Students in field

Tips for a healthier diet this holiday season

November 30, 2016

The holiday season is upon us and so are the candy canes, the cookies, and soon there will be the pork pie tourtieres, a local holiday tradition!  Your campus wellness committee doesn’t want to ruin the holidays for you. The traditional goodies, food, is a large part of family gatherings and socialization. However, becoming more aware of what you are feeding your body can help you to avoid feeling sluggish and putting on extra pounds. You may even find yourself feeling more energized and losing a few pounds by simply reducing your sugar intake and increasing vegetables and some fruit onto your plate.

BreakfastDr. Andrew Weil said he once met a Swiss pastry chef who said she had to double the amount of sugar she put in her recipes for Americans and said it is possible to unlearn that taste. Agreed! This author stopped adding sugar to coffee many years ago, and no longer likes it sweetened, prefers iced tea unsweetened, and prefers ice water over soda. Making a concerted effort to reduce sugar consumption in these small ways will make a markedly HUGE difference.

What are some other ways you can move to a healthier diet without feeling deprived?

  • Heavy whipping cream with a little vanilla and a teaspoon of powdered sugar make a wonderful whipped cream for pies. You can control the amount of sugar versus purchasing whipped cream. This also makes a wonderful frosting for cakes if you beat it to a stiffer consistency.
  • Dark chocolate versus milk chocolate. Darker chocolates contain more antioxidants and less sugar!
  • Bake your own goodies. You control the ingredient list and eliminate those unpronounceable ones that create inflammation in your body.  You can also decrease the amount of sugar that you add!  My daughter in law made ice cream using the amount of sugar that it called for and declared it too sweet! The recipe will do just fine reducing that amount of sugar next time.
  • Take smaller portions. A couple of bites of a dessert usually satisfy the taste buds and your smaller portion will be sufficient. Consume more of the whole vegetables and fruit that contain the beneficial fiber.

Dr. Andrew Weil stated, “If there’s one place we should concentrate on, it’s getting people to stop drinking sweetened liquids-including fruit juice, which is a concentrated sugar source. If you can eliminate these, that’s a big step” (Koontz, 2016).  He also recommends avoiding refined, processed, and manufactured food as much as possible.

Film Showing on December 10

Would you like to learn more about the impact of sugar in our diet?  We will be showing “That Sugar Film” in Mannerheim Central on Saturday, December 10 at noon. We will have some healthy food to enjoy this documentary with. If you haven’t seen it yet, it will be an eye opener!


Koontz, K. (2016).  Listening in with andrew weil.  Unity Magazine.  Retrieved from unitymagazine.org.

This is part of a monthly series produced by the Wellness Committee here at Finlandia University. For a full archive of Wellness Committee articles go to https://www.finlandia.edu/news/tag/wellness-committee/. This was produced by Assistant Professor of Nursing Suzanne Miron.

Tags: ,
FinnU will not enroll students for 2023-2024Learn More