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The importance of a healthy diet becomes even more apparent when your health changes radically with a disease like cancer. With the holiday season here, eating healthy typically seems more difficult since big meals and treats are abundant. For someone going through cancer treatment, the traditional fare for holiday meals may no longer seem appealing as well. Despite the holiday season bringing indulgences, following a healthy diet doesn’t need to be confusing. The definition of good nutrition is balancing important ingredients like water, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to take in the essential nutrition needed to help your body function best. When you have a body and immune system compromised by disease, taking in a balanced diet is one of the best ways you can help your body stay strong and repair itself. Share these healthy eating tips with a loved one going through treatment this holiday season to keep healthy eating a priority.
Don’t Skip Meals
When you know a big, indulgent meal, like a Thanksgiving dinner, is coming up, skipping meals so you’ll have “more room” seems like a great idea. However, skipping meals before a big one tends to lead to overeating and poor eating choices being made. Think of eating 5-6 smaller meals daily, so you make better choices before becoming ravenous and eating whatever is in sight.
Cheers to Your Health
Your drink choices are just as important as your food choices during meals. Drinking plenty of water all day is a good health practice no matter the time of year. If you can indulge in alcoholic drinks, remember that they contain a lot of sugar. Add some seltzer to a glass of wine to make a lighter spritzer. Make a pitcher of flavored Crystal Light or an unsweetened tea to have a flavored alternative to water. You can always make your plain water colorful by adding lemon, limes or berries.
Bring a Dish to Pass
If you’re going to a holiday party, make a clean and healthy holiday recipe to share. Many traditional holiday dishes can still be made, but choose cleaner ingredients and organic foods when you’re cooking. When you’re filling up your plate, make sure there is plenty of color on it in the form of vegetables, whole grains instead of refined grains, and lean meats, like organic chicken, turkey or fish. Don’t feel you have to stick to traditional choices during the holidays. Make new traditions and cook what you want to or can eat while dealing with your treatment.
Desserts and sweets will be plentiful during the holidays. However, telling yourself that you can’t eat any sweets will most likely set yourself up for failure. When you do indulge in something sweet, make the indulgence smaller and worth it. Think of fresh fruit dipped in dark chocolate or a cobbler using fresh fruits. Even fruit on it’s own is full of natural sugars that can satisfy your sweet tooth. Keep the portions small and you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
What are some of the ways you keep your health in mind during the holiday season when indulgences are abound?