This post is sponsored by the Aetna Foundation. All opinions are my own.
Are you one of those people that secretly dread this time of year? Anxious about all the parties with the endless supply of eggnog and the tables of tempting treats threatening to throw you into a junk food tailspin that inevitably ends with you cursing at your scale and breaking out your stretchy pants.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way, with just a few simple strategies, you and your family can have a healthier holiday.
- Pick your poison – Indulging occasionally isn’t a bad thing. If you know that you are going to be in the land of temptation, pick the one think that you love and indulge in a small portion of that. Maybe you feel meh about chocolate chip cookies but you would give your left eye for a piece of cheesecake, make it easy on yourself and instead of trying to fight it, go ahead and the eat some cheesecake (in moderation of course) and skip the meh cookies.
- Plan ahead – Find out what is going to be served at your party and them plan accordingly. Will there be nuts or fresh fruits and veggies to snack on? If not, plan to bring your own or offer to bring a veggie tray for everyone that way you can have something to munch on that won’t leave you feeling guilty.
- Eat well- When grocery shopping for large (or small) family meals, choose fresh, seasonal, nutritious foods as often as possible. When fresh is not possible, keep in mind that frozen and canned fruits and vegetables still offer a healthy option. To guard against nutrient loss be sure to eat your frozen fruits and veggies soon after purchase and steam or microwave them rather than boiling to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins.
- Cook together- As you plan and cook meals for your friends and family over the holidays, inviting your children to cook with you is a great way to teach them about nutrition and better food choices.
- Get off the couch- It can be tempting to curl up on the couch and stay warm and dry during the cold winter months, but find ways to stay active with your family – like interactive dancing video games, an indoor game of hide-and-seek, or dancing during commercials while you watch your favorite TV show.
These tips have been sponsored by The Aetna Foundation where they look at all of their initiatives through the lens of Health Equity and how can they help enhance the health of under served – whether it’s reaching cities or rural areas, African-American or Native American – Their aim is to help people live healthier lives community by community.
They work directly in cities and neighborhoods to reach people where they spend time – at school, at church, in their neighborhoods and on-the-go. Increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables is one way they’re working to bridge the health divide. One way they are doing that is through their GoLocal grant program. GoLocal grants are awarded to organizations that engage local residents in the following ways:
Nutrition education and/or cooking classes
Distributing produce reflecting local ethnic and cultural food traditions
Providing ways to learn job skills
Generating opportunities to support the project through community service or volunteering
I’m proud to say that 2 Atlanta organization were both granted $50,000 as part of this program. Congratulations to:
Captain Planet Foundation
Grow, Eat, Love: Nutrition Education in Project Learning Garden schools
Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential
GCAPP Plant, Grow and Learn Garden Project
As a huge supporter of natural and clean living I’m so excited to partner with Aetna in getting the word out about this great program! For more healthy tips and to learn more about the Aetna Grant Foundation click here.
Wishing you all a very healthy and happy holiday season!