5 Tips to Help You Eat Healthy During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a real test to eating healthy for all of us. You do not have to completely sabotage your healthy routine. Yes, you may be tempted and you should be able to enjoy yourself without feeling all the guilt. Still take the time to nourish your body with the following tips to help you navigate through all the holiday temptation.

  1. Keep Hydrated! Did you know that keeping yourself hydrated will help with any cravings and can also assist with any over eating? Drinking plenty of water and keeping yourself hydrated will help you re-assess your craving. 
  2. Bring something to the party. There’s nothing like bringing a covered dish or your favorite desert to the holiday party. This allows you to make something on the healthy side or for you to create those dishes that are a fit for any stomach or intolerances you may have. Think of some healthy holiday trail mixes or low-calorie side dishes. Try making some healthy versions of your favorite holiday treats. There are lots of wonderful recipes online that can help. 
  3. Eat the good stuff during the day and before you go to the party. Eating well during the day and then eating prior to going to your holiday function will help you make better choices when you arrive. Look to fill up your plate at the party with the healthy choices first. 
  4. Watch your drinks. Alcohol does a few things, it can be loaded with calories but it also can assist you in making bad choices when eating. Pace yourself and make drink choices that aren’t loaded with sugar and mixers. 
  5. It’s a mindset. If you have a routine the holidays shouldn’t give you a pass to veer off course. Stick to the routines you’re used to and know that you may stumble but you have to get back into the groove of that routine. Don’t make the holidays your excuse for bad decisions. 

Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. Savor all the wonderful foods that you will have and don’t feel too guilty about it. This holiday eat well and be merry!

Top 5 Reasons To Eat a Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. So let’s put down the bread and increase your brain power!

The “Keto” in Ketogenic comes from “Ketones,” the small fuel molecules produced when you eat very few carbs and only moderate amounts of proteins.

The goal of a Ketogenic diet is for your body to switch its fuel supply to run entirely on fat. 

  1. Losing the Pounds: Transforming your body into a fat-burning machine makes it a weight loss machine. Revving up  fat burning puts the breaks on the production of insulin – the fat storing hormone, creating ideal circumstances in which fat loss can occur, without hunger.
  2. Jedi Knight Mental Focus: Ketosis provides a steady flow of fuel (ketones) to the brain, unlike the big energy swings that occur from burning sugar (glycolysis), often resulting in the experience of increased focus and improved concentration.
  3. Let’s get Physical: Ketogenic diets can vastly increase your physical endurance by giving you access to the energy available in your fat stores. When your body primarily burns carbohydrates your fat stores are not easily available and they can’t fuel your brain. Burning sugar makes you hangry (hungry and angry). Burning fat makes you heppy (happy and energetic).
  4. Settle the Stomach: It’s common to experience fewer stomach ailments and complaints on a Ketogenic diet. You may produce less gas, be less nausea, experience less cramping and have fewer bouts of diarrhea. You may even get relief from constant heartburn, allowing you to shelve the antacids.
  5. Less Acne: Many people experience less acne and fewer breakouts. A low glycemic diet, often in combination with the elimination of dairy products and the addition of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce acne, decrease body mass index and the risk of type2 diabetes.

Before making dietary changes be sure to check with your physician or health care provider.

The Role of Food in Your IBS

We are constantly being barraged with plates and pyramids dictating what makes up a healthy diet. Low-fat, moderate fat, only a little protein or a protein portion the size of your palm; lots of fruits and vegetables or lots of grains; none is the perfect answer for everyone. As a matter of fact, some of those guidelines may actually cause your IBS symptoms to flare up. There is no one size fits all answer when it comes to relieving IBS symptoms, but we will say that over the years we have found some common threads with our patients. 

Fiber – Yeah we know it should be good for you. Fiber is the thing that adds healthy bulk to your diet.  Buzz words like “whole grains” may be appealing, but they may not always be a good choice. Fiber can aggravate your symptoms, especially your diarrhea. Your best bet is to look for soluble fibers like vegetables and fruits. For those with a more sensitive system we often recommend cooking vegetables for easier digestion.

Grains – As discussed above, grains are known to aggravate IBS symptoms. Because of their inflammatory nature we often have patients steer clear of ALL grains, at least until symptoms calm down. Some patients are able to reintroduce grains successfully over time; however, patients with Celiac Disease or non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity are often limited to grains that do not contain   rye, wheat, barley, or other grains known to induce a cross-sensitive reaction. 

Foods that are Fried – We all love french fries, but fried foods are really hard on your gut, especially for those struggling with IBS. 

Beans and Coffee – IBS can appear as diarrhea or constipation, or alternate between the two. Either way it’s unpleasant. We often hear about things like beans and coffee “helping things along” but we also hear how they can overshoot the mark and have a bad result. Your best bet: if you already know a food bothers you, don’t eat it.

Milk – Like grains, dairy products are known to be inflammatory. For you, this may mean typical IBS symptoms like constipation or diarrhea, in others it may cause joint pain, bloating, or skin problems. Like grains, we often have patients eliminate all dairy until symptoms go away, then we add it back into your diet, one product at a time for a fews day to see how you feel. 

There is no cookie cutter solution for each person suffering from IBS even though we often see identical symptoms in those suffering with it. Everyone has a different underlying cause. Keep a journal and list what you eat and when you have problems.  These suggestions should be a good starting point for relieving your pain. 

Come to one of our FREE Workshops where Dr. Kirshner will answer all your questions about your IBS.

Listen To Your Mother

Listen To Your Mother, She Knows What She’s Talking About.

Remember when you were a kid rushing out the door and your mother’s voice would float through the air encouraging you: “Take a jacket; it’s going to be cold outside.” Maybe you paused for a second to consider her suggestion or, like most of us, without skipping a beat; you went on your merry way only to be cold later. Of course you never admitted that once again your mother was right!

When it comes to living a long, healthy, vibrant life three pieces of mom’s advice are continually supported by science, not just her uncanny intuition:

Number 1 – Eat your vegetables! Yes, it is really that simple. Although mom may not have had a degree in nutrition, she instinctively knew vegetables are a secret health weapon. Add a variety of vegetables that are rich in color to every meal. Spice up those boring scrambled eggs with sautéed spinach and salsa. At lunchtime, ditch the bread and wrap your grilled chicken and veggies in a dark green lettuce leaf. Dinner is a great time to try a vegetable you have been shying away from. Roasting Brussels Sprouts brings out their natural sweetness and tames the bitter cabbage flavor. Snacking on celery filled with peanut butter satisfies the desire for “crunch” while providing fiber and protein to keep you full until the next meal.

Number 2 – “Turn off that darn machine.” The old adage “move it or lose” is true. It doesn’t take long to lose muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. Physical prowess is not the only thing sacrificed by being a couch potato – your emotional wellbeing and brain health will also be challenged. After dinner, go for a walk around the block. Ride your bike to the store. If you must watch Dancing with the Stars get up and test your moves.

Number 3- Learn something new. Studies have shown one of the key components to maintaining brain health is to learn a new skill. Planning a trip abroad? Learn the native language, what better way is there to find the best local sites? Have you been thinking about picking up some knitting needles? Many charities appreciate knitted blankets and caps for newborns in need? Want to make mom really proud? Fulfill all three of her favorite suggestions by planting a vegetable garden, learn about soil and sunlight, and maintain rows of proliferating vines then sit down to a meal of freshly grown vegetables.

This Mother’s Day before you rush out the door to brunch or the kid’s soccer game, take a moment and connect with mom, maybe say thanks for her wisdom, and don’t forget your sweater.  Listen to your mother, you may be suprised. 

>