I have discussed how lifestyle and habits are key to healthy weight loss. However, the holidays can throw a monkey wrench to those resolutions and habits. How can you manage the holiday celebrations and still maintain your health? Like many, I celebrated the holidays with meals with my family. The holiday break allowed us to cook and bake together before sitting down to enjoy the food. How did my family stay healthy and manage our weight during the holidays? Reflecting on our family traditions and habits, I realize I should share my wife’s “secret” to keeping me and our daughters healthy during the holidays and throughout the year. How does she do it? Simple. She keeps us healthy by keeping our guts healthy by avoiding ingredients that interfere with the natural workings of the digestive system and making sure that we get our daily dose of high-fiber foods and probiotic supplements. Her “prescription” is as follows:
- Eat a high fiber whole fruit and unsweetened organic yogurt for breakfast (prebiotic).
- Supplement with high-quality probiotic with at least 1 billion colony-forming bacteria plus digestive enzymes Lipase, Amylase and Bromelain after breakfast.
- Eat fermented foods like olives, miso, kimchi routinely for lunch or dinner (prebiotic).
- Avoid foods with additives and preservatives like sodium nitrate, sodium benzoate, monosodium glutamate, propylene glycol, propylparaben, etc.
- Avoid foods with high-fructose corn syrup, sugar substitute, and fat-substitute – natural salt, sugar, and fats in small quantities are preferable to the artificial substitutes. Beware of foods with the "diet" label like "diet soda" because of the artificial ingredients.
Click on these links to learn more about gut health and its impact on mood, weight and overall well-being from Harvard University.