Four people pair off and share hugs.

7 tips for healthy holidays in Southern California

NOV 03, 2016
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Comfort food, family time, and fun — what’s not to love about the holidays? But if heavy regret shows up with the New Year, you might wish you’d made better choices. This season, see if even the most time-honored traditions can benefit from a fresh update. Try these tips:


1. Celebrate with healthy habits
Expand the focus beyond food and drink. Include activities that get people active, like playing games, taking a walk or hike, or dancing. Try putting on music to speed up the cleanup.


2. Create the holiday together
Get your guests engaged by asking them to bring a dish to share, help with setup or cleanup, or lead an activity.


3. Lighten up the recipes
Find ways to use less sugar, salt, and fat in your favorite recipes. Swap out butter for mashed banana, or salt for flavorful spices like cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg. Check out these suggestions for cooking with healthy substitutes.


4. Choose lean protein
Trim the fat and serve turkey, fish, or fresh ham instead. Go easy on the gravy, which can be full of fat and salt. Consider offering a hearty vegetarian option, as well.


5. Drink to good health
Satisfy your thirst with more flavor and fewer calories. Add slices of lemon or lime to water, or sweeten with a splash of 100% fruit juice.


6. Share your good fortune
Help those in need enjoy the holidays, too. Give food to a local food bank, or volunteer to serve holiday meals at a nearby pantry or shelter.


7. Put the attention on people
Don’t get too stressed about perfect planning. Getting to spend time and give thanks with those you care about – that’s what really matters. The best part of celebrating is just being together.

TOPICShealthy habitsHolidaysSouthern Californiaupdated holiday traditions