the 20100 20year 20lifestyle 20logo Nutrition 101:

Superfoods for the Holidays

How to Choose Foods

During the colder months of late fall and winter, we tend to stay indoors to avoid the chill and end up becoming sedentary creatures. We indulge in holiday sweets and treats, savory gravies at Thanksgiving and those "why-not-just-one-more" holiday hors d'œrves. While occasional indulging during special times is understandably impossible to resist, be sure not to sabotage all the hard work and exercise you've already done.

Don't let your health fall by the winter wayside, but make proper nutrition a year round commitment. The 100 Year Lifestyle teaches how to incorporate healthy foods into a balanced diet throughout the year. Here's how to help nourish your body and keep it going strong for 100 healthy holiday seasons.

Back to Basics

Did you know that the old food pyramid has been updated? The old model promoted a diet built on breads, pasta and rice, called for a few vaguely described "servings" of fruits and veggies, and lumped together all fats and oils under the instruction to "use sparingly."

Chiropractors and nutritionists now agree that while carbohydrates are still essential, at least half of ingested grains should be whole. You need 2.5 cups of colorful (green is always a safe bet) vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit each day for a balanced diet. Also all oils are not created equal. Avoid added fat and sugar, but oils found in fish and nuts should be incorporated into your daily meals.

Superfoods to the Rescue

Make foods jam-packed with health benefits a regular part of your diet, which is an easy way to live a quality 100 Year Lifestyle. Try berries, wild salmon, broccoli, tomatoes, soy, oats, strawberries, cantaloupe, garlic, beans, oranges, pumpkin,spinach, bananas, turkey, bean, walnuts, yogurt, and green tea.

Embrace your winter blues—berries, that is! Full of antioxidants like Vitamins C and E, they protect against cancer and aging, among other maladies. They've even earned the nickname "brainberries" because of their memory enhancing properties.

Milled flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and is even believed to help prevent cancer. Mix a few tablespoons in with your daily cereal, sprinkle it on yogurt or salad, or grind it up and add your "flaxseed flour" to almost any baking recipe for a nutty flavor.

Become a Grocery Guru

Learn to become a grocery guru and always check the labels while shopping. Look for breads labeled "whole grain" not "whole wheat" and avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients. While pre-made meals, sauces, marinades and meals save time, their additives may compromise your diet in the long run. Use seasonings and spices instead of salt and sugar. The surest shopping path to a healthy 100 Year Lifestyle is to slice, season and cook food yourself, using whole, fresh ingredients. You'll feel, look and taste the difference!

Super Family Time

Shop and cook together with your loved ones this holiday season and year round. Enjoy the time you spend together preparing and sharing a healthy meal. Keep the snack trays filled with a mix of holiday treats and nutritious options for in between meal nibbling at family gatherings. Your body will thank you and so will your friends and family!