BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Enjoy the season's meals without the guilt this year. The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) is continuing to help you make healthy choices this holiday season with 15 easy-to-follow tips, crafted by NFCR spokesperson Chef Charles Phillips of Nashville's 1808 Grille.
"All of these tips are easy to integrate into your current diet and lifestyle," said Chef Charles. "The holidays may seem like a time when you can't get away from unhealthy foods, but follow these tips, and you'll come out feeling great."
Chef Charles and NFCR have come up with the following tips:
- Drink 16 oz of water 30 minutes before eating. Sometimes dehydration is confused with hunger. Additionally, make an effort to stay hydrated every day: drink 8 - 8oz glasses of water per day.
- Laugh! Our busy schedule can stress us out, and laughter truly is medicine.
- Heavy on the vegetables and fruit, light on the meat portions. Eat colorful fruit and veggies; get your lycopene, beta-carotene and phytonutrients which have beneficial anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Turkey is good, but cut down on calories and saturated fat, take the skin off.
- MOVE. Walk, jog, ride your bike, play a racquet sport, practice yoga, etc. three to four times a week for at least 20 minutes.
- Moderate alcohol consumption. Drinks can be full of sugar and calories. If you drink, stick to red wine, which contains anti-oxidants. Keep your consumption modest.
- Be aware of your sugar and high fat dessert choices. Have your dessert, but keep it balanced. Have a piece of good quality dark chocolate or a poached pear. If you "splurge," keep it small, and add some extra time to your morning exercise routine.
- Fiber is good! Choose grains, beans, barley, lentils, etc. Challenge yourself to come up with a new stuffing recipe with more fiber and vegetables and less fat. Learn to like foods such as dried figs, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and whole wheat bread.
- Avoid white starch. These are empty calories with very little nutritional value, and your digestive system struggles to handle them. Substitute sweet potato and multi grain breads.
- Slow down. Eat slowly, enjoy family & friend time, (turn off the phone, TV, electronics). Eating slowly gives your body time to realize it is full. Mechanical digestion (chewing well) will also help maintain even metabolism.
- Eat chemical-free. Go organic when possible. The industrial food chain is unfortunately filled with harmful pesticides and inappropriate animal feed such as hormones and excessive antibiotics.
- Have wild salmon, tuna or mackerel. They are full of omega 3 oils, great for cellular health and may help fight cancer.
- Be green. Eat lots of spinach, broccoli, green beans, and dark leafy greens. If cooking them, use healthy oil like flax, walnut or canola. If not cooking, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Go a little nuts! Eat walnuts and almonds. These contain healthy fat, but still fat; don't overdo it. Nuts are a good low-fat, high-protein food –great filler between meals.
- Eat a healthy snack at home before you go out to a holiday party. Avoid getting really hungry and jumping in with your sleeves rolled up.
- Go to your room. Get 7-8 hours of sleep and stay on your natural schedule as much as possible. Late night eating and drinking results in a rough night's sleep and perpetuates less favorable eating habits.
NFCR has also launched a new cookbook called "To Your Health," filled with similar advice and recipes for cooking your way to a healthy lifestyle. To donate and receive a copy, visit www.nfcr.org/recipebook.
NFCR is dedicated to funding cancer research, public education relating to cancer prevention, earlier diagnosis, better treatments and ultimately, a cure. To learn more, visit www.nfcr.org.
To check out Nashville's 1808 Grille, visit www.1808grille.com.
SOURCE The National Foundation for Cancer Research