40% of Canadians Will Abandon Their Diet Completely This Holiday Season Print

How to manage 3 common dietary restrictions (calories, lactose & gluten)

A recent survey* by Udi’s Healthy Foods identified that 40% of Canadians will abandon their diets this holiday season. The holidays are a particularly difficult time of year to be mindful of calories if you are trying to lose weight. They can also be challenging when it comes to managing two of the most common food sensitivities – lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity. The good news is that with a little planning you can still enjoy the holidays and keep your nutrition on track too.

What are the top 5 ways Canadians plan to handle dietary challenges this holiday season?

  1. Abandon their diet completely – 40 per cent
  2. Eat as little as possible at holiday events – 36 per cent
  3. Eat before going to holiday events – 8 per cent
  4. Bring their own food – 5 per cent
  5. Avoid holiday events if their dietary needs won’t be met – 3 per cent

How can Canadians watching calories stay on track for their weight loss diet over the holidays?

  • Remember it is what you do between New Year’s and Christmas that counts (not between Christmas and New Year’s).
  • Consider keeping a food journal since research shows this is a very good tool for accountability and focus.
  • Choose not to give up anything but be really clear about what is the best of the best this holiday season.  Think about which events will have your favorite foods and choose to indulge on what is most unique and enjoyable. Embrace a philosophy of SOME rather than all or none.
  • Also be mindful of extra empty calories coming from beverages and mindless eating if you stand too close to the holiday appetizer tables.
  • Do your best to squeeze in more fitness and outdoor activity.

If you are entertaining how can you manage attendees with food restrictions?

  • It is courteous to ask in advance if attendees have any food restrictions. Realize that you don’t need to cater the whole meal to individual restrictions or preferences but it is sure appreciated if at least some parts of the meal are accessible to everyone you are hosting.
  • For healthy holiday recipe ideas check out https://www.healthstandnutrition.com/resources/healthy-recipes-menus/

How can Canadians manage a lactose intolerance over the holidays?

  • Lactose is the carbohydrate found in dairy foods such as milk and yogurt.  A lactose intolerance is due to a lack of enough of the lactase enzyme and can result gas, bloating, cramping, nausea and diarrhea.
  • Reduce the amount of lactose containing foods you consume (some individuals can tolerate small amounts of milk or yogurt and cheese which contain less lactose).
  • Carry over-the-counter lactase enzyme supplements (pills or drops) for holiday meals and events where lactose containing foods are hard to avoid.
  • Try lactose hydrolyzed milk such as Lactaid or Lacteeze or soy milk, rice milk or almond milk for holiday recipes requiring milk.

How can Canadians manage a gluten sensitivity over the holidays?

  • Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and cross-contaminated oats and those that have celiac disease must follow a gluten-free diet for life to avoid damaging their gut.  There are also individuals that have non-celiac gluten sensitivity and feel better avoiding gluten.
  • Be aware of top 10 hidden sources of gluten in holiday foods:
  1. Packaged gravy mix
  2. Packaged stuffing
  3. Cranberry sauce
  4. Pie filling
  5. Pre-mixed spices and herbs
  6. Broth / soup stock
  7. Deli meat
  8. Candied nuts
  9. Eggnog and cocktail mixes
  10. Candy and candy canes
  • Consider bringing a gluten-free appetizer to holiday parties.  Make a seasonal colored gluten-free flatbread pizza with fresh tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and basil.  Or brush the gluten-free pizza crust with pesto and top with spinach, broccoli, feta and cherry tomatoes. For more gluten-free recipe ideas check out www.UdisGlutenFree.com.
  • Try this delicious recipe from my colleague Stephanie Clairmont:

Apple Cranberry Brie Crostini

Recipe created by Stephanie Clairmont, MHSc, RD at The Clairmont Digestive Clinic courtesy of Udi’s Gluten Free.

Udi_s_Gluten-Free_Apple__Cranberry_and_Bri_Crostini_201309231635292Udi’s has the solution for gluten-free hors d’oeuvres with this tasty, easy and quick crostini. Crispy with warm, sweet apple and cranberry topping – it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

 

Ingredients

1 pack 2 Udi’s Gluten Free-French Baguettes  
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, halved and cut into ¼-inch slices  
1 wedge (150-200 ml) brie cheese, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces  
1 cup (370 ml) cooked or canned cranberries, drained  
¼ cup (50 ml) roughly chopped pecans  
  raw honey to drizzle  

Instructions

Prepare Udi’s French Baguettes according to package directions (do not over brown) and set aside to cool slightly. Turn baguettes on their side and gently slice with a serrated knife (be careful not to squish the bread) into 1-cm thick rounds and place on a baking sheet. Preheat an oven broiler to low. Place the baking sheet under the broiler to lightly toast the baguette rounds, about 1 minute. Remove from the oven and turn the rounds over. Top each with a slice of apple and a piece of brie. Return to the broiler for 1 minute, until the cheese just begins to melt. Top with a spoonful of the cranberries, a sprinkling of pecans, and drizzle with a little honey. Broil a further minute. Serve immediately.

Makes 16 to 18 crostini


*Survey Methodology
From July 19th to July 22nd 2013 an online survey was conducted among 2,530 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 1.95%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

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"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
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Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

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I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
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