Survive Holiday Indulgence With Sensible Every Day Eating

December 2, 2013
Laura, Registered Dietitian

Laura, Registered Dietitian

We have officially reached the holiday season. Some of us might call it the holiday eating season. Food is an essential part of our celebration with friends and family. I am a huge supporter of celebration, especially with food — even unhealthy food.* If you want to eat an especially large, rich, tasty Thanksgiving meal, I say more power to you. Celebrating with friends and family over the holidays is an appropriate time to indulge. However, for many of us, our everyday eating can look just as indulgent as our celebratory eating. And that is where we Americans are lacking — everyday eating habits. 

The USDA Economic Research Service put out this graph a few days before Thanksgiving. It compares the typical US consumption pattern of eating with the USDA’s MyPlate recommended pattern of eating. As you can see, we eat more meat and grains than necessary and not enough fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

On average, we eat about 1 1/2 cups of vegetables per day, just 63% of the recommended 2 ½ servings. And surprisingly, we are doing even more poorly on fruit! Our nation’s average is one-third of the 2 cups recommended each day. In the dairy category, we are averaging about half the recommended servings.


So, while I wouldn’t ask you to avoid celebrating with family and food, on all these days between the holidays, I challenge you to do something simple: eat more fruits and vegetables! Maybe they will grow on you and you’ll start adding them into your “celebratory” menus. (Really, who can resist those perfectly roasted Brussels Sprouts?) Or at the very least you’ll be ready for January when “normal life” returns. Here is a wonderfully simple roasted squash recipe from dietitian Jonnell to get your started. I just made this creamy cauliflower soup from this weekend. And don’t forget about fruit — throw it in a smoothie, have an apple with peanut butter for a snack or enjoy a broiled grapefruit for dessert. I often start my day by topping my oatmeal with raisins to get my first daily serving of fruit.

I’ll be sampling this delicious winter salad recipe at City Creek during our open house on December 7th from 12pm-6pm.  Stop by for a taste!

Winter Greens with Roasted Beets & Pomegranate Dressing
  1. Salad Ingredients
  2. 1 bunch kale, trimmed core removed and sliced thin
  3. 1 bunch swiss chard, trimmed core removed and sliced thin
  4. 2 red Beets, cleaned
  5. 2 golden beets, cleaned
  6. 1 cup pomegranate arils
  7. Dressing Ingredients
  8. ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  9. 2 tablespoon honey
  10. ¼ cup pomegranate Juice
  11. ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  12. 1 ½ cups olive oil
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wrap the beets in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Allow to cool. Peel and dice into 1/2 inch squares; do not mix the two colors together. In a blender, mix the first 4 ingredients of the dressing. Slowly add the oil to form an emulsion. Mix the dressing with the greens (using only enough to “wet” the greens) and gently massage them. Allow to wilt for 10 minutes. Arrange greens on a tray and decorate with beets and pomegranate.
  2. *If you’re looking for ways to lighten up the holidays check out our Great Health Tip from earlier this month. Blog