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BOLDER LIVING Sherri Flynt, who oversees Florida Hospital’s Center for Nutritional Excellence, says starting with small tweaks to your diet can eventually lead to major changes in your health.


Simple Strategies for Eating Better During the Holidays. BY JACKIE CARLIN


here’s no denying it — as a nation, we’re eating ourselves to death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of us are obese. And obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers are some of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Many of us know why we need to make changes. But the how can be tricky. What works for some people may not work for you, and changing your lifestyle can feel overwhelming. Here’s the good news — you don’t need to do it all at once. “People get so frustrated with the thought

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that they have to change everything they’re doing in order to make a difference in their health,” says Florida Hospital registered dietitian Sherri Flynt, who also oversees the Center for Nutritional Excellence. “The bottom line is, one small change will have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.” Flynt says the goal is to start with something easy — such as drinking one less soda and eating one more fruit and vegetable per day — and build from there. Over time, she says, you’ll start seeing those small tweaks leading to big changes. The holidays can be a minefield for anyone trying to eat healthier. Flynt says the keys to success are planning and mindfulness.

“Portion size is probably one of the biggest challenges we face over the holidays,” she says. “It’s OK to have some treats — just use smaller portions. Instead of a fourth of the pie, maybe just have an eighth of the pie.” Flynt notes that many people tend to skip eating during the day if they’re attending a party that evening — and that’s a mistake. She suggests filling up on fruits and veggies throughout the day to help you stay full and on track with your goals. Creativity in the kitchen can also be an asset, both during the holidays and all year long. “Combining different foods can lead to a very tasty holiday dish,” says Flynt. “For example, our chef has developed a really tasty recipe that uses fennel to season mashed potatoes, and there is very little fat added.” (See recipe on facing page.) Also, she suggests, look at your favorite recipes and find ways to make healthy swaps. Instead of using whole milk in your mashed potatoes, for example, use one percent milk. Roasting vegetables instead of steaming them is another way to dramatically enhance flavor without adding calories or eliminating benefits. Roasting potatoes, broccoli or Brussels sprouts brings out a natural sweetness in the vegetables that can make them more palatable for even the pickiest eaters in your family. Teaching common-sense and real-world lessons such as these will be one of Flynt’s missions at the under-construction Center for Health & Wellbeing in Winter Park, Florida. Slated to open in late 2018, both Florida Hospital and Growing Bolder will partner with the Winter Park Health Foundation to bring exciting educational opportunities to the community through the center. “When we open our doors next year, we’ll launch several programs designed to raise awareness about how day-to-day eating habits impact the overall wellbeing of our bodies and minds,” says Diana Silvey, WPHF vice president of programming for the Center for Health & Wellbeing. “Through our nutrition theater, we’ll offer cooking demonstrations, classes, educational programs with dietitians and much more,” she adds. “There’ll be many fun opportunities for people of all ages to learn to cook and eat healthy.” Flynt says her team of dietitians will also NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

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