The holidays are all about indulgence, celebration, and, of course, delicious feasts! But what if we could savor these moments without compromising our health? Enter a functional medicine-inspired, intuitive upgrade to your holiday meals—let’s make every bite count!
The Power of a Produce Prelude
Imagine starting your culinary symphony with a burst of vibrant colors—a platter adorned with nature’s jewels. This, my friends, is the magic of beginning your feast with produce. A handful of low-glycemic berries or a medley of fresh veggies isn’t just a delightful appetizer; it’s a strategic move for your well-being. Start each meal by eating the produce (veggies and low glycemic fruits) on your plate first for the following benefits:
Blood Sugar Mastery: By kickstarting your meal with produce, you dodge the dreaded blood sugar rollercoaster. These gems are rich in fiber, aiding in a slower digestion process, and preventing those damaging spikes and crashes.
Enzymatic Ignition: Think of nature’s gifts as the catalyst for your digestive fire. The enzymes present in these bountiful bites awaken your gut’s digestive prowess, preparing it for the feast to follow. Most of the foods in our SAD (Standard American Diet) simply are devoid of the enzymes required to break them down. My two favorite ways to increase these are to eat produce that contains them and to chew thoroughly so that your body produces them.
The Protein & Healthy Fats Interlude
Next up, it’s time to invite the protein powerhouse to the table. Picture a Mediterranean salad adorned with tahini-kissed veggies, sprinkled with avocados and pepitas. Here’s where the magic happens:
Sustainable Energy Boost: Protein provides the steady fuel your body craves during the festivities. Paired with healthy fats from avocados and seeds, it’s a recipe for balanced, long-lasting energy.
Nutrient Absorption Mastery: Those healthy fats aren’t just for taste; they’re a gateway to optimal nutrient absorption. They assist in absorbing the goodness from the veggies, maximizing the nutrient punch of your meal.
By consuming protein second, you’re setting yourself up for digestive and blood sugar success.
Whole Grains & Starchy Veggie Finale
As the culinary journey nears its conclusion, bring in the real, whole grains or starchier veggies for a satisfying finale. Whether it’s a fluffy quinoa dish or a roasted sweet potato extravaganza, here’s why it matters:
Nutrient-Rich Closure: Whole grains or starchy veggies offer a nutrient-dense closure to your meal. Think of them as the perfect wrap-up to a nutrient-packed gastronomic adventure.
Gluten-Free Tip: For those steering clear of gluten, embracing organic whole grains like quinoa or millet, or relishing starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, ends the meal on a fulfilling, wholesome note.
Cheers to a Nourished, Festive Season!
This holiday, let’s craft our feasts not just for the taste buds but as a symphony of health and well-being. Starting with produce, dancing through proteins and healthy fats, and ending with whole grains or starchy delights, every dish becomes a celebration of vibrant health and culinary delight. So, as you prepare to gather around the table, remember—every bite is an opportunity to nourish, energize, and savor the goodness of the season!
We’d love to partner with you to create more sustainable health and well-being habits. Visit our offices at Modern Medicine in Dallas or Forney to kickstart the new year with support and detailed, personalized guidance tailored specifically for you—call us at 469-620-2054 (Dallas) or 972-552-2920 (Forney) to schedule an appointment and make 2024 your healthiest year yet.
Jade Green, TNC CHHC