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Dietary recommendations for the holidays

The end of the year and the festive period are fast approaching, but unfortunately the second wave of the COVID pandemic is still ongoing. During the lockdown in spring, adults gained an average of 3 kilograms, which, if not addressed, can easily lead to further weight gain in the coming weeks. So, this year, how about not letting our health start to decline or even deteriorate further? Our dietitian, Nóra Galló, recommends some simple ideas for replacing a few traditional ingredients to conjure gentler, healthier and guilt-free festive dishes.

Let's see what we can do in practice?

  • Serve fish! Delicious and healthy grilled, roasted and brushed with garlic-lemon olive oil with a branch of rosemary or thyme inside, or even accompanied by mushroom sauce. I recommend consuming fish and seafood not only during the holidays, but on a weekly basis.
  • Serve roasts with roasted, grilled, steamed or stuffed vegetables like baby carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, beetroot, broccoli, or even mushrooms, for example.
  • Instead of mashed potatoes, make a puree of cauliflower, celery or parsnips spiced up with fresh green herbs. If we replace half the potatoes with one of the vegetables, we much reduce classic mashed potatoes’ calorie and carbohydrate content while at the same time enriching it in fiber.
  • Try mayonnaise salads made with yogurt, or at least using less mayonnaise.
  • From the so-called alternative grains, e.g. millet, quinoa, buckwheat, we can easily prepare special festive garnishes with various vegetables, roasted seeds and even pomegranate – it’s definitely worth a try!
  • Eat plenty of homemade fermented vegetables, i.e. pickles, along with your main dishes, as their probiotic effect supports the balance of our intestinal flora and strengthen our stomachs too.
  • When making cakes, use wholemeal oat flour or millet flour, which are richer in fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you don’t feel like making dessert at home, order it – today we can choose sugar-free and healthy alternatives from so many places.
  • Enjoy a slice of cake by scheduling it as a treat between meals to replace a snack. Cut that zserbó or beigli into smaller/thinner slices and it will appear you can eat more of it.

 

6 + 1 trick on how we can ’save’ a few calories

  • Before the main course, serve a salad or a light soup as an appetizer, which will reduce your hunger and fill your stomach, so you will definitely eat less of your main course.
  • Instead of high-calorie cream sauces, toppings and dressings, make healthier vegetable versions, such as mushroom sauce, dill-yogurt or lemon-olive oil dressing.
  • Drink a glass of water before meals, which reduces hunger while hydrating our bodies.
  • The feeling of fullness usually occurs 15-20 minutes after the start of a meal. Therefore, we should eat more slowly, chew every bite and enjoy the flavors. Give it a try and take sufficient time to eat! Pause between courses to avoid eating more than you really need.
  • Dry alcohol only! And always when drinking alcohol with meals, drink water as well to counteract alcohol’s diuretic and dehydrating effects.
  • Keep exercising during the holidays too - we can do this at home, taking 20-30 minutes for a little top-to-toe workout. Go outside to enjoy a walk in the fresh air. A walk after a meal is especially helpful for digestion and by being active, we burn calories too.

+1. Let’s not just seek our joy in endless meals this season. Play board games, lose yourself in a good book, try a new hobby like painting, coloring, drawing, making music, doing yoga, making a sourdough starter or having a go at fermentation, for example. Let’s also relax, meditate and learn to manage and relieve stress, which will be useful not only during the holidays, as we’ll be able to apply it to our everyday life!

 For more information and to make an appointment, call +36 1 377 6737.