HAWC hosts "Eating Clean for the Holidays" cooking demonstration

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Melanie Hutto
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
As the holidays quickly approach, many begin to worry about an expanding waistline or putting on a few extra pounds. However, that should not deter them from indulging in holiday goodies.

To help individuals get through the holidays' food festivities, the Health and Wellness Center at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, hosted an "Eating Clean for the Holidays" cooking demonstration, Nov. 18, 2015.

A professional chef and a meal specialist from a local cooking school spent the afternoon educating and demonstrating how to cut the extra calories out of traditional holiday meals.

"It's easier said than done," stated Chef Anthony LoGerfo. "You must be mindful of what you're eating and how much you consume."

During the demonstration, LoGerfo made a lentil bolognese and no bake blueberry bites. After each demonstration, the 43 patrons in attendance had the opportunity to sample a small portion of the food. 

According to LoGerfo, "It's not a matter of not eating the delicious meals the holidays bring, but rather taking smaller portions."

He encourages people to have more vegetables on their plates; and if there is a starch, having a sweet potato rather than a white potato because they are easier to digest and better for the body.

Additionally, a substitution, such as choosing low-fat dairy products or using whole grain over refined grains, can drastically reduce calorie intake and overall fat consumption.

"A rule of thumb to keep in mind not only over the holidays, but through the new year, is to buy food with five or less ingredients in it and fill the majority of your shopping cart with fresh produce," said Susan Haley, a dietician with the HAWC.  

While preparing a shopping list for a holiday menu, keep in mind that simply adding more vegetables to a plate or taking a smaller slice of pie can help reduce weight gain. 

"Food in moderation, not deprivation, is what we want people to walk away with after attending one of our classes," said Haley.

The "Eating Clean for the Holidays" cooking demonstration is just one of the many classes the HAWC provides that teaches how to improve overall health and lifestyle habits, as well as keep service members fit to fight. 

The classes include a Clean Eating Commissary Tour; Clean Eating Workshop; Better Body, Better Life; and Lifestyle support group.

For more information contact the HAWC at 813-828-4292 or visit www.macdillafb.bestofhealth.com and www.facebook.com/macdillhawc.