remember, it is just one day. If you slip, there is always tomorrow.
I am a heart health educator, freelance writer, and speaker on a mission to help busy people lead healthier lives.
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