Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

November 18, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to follow these tips for a healthier holiday season:

  • Get moving! Give yourself a present with physical activity. Taking a 10 to 15-minute walk gets you moving and helps with stress. Keep a fleece jacket and comfortable walking shoes in your car or at work; this will let you be spontaneous and fit a walk into your day. Tell your co-workers, family, and friends to join you in a walk.
  • Holiday season can be hectic – have regular meals: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. Children and adults need balanced meals during the day, even when you're on the go.
  • Drink water; it's the best thirst quencher. Having a pitcher of water readily available is a sure way to help avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and sodas that can pack on empty calories.
  • Cut down on sweets! Keep healthier options such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds on-hand as your go-to-snacks rather than high fat, sugary foods such as chips, cookies, or candy. Buy sliced, ready-to-eat fresh fruit and vegetables (or prepare them yourself). Keep healthy foods where you can see them in the refrigerator and pantry.
  • Bake healthier! Replace ¼ cup of the butter, oil or margarine in your favorite cookie and muffin recipes with the same amount of unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin puree, or fig puree.
  • Sleep tight: Loss of sleep, which can happen any time of the year; however, common during the holidays, may cause weight gain. Sleeping less than usual may increase your hunger hormone levels, ultimately leading to higher calorie intake. Sweet dreams!
  • Eating out? Check the menu ahead of time: know the healthier choices that are available before you get to the restaurant.
  • When eating out, stick to healthier choices. Try to be the first to order – you'll set a good example!
  • Thinking about skipping a meal to splurge at the party? Think again! It may make you overeat or choose high calorie foods. Instead, plan to have a high protein snack before the party - try a handful of sunflower seeds or pistachios with a cup of low-fat yogurt.
  • BYOD - Bring Your Own Dish to the party! Bringing a healthier choice will ensure there is at least one dish that you won't have to resist!
  • Check the CDC's Food Safety Tips for the Holidays - 'tis the season to be jolly...and free of foodborne illness!

"Start a healthy trend! These tips are good to follow not only during the holiday season, but year-round as well," said Dr. Ruppert. For more information, visit Visit for the Holiday Healthy Eating Guide from the American Heart Association.