Cornerstone PT & Wellness Center September 2017


Healthy Eating Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

H ave you ever noticed we tend to eat more in the fall? As the days get colder and the nights grow longer, our plates get bigger. Sure, Thanksgiving and the many seasonal get-togethers provide ample opportunities to eat our favorite treats, but holidays aren’t to blame for fall weight gain. Research from the University of Texas, El Paso, suggests biology may be the real culprit. Our ancestors would eat more when the harvest was plentiful in the fall, putting on weight before the winter famine. Psychology might also play a role in our increased appetite. The Psychiatric University Clinic in Basel, Switzerland, studied patients with seasonal affective disorder, a mood disorder caused by a lack of sunlight. Researchers found individuals with seasonal depression ate more carbohydrates — particularly sweets and starch-rich foods. You don’t have to sacrifice the fall menu in the name of good nutrition, though. In fact, most of your fall favorites, like soups, breads, pumpkin, squash, and greens, are healthier than food from other seasons! Just remember these tricks to get those fibers and proteins, without going overboard: Keep an eye on servings sizes. We tend to eat everything in a bowl or on our plate. Consider using smaller dishes with portion sizes in mind. If you’re bringing chips to the couch, leave the bag in the kitchen and measure out an appropriate serving size first.

winter day, but too much meat and potatoes won’t do you any favors. Throw in lots of fresh vegetables to fill your stomach with vitamins, too.

Enjoy the fall weather. The days may be shorter, but the scenes of the season are truly beautiful. Find your favorite scarf, and enjoy the crisp scenery. When’s the last time you took a walk by the lake, visited the zoo, or rode your bike beneath the changing leaves?

Don’t feel bad about enjoying the fall harvest this year. Instead, feast smart and keep these healthy eating habits top of mind before you dig in. Happy eating!

Check the ingredients. Soups are good for you, provided they’re not made with cream or cheese. Likewise, there’s nothing better than a bowl of stew after a cold



• 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 tablespoons butter • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds) • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges

2 bay leaves

• 3 cloves garlic, minced • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups apple cider


1. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. 2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, add to pan and sear until golden, about 4 minutes each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. 3. Add remaining butter, onion, apple, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Sauté until

apple begins to get color and onions soften, about 6 minutes. Add flour and stir for 2–3 minutes. 4. Nestle chicken back into pan, add cider, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes.

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Recipe courtesy of

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