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Holiday Eating

by Morgan Robbins, RD, LD at LMC

The holiday season is upon us and with that comes food, parties and more food. According to the National Institutes of Health, Americans gain around one pound during the holiday season. While one pound may not seem like much, it will add up over time. Don’t let the temptation to overindulge throw you off track during the holidays! Here are some tips to enjoy the season to the fullest while being mindful of your waistline.

cookies1. Plan Ahead- If you’re going to a holiday party and you know there will be treats, plan on eating an extra healthy breakfast and lunch that day. Focus on vegetables and whole grains to help you feel full and skip any treats during the day to account for the goodies you’ll have at night.

2. Exercise- If you’re exercising regularly then great! The holidays tend to be busy, but make it a part to keep up with your exercise routine. The endorphins released during exercise will help empower you to make better choices. Not exercising? Now is the perfect time to start!

veggie tray3. Fruit and Veggies First- When at a party or buffet, fill your plate with fruit and veggies before heading to the sweet stuff.

4. Mindless Eating- Don’t waste your calories on things you don’t truly enjoy, skip the snacks and focus on foods you love and don’t get the opportunity to have everyday.

5. Portions- All foods should fit into a healthy diet, just be mindful of the amount. Take small servings of not-so-healthy items and really check-in with yourself before going back for seconds. Give yourself time to assess if you really want to take a second serving and how you’ll feel after doing so.

beer6. All it takes is One Good Party- Leaving a party after eating well and still enjoying yourself is an empowering feeling, the next outing you have may be a bit easier to face knowing you can still eat healthy while at a holiday function.

7. Remember Alcohol- Yes, it has calories. The average calories in a beer are 153, 125 for a glass of wine and 168 for a margarita. That’s about 35 minutes of walking at a brisk pace to burn off just one drink!

Quinoa Shrimp Salad

Lexington Medical Center has begun to host a new diabetes support and wellness group called “D2 & Me” for type 2 diabetes patients and their caregivers. The meetings, which are open to the public, help diabetics manage the disease by offering helpful information, including healthy recipes. Here’s one from the class. It looks delicious, doesn’t it?



Try this healthy, delicious and light Quinoa Shrimp Salad. It can be served warm or cold.

Serves 5

1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup (about 160 g) grape tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
340 g shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 celery stalks (about 1 1/4 cups), thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (you can add more, depends on your taste)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt & black pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and give it a quick stir. Cover the saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-17 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the celery. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, pepper and salt. Set the dressing aside.

In a large bowl, combine the celery mixture, shrimps, grape tomatoes, parsley and basil. Stir in quinoa. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or cold.


“D2 & Me” classes take place on the Lexington Medical Center hospital campus, at the hospital’s community medical center in Lexington, or off site for special events. Clinicians and experts who have special training in caring for people who have diabetes lead the classes and meetings. Our next classes are coming up!

December 9 & 17
Diabetic-Friendly Holidays

Laura Stepp, MA, RD/LD, CDE
December 9th class will be in the Lexington Medical Center hospital campus inside Lower Level Classroom 3 from 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
December 17th class will be at Lexington Medical Center’s community medical center at 811 West Main Street in Lexington inside the first floor conference room from 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Free and open to public

The Skinny on Juice Cleanses

by Morgan Robbins, RD, LD at LMC

Cleansing is the red-hot health trend sweeping the world by storm. Checking Instagram, I see pictures posted by friends and celebrities with a rainbow of juices in their refrigerator and a caption talking about starting a cleanse. I often overhear conversations of people thinking about starting a cleanse because they feel sluggish or have been eating poorly. “Cleansing” the body of toxins, chemicals and impurities sounds appealing to most people, but are the claims accurate?

The 411-
shutterstock_132040193There are many different cleanses. The celeb-endorsed juice cleanses are most popular. Most juice cleanses consist of a series of juices to drink during the day for a set period of time, usually 3-14 days. Some cleanses allow foods while others do not. They range from $20-$70 per day. There are also cleansing options that come in pill form and are to be consumed with a healthy diet.

The Claims-
Rid your body of toxins, weight loss, improved energy levels, increase fruit and vegetable intake, reduce inflammation, reset the digestive system, strengthen your immune system and glowing hair and skin. Drinking juice for a few days to boost the immune system and improve energy levels? Sounds like a good bargain to me.

The Science-
The scientific evidence is lacking to prove that one will reap the sworn benefits that are promised while cleansing. The thing most juice bottles leave off the label is that the kidneys, liver and intestines do an excellent job of filtering out the garbage we put into our body. Will you lose weight? Probably yes, however if you go back to eating the way you were before the cleanse, you’re more than likely going to gain the weight back and could possibly slow down your metabolism in the process. Supplementing a healthy diet with a juice drink will likely cause no harm, but there is needed research regarding juice cleanses.

Until there is solid scientific evidence about juice cleanses and their effect on the body, I would recommend thinking twice before taking another swig of your green juice as your sole dietary intake for the day. Skip the juice, skip the diet and just eat healthy. It’s really quite simple. There is truth behind the saying “you are what you eat”. If you eat well, you’ll feel well. Keep in mind, some cleanses contain a high amount of sugar and minimal fiber. Often people are looking for shortcuts and quick methods for weight loss, however healthy eating will always be the gold standard for living a healthy lifestyle.