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Healthy Holiday Tips

It’s easy to let your healthy habits lapse during this time of year.

We talked to Laurie Mischley, ND, PhD, MPH at Bastyr University Research Institute to get a few tips to help you maintain your health over the holidays while still enjoying the festivities!

1. Go for quality, not quantity.

Make up the majority of your plate with foods that have a high nutrient content. “Go for lots of nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices,” says Dr. Mischley. When you do indulge, go for foods that you really enjoy and are special to the holidays, rather than filling up on items that you can have any time of the year.

2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit.

When you crave something sweet, fruit is a good option. “Even though fruit has a high sugar content, our data suggests it may be associated with improved outcomes for PD,” explains Dr. Mischley. (To learn more about Dr. Mischley’s Parkinson’s research, read our interview with her, “Searching for Ways to Slow PD.”

3. Go for a brisk walk before a big meal.

Exercise is beneficial for both physical and psychological health. That’s why it’s important to find ways to stay active over the holidays. “Go for a walk before you eat,” says Dr. Mischley. Grab a partner, get outside, and burn some calories before you sit down to a big meal.

4. Don’t obsess.

“Don’t be obsessive about sticking with a diet,” says Dr. Mischley. “It’s more important to relax and share a holiday meal with loved ones.” Now that’s a health tip we can get behind!

Laurie Mischley, ND, PhD, MPH is an associate clinical investigator at Bastyr University Research Institute in Seattle, Washington and a medical advisory board member at BGF. Her clinical specialties include Neurology, Nutritional Medicine and Prevention. To learn more about Dr. Mischley’s work, visit

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