TC327: Making Food Your Friend for the Holidays

TC327: Making Food Your Friend for the Holidays

This week host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost welcome Catie Fitzgerald to discuss eating guilt-free for the holidays, how foods can help you feel calmer, have more energy, and even boost your immune system. Catie will share ways to modify recipes so they are not only have fewer calories, and are better for you, but are also more flavorful.

Catie is a former professional figure skater and ballet dancer, and has had a passion for personal health and fitness from an early age. At age 16 Catie’s mother lost a battle with cancer, which made her want to learn more about what we can do to help our bodies to be healthy and prevent disease. Catie will be completing a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition in the next few months.


What is an optimal diet?

An optimal diet really starts with whole foods; foods that come in the package that mother nature provided. It also focuses on organic foods because they are exposed to fewer synthetic pesticides and herbicides, which reduces the overall toxin burden on our body. These toxins are known to cause cancer and other diseases in increase aging.


Organic foods are expensive. What if I can’t afford to buy all organic?

If buying all organic foods is not within your budget, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends that you at least buy “The Dirty Dozen“, which have the highest amount of residual pesticides and herbicides present on their surface or within their flesh. Strawberries and apples are at the top of the list. See the Resources section below for links to additional articles.

Eat Seasonally

Another tip is to eat seasonally. Seasonal foods are those foods that are at their peak during that time of year. Here’s a link to a Seasonal Food Guide for the United States. Just select your state and choose the month or produce to see when it is is season. There’s also a Seasonality Table from the BBC that includes fruit, vegetables, meat and game, and fish and seafood. We’ve also included another link in the Resources section.


Eat Locally Grown Food

“Locally grown” refers to food and other agricultural products (for example, wool or flowers) that are grown or produced, processed and then sold within a certain area. However, there’s no standard definition of “local,” and so businesses touting their “locally grown products” may be using very different definitions. A distance of 100 miles is generally accepted as “local”, but some stores will say it’s local if it’s grown in the same state.

The advantage of eating locally is that the food did not have to be packed and trucked long distances before it gets to you, which diminishes its nutritional value. Also supporting local growers has an impact on the economy of the area in which you live. Makes sense to me.


Four Ways Food Can Be Your Friend

  1. Foods can help keep you immune system strong – eat foods high in vitamin A, C, and E. Zinc is useful to help prevent colds.
  2. Food can help provide the additional energy required to get through the long busy days that the holidays evoke – eat foods rich in B vitamins, Magnesium and Chromium to give your cells the raw materials to convert the food you consume to the energy you need. Shellfish, beef liver, bell peppers, spinach, parsley, beets, turnip greens, broccoli and beets are good sources of B vitamins.
  3. Food can give your mood a boost – Holy Basil! Holy basil is an example of an herb that can enhance your mood and help you fight off disease. B vitamins and Omega 3 fatty acids are important nutrients that help brain function and can be used to relieve depression. Flaxseed oil, fish oil, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans and spinach are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
  4. Food can trigger a sense of nostalgia and are often related to fond memories of childhood

Make your own yogurt

Eating yogurt is good for your digestion. It’s easy to make with devices like the Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker

Quick Reference Guide

Catie has provided a Quick Reference Guide that you can download by clicking the link below.

Quick Reference Guide: Food – Your Friend at the Holidays



What’s in Season Now

The Dirty Dozen (foods to buy organic) – If your budget won’t cover purchasing all organic produce then invest your organic budget on these foods which have the highest amount of residual pesticides and herbicides present on their surface or within their flesh

The Clean Fifteen (foods “safe” to buy non-organic) – These foods in their conventional forms (i.e. non-organic) have the lowest pesticide and herbicide residue so if budget is an object you can purchase the conventional grown varieties

Resource to find foods rich in a specific nutrient:

The Benefits of Eating Seasonally 

Saving Money on Your Food Bill

6 Ways Food Affects Your Mood –

Catie Fitzgerald Contact Info


Phone: 702-605-0218



1 Comment

  1. Amy Frost
    Nov 8, 2016

    Such great work by everyone involved. Thank YOU!!!

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