Top Ten Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

Food is an important part of the holidays, however because of all these social gatherings the average American gains 8 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  Here are some helpful tips to survive the holiday season so you can maintain and not gain.

    1. Drink warm water with lemon before meal arrives so you do not mistake thirst for hunger.
    2. Choose protein based appetizers such as shrimp cocktail, nuts, piece of cheese.  This will help satisfy you so you do not crave carbs.
    3. Choose alcoholic drinks wisely.  Vodka seltzer or red wine are your best options!  Make sure to drink with food so that it does not spike your blood sugar levels as high.
    4. Everyone loves desserts.  Choose to make yours with natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar.
    5. Manage holiday stress naturally with adequate sleep and lavendar essential oils.
    6. Load up on your green vegetables, they alkalize the body.
    7. Limit your serving sizes to smaller portions.  It is not necessary to over flow your plate because it is the holiday season.
    8. Supplemention is important during this time including probiotics, cod liver oil and B complex.
    9. When you over eat, ginger tea is great aid in digestion.
    10. Cook with whole grains including quinoa, brown rice,  or millet.

Try our warming, health-supportive soup.  It is packed with protein from the beans and vitamin C from the sweet potatoes.  (I picked up my sweet potatoes, onion and garlic at the Nyack Farmers market that is now indoors at the Nyack Center!)

Sweet Potato Soup with Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 medium red onion, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced fine

1 14-oz. can black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained

1 14-oz. can white beans, rinsed, drained

1 14-oz. can black beans, rinsed, drained

1 quart light vegetable broth

1/2 cup organic peanut butter melted in a half cup of boiled hot water (for one cup total)

1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes, or more, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

2 teaspoons maple syrup

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro


Heat the light olive oil in large soup pot. Add the curry powder and cinnamon; stir for a minute to infuse the oil with spice. Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, and jalapeño. Stir and cook the veggies for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add the black-eyed peas, white and black beans, broth, melted peanut butter, red pepper flakes and cilantro. Bring the soup to a high simmer, cover, and lower the heat; keep the soup on simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and maple syrup. Season with sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. Warm through and taste for seasoning adjustments.