Winter Health, What’s Your Plan?

Why does Winter Health seem to be more challenging than other times of the year?

Eating healthy throughout the winter months can be challenging for many reasons, and the holidays are an obvious one. Food is a large part of most winter celebrations. While munching on a few cookies or pieces of candy here and there is expected, consuming too many unhealthy options can lower your immune system as well as add unhealthy fat.

“Winter holidays can be deadly in terms of thbuffete increased focus on food and especially those once-a-year desserts,” says Andrea Dillaway-Huber, PhD, RD, LDN, who practices in Wyomissing, Pa. “A rule that I recommend to clients is to survey all the options available at a family event or holiday party and to pick whatever they can’t live without, having just a bite. Not a slice of pie, but a bite of pie. I advise them to fill up on lower calorie fruits, vegetables, low-fat dips, reduced-fat chips, and snacks first. Then, when they are approaching that comfortably full feeling, enjoy that bite of pie and really savor it.”

The problem with holiday eating is that it can not only lead to weight gain but also wreak havoc on the immune system. “The time between Halloween and the New Year can really stress the immune system with the additional refined sugar and alcohol consumption,” says Debora A. Robinett, MA, RD, CD, 15

Another lesser known reason that healthy eating can be so difficult in the winter is the lack of sunlight. As it gets darker earlier, we get less exposure to the sun, which can lead to a drop in serotonin. That drop can cause depression and food cravings. Sunshine is the best natural source of vitamin D, so during a dark winter, you may want to consider supplements of this vitamin, which has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon, breast, and ovarian cancers by as much as 50%.


You can also boost serotonin with healthy carbs. Whole grains and high-quality carbs such as sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins, and squash help boost serotonin levels.

As many as 10 million Americans may suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Be aware of the symptoms (depression, anxiety, overeating, and loss of interest, which suddenly onset in the winter).

Healthy eating can also be somewhat of a luxury in the wintertime. It’s so much easier to focus on making something quick and easy after a hard day, especially when it’s already dark outside when you get home from work. Plan ahead, use your crockpot for healthy stews and soups. Making a tasty chocolate peppermint meal replacement shake or another delicious flavor, tastes like a treat, easy and fast and also very healthy.

Plan to eat something healthy before you leave for a party, or at the party, make healthier choices first and then have a little bit, (not 3 servings) of your favorite dessert.

You can incorporate a healthier lifestyle now before the new year, allow me to share with your how.

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Best in Health and Prosperity,Nancy White,

“The Healthy Cells Chick”

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