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How to Enjoy a Happier, Healthier Holiday

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: PVHMC - Admin
How to Enjoy a Happier, Healthier Holiday

Nancee Perez, RD, a registered dietitian at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, shares a few tips on how to enjoy a happier, healthier holiday meal!

  • Be active - maintain a normal workout routine as much as possible. Go for a walk after Thanksgiving dinner to keep the blood flowing and prevent the resulting fatigue that is often blamed on the turkey, but is actually from simple overindulgence.
  • Eat breakfast - a high fiber carbohydrate plus a quality protein will help control hunger later in the day. Don't try to "bank" calories for later by not eating all day. This leads to overconsumption.
  • Go easy on the alcohol - choose champagne or wine spritzers over mixed drinks to save calories. Ideally, choose either dessert or alcohol, but not both.
  • Lighten up - find ways to lighten recipes (see ideas below).
  • Be realistic - think "weight maintenance," not "loss," during the holidays.
  • Savor the flavors - take at least twenty minutes to indulge. It takes the brain this long to register satisfaction from food and a sense of fullness!

Lighten the Load: Easy swaps for butter, oil and eggs

For Butter:

Greek yogurt can replace half of the butter. For example, instead of two sticks of butter, use 1/4 c. Greek yogurt and one stick of butter (1/2 c.)


1/2 c. applesauce or other pureed fruit and one stick of butter.

For 1 c. Oil:

Replace half the oil with pureed fruit.


3/4 c. plain, low-fat Greek yogurt.

For one egg:

1 Tbsp. of chia seeds or milled flax seeds plus 3 Tbsp. of water - let sit for 10-15 minutes.


1/4 c. pumpkin puree.


Two egg whites (*Note - generally, don't substitute more than two eggs in a recipe, as it can affect the finished product).

Sugar can also be replaced with a Splenda or Truvia baking blend for up to 1/2 of the sugar called for in the recipe.

Did you know that overindulgence often leads to indigestion and heartburn?

Here are a few simple tips to tame the burn:

  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and peppermint, these can increase reflux.
  • Heavily spiced foods and tomato-based products can increase heartburn in some people. Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary and Dill are GERD-friendly spices.
  • Watch portions of high-fat foods and large portions overall.
  • Lean proteins and vegetables tend to be GERD-friendly
  • Eat at least three hours before going to bed to allow food to digest.
  • Keep the head of the bed elevated to prevent the gravitational flow of acid into the esophagus.