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Back on Track after the Holidays

By Kim Manfried, RD CDN

After another long holiday season, as well as cold outdoor temperatures, getting back on track to eating salads and oatmeal may seem daunting and not so tasty. Quieter houses with less hustle and bustle can make you feel a bit down. For those who may have indulged a bit on Grandma’s pecan pie or bakery breads, here are some tips to get back to a healthier you.

  • Visit your health care provider(s) and have your blood work checked and up-to-date. Low Vitamin D may make you feel more sluggish and down, and you may need a prescription from your doctor if it is at a low level. Other things to check are magnesium, B-12, iron, iron stores, and cholesterol levels. Knowing these will help you either with taking supplements or making needed dietary changes.
  • Look and experiment with new healthy recipes. Try a new food or a vegetable cooked in a different way.
  • Search for new activities, such as an art class, cooking class, library program, or exercise video. These can be found at local community centers or on-line for free or nominal fees. They can be a source of something to look forward to, as well as learning, and meeting new people.
  • Make plans with friends and family for future events, and look forward to socializing.
  • Clean out your pantry and kitchen. Make room for new healthy foods and stock with healthy options. Invest in more nuts and seeds (walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, ground flaxseed meal, beans, lentils, and fresh and frozen vegetables.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn to meditate.
  • Water…water….water. Drink at least half your body weight divided by ounces in water, per day. For example: 160 lb person: 160/2/8 = 10 cups water per day. Find it difficult to drink enough water? Start your day with at least one or two cups of water. This will be the jump start you need from a night’s sleep and get you off to beginning your day.
  • Avoid sweetened beverages and excessive dependence on diet drinks. Instead, drink water with sliced fruit, mint, or seltzer water….have fun and experiment. Drink warm water with lemon in the morning as a good detox for the liver. Low sodium broth of your preference is a good source of a tasty low calorie fluid.
  • Think Happy.
  • Think Positive.

No matter what life throws at you, focus and get back on track. Your good health will be your reward!

It is important to note….if you are feeling more than the winter blues and are having a difficult time getting through your daily routine, please seek professional help.

Kim Mendel is a Registered Dietician and Diabetes Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. She can be reached at


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