Better Living for Texans: Maintaining discipline during the holidays

(As I’m sure most of you probably know, one of our Prosper Waco community goals is “McLennan County residents will live healthier lifestyles and access the best available care.” With that in mind Act Locally Waco is teaming up with Better Living for Texans to bring you a monthly blog post full of tips for healthy living. For more of the posts in this series, click here: Better Living for Texans. – ALW)

by Lindsey Breunig

Traditionally the November and December months are packed with celebrations and fun, with food at the center every time. We enjoy the holidays but quickly regret the after-effects when looking at our post-holiday waistlines. From the special meals, tasty treats, and delicious desserts, it’s easy to take in extra calories during the holidays. A small snack here and another there, combined with a large dinner and dessert, can add up to a few extra pounds. Not to mention the office party, friend gathering, or cookie decorating that come up! Fortunately, there are things we can do to discipline ourselves during the holidays. Below is a checklist to prevent overeating while having a wonderful holiday season:

  • Eat slowly so your body has more time to signal fullness.
  • Eat a small to medium-sized breakfast and lunch during the day and drink lots of water. Starving yourself in anticipation for the main meal will lead to overeating.
  • Use a smaller plate to control your portion size. (Try a 9inch plate!)
  • If you have many foods to choose from during the main meal, keep the size of your portions in mind. If you want to try everything, do so in moderation so that your portion sizes don’t get out of control.
  • Be physically active on a daily basis (walking, jogging, biking, etc.) – our goal is 30 minutes every day!
  • Make sure half your plate has fruits and vegetables.
  • Look at your plate for a variety of colors represented from the different food groups.
  • Try new fruits and vegetables to bring a bit more excitement into traditional meals.
  • Involve your kids in meal preparation.
  • Don’t be afraid to have that slice of pie or cake. However, when enjoying your desserts try having a small sliver instead of a large slice.
  • Beverages: drink water with your meals rather than sodas, or holiday drinks like eggnog which can be high in fat, sugar, and calories. Alcohol or sweetened beverages should be consumed in moderation.

Don’t get complacent. Remain disciplined in your approaches to eating healthier and engaging in physical activity. It’s much easier to break a habit than to start one, so stay engaged and committed and have a great rest of your 2018!

December Produce and Recipes

Shopping for seasonal produce means cheaper, tastier, and healthier produce.  Look for these products at the Farmers Market or grocery store this December: Beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots, celery, cucumber, grapefruit, greens, herbs, honeydew, mushrooms, oranges, bell peppers, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips.

Recipes to try:

Cranberry Crunch Salad: Cranberry Crunch Salad is filled with winter time favorites such as cranberries, brussel sprouts, quinoa and pecans.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, and Chicken: This all in one sheet pan meal was easy and very tasty! We made this dish and it was a hit!

Grapefruit Salad and Vinaigrette:  Did you know that the official state fruit of Texas is grapefruit? Here the whole grapefruit is used by including it in the salad and the delicious vinaigrette.


Lindsey Breunig is a graduate of Baylor University and currently works as the Better Living for Texans Educator for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. She is originally from Grapevine, TX and now calls Waco home. Here in Waco she loves to venture out to Cameron Park, visit the local Farmers Market, and try out the awesome eateries in Waco. If you see her and hear a loud bark, that’s her pup Lucy just saying hello.

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