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  • October 24, 2023 3 min read

    The holiday season is upon us, and while it's a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness, it also brings along a familiar worry - the holiday weight. The endless buffets, sweet temptations, and hearty meals can quickly turn our fitness goals upside down. Today we're here to arm you with some insightful tips to navigate through this festive maze without tipping the scales.

    We sat down and had a chat with McKenna Wheeler, the lead health coach at Dr. Fontaine's office, and a seasoned dietitian and a nutrition wizard whose insights have empowered many to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle, no matter the season.

    Today, she's here to share her expertise on how we can all enjoy the holiday festivities, savor the delicious spreads, and still keep our nutrition on point.



    Interview Highlights

    • Neuropeptide Y, a simulator of appetite, is increased when eating lots of sugar and experiencing repeated high stress. Eating protein helps decrease Neuropeptide Y.
    • High fiber blunts the blood sugar response. High blood sugar leads to more insulin, the fat storage hormone, and insulin can increase feelings of hunger.
    • Fiber with a meal can make a gel like substance in the stomach that slows down the rate of sugar absorption and help you feel fuller.
    • Improves digestion -lots of pie and white flour treats =constipation. Fiber keeps things moving along.
    • Greens help with reducing blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, improves skin health, and the polyphenols and antioxidants helps with heart health.
    • Constant snacking and treats are in the house, but feeling full can help you say no. When I am starving it is easy to reach for the desserts, I would normally be able to turn down.
    • Thanksgiving is one of the healthiest meals because of all the different food and nutrients available. However, starving yourself all day leads to overeating later. It is better to have a good breakfast, lunch, green drink snack, so you can eat a nice meal without feeling overly stuffed.
    • Remember that there will be leftovers. It is common to have FOMO -fear of missing out on food- so remember that there is always tomorrow to try a leftover.
    • Experts recommend we eat 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables per day, however the Wahls protocol recommends 9cups -3 cups leafy greens, 3 cups of sulfur rich vegetables, and 3 cups of color rich fruits and veggies.
    • The darker the vegetable the more nutrients it has.
    • Sulfur rich veggies are the allium vegetables: garlic, leeks, onions, scallions and the cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, kale, and radishes.
    Gut and Immune health:
    • Fiber is digested by the gut microbiome and digesting fiber helps your gut to produce butyrate a healthy fat energy source that helps you feel satiated and improves cognitive function.
    • Greens for immune health!!! Winter is flu season mostly because people shock their systems with Halloween candy, thanksgiving pies, fudge, Christmas desserts, holiday treats, New Years alcohol -all these foods increase inflammation and decrease immunity. Greens boost immunity and decrease inflammation.
    Liver Detox Pathways:
    • Veggies highest in glutathione for the phase 1 detoxification of the liver: Spinach, avocados, asparagus
    • Veggies that help the phase 2 pathway are your sulfur rich veggies.
    • Beets for nitric oxide help heart health and dilate blood vessels reducing high blood pressure and improving blood flow.