Holiday Foods You Can Indulge on Without Gaining Holiday Weight

It’s about this time of year that you start googling ways to avoid the holiday weight gain. Sure, you could start getting up earlier to exercise, say no to that second slice of pumpkin pie or even eat a granola bar so you’re not as hungry for Thanksgiving dinner, but who are we kidding? If I’m getting up early, its to peruse the catalogs for my son’s Christmas presents. Pumpkin pie is literally at every holiday gathering. I’m pretty sure eating one slice at every party doesn’t count as dieting. As for eating before Thanksgiving dinner – snacking before dinner never stopped me from enjoying my fill at Thanksgiving – and 2 hours later, and the next day, and the next week!

Here’s a list of holiday foods you don’t have to feel guilty about – and will even help you avoid those holiday pounds:

1. Pomegranate
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants which fight inflammation – the leading cause of obesity-related diseases.

2. Turkey
Turkey’s have less than 12% of the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat per 4 ounce serving.
They pack plenty of protein and vitamin B to keep your energy up through all your holiday shopping.

3. Artichoke
Now we’re not talking about the dip, but Artichokes contain tons of fiber, which help stave off hunger.
They also contain inulin, which has clinically shown to lower blood sugar.

4. Dark Chocolate
70% or darker is the key here. Eating a thumb full before and after meals can actually cut your appetite by 50%!

5. Butternut Squash
Squash is a calorie bargain! Substituting this yummy gourd for sweet potato can cut your calorie intake by 100 per cup!

Traveling Through Art to Oriental Medicine

People often ask me what made me decide to “abandon Art” to become an Acupuncturist.  I’ve been an artist ever since I can remember and in ernest at age 12 when I won my first award.  I have a Bachelor’s and a Masters in Fine Art and I’ve taught at the University of New Mexico and the Atlanta College of Art.  I marketed my work over the course of 27 years exhibiting in New Mexico, Atlanta, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

It seems I’ve been all my life an artist, still am though I rarely now touch a brush to canvas. I have a new canvas, new materials and new tools these days that are just as fulfilling as my old ones. The canvas is the patient.  They are an already existing painting that has its own color, rhythm, and light that create a certain pattern. It is a very creative act to discern that pattern and from there to see where and how it became disharmonious causing their health to falter. The medium is Oriental Medicine with it’s 3,500 years of experimentation, experience and knowledge. The tools of course are needles, tui na (chinese medical massage), cupping, moxibustion, and custom herbal formulas.

I will always love Art.  It is part of all of us!  As an artist I never knew if my paintings ever really made an impact on anyone’s life.  The real difference for me between Art and Oriental Medicine is that I know this medicine makes a difference in the world.  I get to see that and be part of that every day.  In many ways, my Art career was a training ground for what I was meant to do!  I love what I do and I feel so blessed that I am able to do it!!!

~ Constance Fraatz, AP/DOM

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