Fall is here, and it’s my favorite time of year. The air gets crisper, you get to dress in layers, and your hair stays frizz-free and under control (or so you hope). But there’s another reason why I treasure the fall: pomegranates. Dark, sweet, tart, and let’s face it—sensual. Which is why I’m so excited about my next venture: my partnership with POM.
I just love it when the stars align and I can work with companies that I really feel in sync with. For years I have been promoting the benefits of POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice to my patients, so I was thrilled to the gills to have the opportunity to be their spokesperson for their satellite media tour. A match made in heaven!
One of the primary themes of the POM tour is eating healthfully through the holidays. And while I’m all about making healthful choices, I’m also about having fun and enjoying your favorite foods. Most of my clients like to try to lose weight during the holidays, but I try to make their goals more realistic and have them set their sights on weight maintenance. The path to food enlightenment starts with one bite at a time. Living gorgeously isn’t only about perfection; it’s about progress, too. It’s so easy to feel guilty about what we’ve eaten or should have eaten, but if we spend our time wishing and hoping and yearning, we can’t be present in the moment of now.
How can you strategize ahead of time to get yourself both mentally and physically in shape for the holidays?
Figure out how hungry you are before you start eating. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 where a 1 is ravenous and a 10 is overstuffed. Ideally you should start eating at a 2 or 3 and stop somewhere near 5, when you are satisfied. Don’t let yourself get too hungry or too full. Somewhere in between is just right.
Maintain your regular meal and snack schedule throughout the day so that your blood sugar remains stable and you can ward off temptation. Don’t have time to make a snack? Grab an 8 ounce glass of POM on the rocks. Since POM is the only juice that won’t raise your blood sugar, you can have your bevvie and drink it, too.
Always start your meal with a protein: Lamb, chicken, fish, turkey, ostrich, buffalo, venison, Rock Cornish hen, rabbit, eggs, and steak are all excellent choices. Protein is the only nutrient that turns off your body’s hunger mechanism and will therefore prevent you from overeating. For an extra burst of flavor with an antioxidant punch, sprinkle pomegranate arils over your proteins. They’re not only packed with flavor, but their gorgeous color is easy on the eyes.
Make sure that you get some fat in your meal as well. Fat will slow down the absorption of foods in your stomach, making you feel fuller longer and turning off your hunger signals, so that ultimately you will end up eating less. Also, slowing down your digestion will also slow down your absorption of any alcohol you’ve consumed too quickly, keeping you relaxed enough to enjoy yourself, yet respectable enough in the morning. The healthiest fat you can find is olive oil. Feel free to also enjoy avocados, olives, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, tahini dressing, or any other nut or seed combo to get a dose of healthy fats as well.
Lastly, be mindful of your booze intake. Punch up your cocktail with antioxidants by using pomegranate juice as the base to your mixed drinks. And be sure to alternate alcoholic drinks with virgin versions—lest you be the belle of the bombed, not the belle of the ball!
For more healthy recipes, visit POM Recipes. And for cold comfort, head to the produce section in your grocery store for POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice and fresh pomegranates, which are perfectly in season through January.
Wish me luck as I embark upon this exciting, juicy adventure!
Esther is a featured blogger for POM Wonderful as part of our Fresh Pomegranate season launch