Healthy Connections for this Holiday SeasonNov 27, 2020 09:29AM ● By Tamara Luck
The holidays are quickly approaching, which typically is the season to be merry and gather with family, friends and loved ones to eat delicious foods and celebrate.
But this year is shaping up to look different. While cheer is still encouraged, parties and large get-togethers are not advised in order to decrease the chance of spreading viruses. Instead, stay connected while staying apart. Here are three recommendations for doing just that:
Share Homemade Holiday Dishes
The true spirit of the holidays is spreading warmth and care to others, showing them just how much they mean. One can still do this by cooking homemade and nutritious meals or baked goods to be shared within the community. Drop off an apple pie at a neighbor’s house to let them know they are being thought about or make a holiday dish to bring to elder parents, siblings or friends. Some favorites include homemade chili, which can be made vegan or gluten-free so everyone can enjoy it, as well as a turkey dinner or sweet potato pie. Sharing nutritious dishes spreads joy, while also helping relieve some stress people might feel around this time of year.
It’s difficult to not engage in holiday traditions as usual, which might induce feelings of anxiety or sadness. Making meals and baked goods for loved ones is the perfect way to stay connected and keep the holiday cheer.
Donating goods is a tradition that is always encouraged each year, and 2020 is no exception. In fact, even more organizations and centers are seeking support. At the next visit to the grocery shop, pick up a few extra canned goods or non-perishable items and drop them off at the local community center or shelter. Shelters are often in need of gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free and other allergen-free foods. Some helpful items to give are beans, rice, potatoes, chicken broth, canned tomatoes, gluten-free bread or almond milk. Donating is an easy way to connect with the community during the holidays, while maintaining a safe and healthy distance from others to stop the spread of disease.
Not only is it important to continue supporting others over the holidays, but also remember to make time for oneself. This has been a challenging year for most. Focusing on gratitude and self-care are excellent ways to stay grounded, thus allowing one to connect with others in an authentically joyous way. The path to feeling our best often begins with proper nourishment. Start the day with a robust mix of protein, whole grains and healthy fats, such as an egg, quinoa and a veggie bowl. Throughout the day continue to stay fueled with fiber, satiated with protein, and hydrated with water. Of course, there is usually room for a little dessert, too. Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate with peppermint for a sweet and festive treat.
This holiday season will feel and look different from previous years. Keep the community safe by maintaining distance while also fostering a jolly spirit by staying connected with those who matter the most to you.
Tamara Luck, RDN, LDN, is an integrative and functional dietitian in Waltham.She works to uncover root causes of imbalances in the body and takes an individualized approach to wellness with her one-on-one clients.She is currently accepting new patients at Johnson Compounding and Wellness and appointments can be made at Calendly.com/TamaraLuck. See ad on this page and