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  • ‘Tis the Season of Eating: 3 Tips for 5 Weeks

    Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

    While enjoying your favorite stuffing and sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pecan pie this Thanksgiving, take a moment and pause. Pause to give thanks for our abundance of food and beverage choices here in America.

    But pause literally – or at least slow down - your hand-to-mouth action. Because if you’re going to survive this five week “season of eating” without gaining weight, you need to be mindful of every sip and bite you take. Slow down and savor the sweets, so to speak.

    Here are my “registered dietitian” tips to help you navigate every food festivity without having to forgo your seasonal favorites like candy canes, eggnog, sparkling party punch, and sausage cheese balls.

    1. Strategize. At every office party, holiday brunch, buffet or cocktail party, peruse food choices before plate piling. Walk around every food table and beverage station to pick out items you rarely enjoy or you absolutely love during the holidays. Your aunt’s famous pecan cheeseball with savory herbs and homemade shortbread crackers?! Only during the holidays. Chips and salsa? Pass. You enjoy them all year long.
    2. Nibbles and Bites Add Up. Before you know it, you’ve nibbled away at hundreds of calories. And this doesn’t count those big, special meals. So PLAN those holiday choices strategically to include all of your favorite foods and beverages.
    3. Balance by Moving. Balance extra calories with extra movement. Get active. Work it. Do something. Anything to burn more calories. Dance to jazzy holiday tunes, walk to check out Christmas lights. More activity = more calories burned.

    Now bring on the fruitcake! 

    Kim Galeaz RDN CD is an Indianapolis-based registered dietitian nutritionist and believes in vibrant aging and optimal health by blending and balancing all food/beverage choices with a daily dose of positive attitude and activity. As owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications, she’s a recipe creator, writer, speaker, spokesperson and advocacy consultant for the food, beverage and agriculture industry. Find Kim’s nutrition tips & recipes @KimFoodTalk

  • Sweet Childhood Memories

    Robyn Flipse

    While refilling the sugar bowl after a weekend visit from a friend, who likes her coffee sweet, I found myself wondering how this ingredient found in nearly every pantry in the world has become so vilified. That wasn’t always the case. 

    Sugar was a big part of my diet when I was growing up. My mother took pride in her homemade pies, beautifully decorated birthday cakes, and the 30 different varieties of Christmas cookies she baked every year for family and friends. In the summer she made delicious jars of jams and preserves that my sisters and I spread on her freshly baked bread as an after school snack. And every night after dinner we had dessert, even if it was just a dish of pudding. All that cooking and baking used a lot of sugar!

    If I tell someone these memories of my childhood diet they often remark how lucky I was. Looking back I have to agree— there was no guilt or shame in enjoying all the sweet treats my mother prepared. But that’s not the only thing that was different.

    My friends and I were much more active than children are today. We walked or rode our bikes to school every day and any place we wanted to go when not in school. We also had far less screen time with just one TV in the house and only 5 channels to watch. And our nutrition education started early, at home, by eating our meals together and learning to how to cook.  .

    Heaping all of the blame for our rising rates of obesity on added sugar consumption just doesn’t make sense. Many other changes in our way of life over the past 50 years have also contributed to the problem, so taxing and restricting access to sweetened drinks is not a solution. I can’t even imagine how my mother would have reacted if a law was passed limiting the amount of sugar she could buy!  It’s time to start taking personal responsibility for our health, starting with making better food choices and being more active. Thankfully, we don’t need any new laws to do that.

    Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, "The Everyday RD," is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating well.

  • Making the Right Beverage Choice for You

    Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD

    As a registered dietitian nutritionist my colleagues and I don’t believe there’s one perfect way of eating or right diet for everyone. Likewise, the same goes for beverages. There’s no one-size-fits all drink. The good news is all beverages hydrate, even those with caffeine, according to the Institute of Medicine. (1) And there are a variety of choices to fit each person’s lifestyle and unique needs. Let’s consider a few examples.

    After Exercise- After a strenuous workout of over an hour or in very hot conditions, a sports drink is appropriate not only to rehydrate but also replace electrolytes like sodium and potassium lost through perspiration. For a more casual exerciser doing a two-mile walk, a bottle of water would be the better alternative.

    At Work- If a job that requires a lot of physical exertion like a postman delivering mail by foot, a construction worker, a landscaper or a server in a busy restaurant, a regular soft drink can replace calories burned along with refreshment. On the other hand, someone working in a sedentary office position and also trying to lose weight could opt for a calorie-free soda or unsweetened or low calorie sweetened tea.

    With Meals- Meals are an ideal time to consume beverages that will hydrate and help meet nutrition needs. Juice with vitamins A and C and milk with protein, calcium, and vitamins A and D are both tasty options. A coffee latte either brewed or in a bottle, is a great way to get your morning shot of caffeine and a serving of milk.


    1. “Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate” Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science, 2004, pages 133 – 134

    Neva Cochran is an award winning registered dietitian nutritionist and nutrition communications consultant in Dallas, Texas. A veteran media spokesperson and popular speaker she was also a 20-year freelancer for Woman’s World Weekly magazine. She is a past president of the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and past chair of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.