4 Tips to Conquer Holiday Hunger

By Gina Buscaglia, RD

About Gina Buscaglia, RD

Gina was born and raised in Stockton California and is now a Clinical Registered Dietitian at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences from CSU Chico and her Dietetic Internship at CSU Sacramento. She thoroughly enjoys helping those gain back their strength and get to good health through nutrition.

And just like that — the holidays are here! We spoke with local dietitian, Gina Buscaglia, RD., and decided to deliver you four tips to help you get through the season of sugar!

  1. Don’t arrive hungry. It is important not to skip meals, especially when you’re headed to a party. Thinking that you are not going to eat much prior to “save room” can lead to overeating once you have arrived. Instead, load up on nutritious, fiber-rich food items prior to arriving. Fiber keeps you feeling full longer and on the plus side, high fiber foods can be a great low-calorie options such as carrots, beets, broccoli, or brussel sprouts to name a few.
  2. Get up and move. Stick to your routine work outs and also try to incorporate more family fun around being active. Often the focus can be on all of the food and desserts. But what about incorporating a family walk, a dance party in the living room or even a clean game of touch football after dinner. Being active will not only help make up for eating a little more but it also can be a great way to relieve some holiday stress.

  3. Outsmart the appetizers and buffet table. Grab a smaller plate to keep you from grabbing more than you need. Pile on the fruits and vegetables aiming to cover at least half your plate and try to avoid those baked with lots of sugar or heavy sauces. Look at all the food options prior to scooping up and see what it is that you may really want, versus trying to fit it all. Take a break and give your mind some time to register whether you are full or not before going for seconds. Ten minutes or more is all it takes.

  4. Bring a healthy dish. Provide yourself and others with a nutritious option. Try to choose leaner meat options such as chicken, turkey or fish, your family and heart will thank you. Ditch the saturated fats in butter, lard and shortening. Instead make a simple veggie dish baked with olive oil or add a fresh salad. Need a little inspiration, check out my favorite go-to salad below incorporating some seasonal goodies.

Pomegranate Walnut and Beet Salad

Servings: 6

• 6 cups spring salad mix
• 1 cup pomegranate seeds
• ½ cup walnuts, chopped
• ¼ red onion, sliced thin
• ½ cup roasted beets, sliced thin
• ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
• ½ cup light balsamic dressing
• salt & pepper, to taste


1. In a large bowl, add spring salad mix, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, red onions, beets, salt, pepper, and balsamic dressing. Toss ingredients until evenly mixed.
2. Add crumbled goat cheese on top and ENJOY! Salads are not an exact science; add or subtract the amount of toppings asyou see fit. Feel free to swap out anything for another you prefer, for example choosing a different type of lettuce or cheese, etc.

Let’s enjoy the holidays with friends and family, making healthy choices together.

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