It’s that time of year, again.
Sleigh bells ring, are ‘ya listenin’?
In the sleigh, snow is glistenin’…
And I could go on and on and on…
But I’ll stop and share a few of my healthy holiday tips since Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner.
With eggnog on your left and gingerbread on your right, it can be tough to keep yourself in line during the holidays.
But, that’s what the holidays are all about.
Enjoying your life, your year, your happiness, your family and friends.
So, go ahead a sip on that eggnog, take a nibble of your gingerbread cookie, but be sure to keep your mind ‘aware’ of what you are consuming and check in with your stomach and your brain to ensure you’re not overdoin’ it on the ho, ho ho’s, if ya know what I mean.
So, what are some healthy holiday tips for this massive week of food n’ celebration kicking off with eats n’ treats on Christmas Eve, then good ol’ Christmas Day and who can forget the food celebrations on New Year’s Eve along with the comfort food of New Years Day.
Lighten Up the Foods You Enjoy
This can be anything from an appetizer to a dessert. Try Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, avocado instead of butter, cinnamon and nutmeg instead of cinnamon sugar and stevia in lieu of sugar. You can create delicious homemade holiday meals from lasagna to praline pie without the added fat, sugar and additives. Get creative and use fresh fruit zest, fresh herbs, fruit and vegetable purees and low-fat unsweetened dairy alternatives such as rice milk and almond milk.
No, not alcohol as we all know alcohol dehydrates us. And no, not soda or diet soda. Sip seltzer with a squeeze of fresh lime, a few pinches of freshly chopped mint or basil and a dash of cranberry juice. Top it off with a few ice cubes and you have a delicious mock-tail to sip throughout your evening.
Taste Each Bite, Enjoy Each Taste
Learn to enjoy your food. Yes, it is the holiday season, but there’s no need to ambush Grandma’s German Chocolate Cake or inhale Aunt Val’s stuffed mushrooms. Take a bite here and a bite there, if you enjoy it, great… if you don’t then place the food aside, sit with your thoughts and understand that your mind is telling your body and stomach that it’s not enjoying this nibble. So, move on. Take a sip of that good ol’ seltzer and pace yourself. Take a deep breath and enjoy your food, one bite at a time.
Add in the Good, Without Avoiding the Bad
Fill your plate with healthy fare such as vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains. Steer clear of the heavy casseroles and instead opt for some mashed sweet potatoes, rice pilaf, lean proteins such as fish, tofu or turkey, vegetables and salad. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto your meal along with a dash of vinegar, and a few slices of avocado for some heart-healthy fats to round out your meal.
Just because the day ahead is going to be filled with lots of food, don’t make the mistake of forgoing your morning meal to save room for the big event. You’ll simply end up ravenous by the time dinner is served and you’ll devour half the bread basket, cookies n’ biscuits before you can even reach for the healthy fare.
Get Up and Move
Yes, you heard me. Pop the pie in the oven and go for a walk before your company arrives. Offer to help wash the dishes after the meal or help the host prepare the food and table settings. This will keep you busy and engaged in the action without lulling around filling up your belly with appetizers.
Enjoy Your Company and Your Gathering
Remember, this is a holiday. A celebration. A time to gather with loved ones n’ family n’ friends to share fun memories and stories and good times over delicious food. Be sure to make yourself feel ‘loved’ and give ‘love’ to those who are close to you. Isn’t it amazing how great it feels to give? It brings about a euphoric feeling…I just love it. Whether it’s giving my teddy-bear of a daddy a hug or watching him open his Christmas gift from me, I just love giving. Focus on the Give this year and Give a part of you…. I assure you, you’ll be amazed at how good it makes you feel about yourself… And with those ‘feel good’ vibes, you’ll be all smiles and satisfied with your life and your surroundings without focusing on food.
How do you lighten up your holiday eats?
I’m starting my cookie baking tomorrow… Still debating which recipe to start with…
It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year…
Fa-la-la La-la-la la.
And here’s a fun lil’ site for you to play with…I’ve just discovered Kitchen PC which let’s you find recipes, plan meals and add recipes to your very own calendar, pantry and cookbook.
Be sure to check out my latest recipe creations for Pizza Packets, which are delicious gluten-free pizza seasoning packets that can be used in any dish from omelets to salad dressings to lasagna.
Share your thoughts
Great advice. I think the key is being aware of what you are consuming and you’ve given plenty of practical tips. I think you’ve spared my hips a few extra pounds this Christmas. Thank you!
Thank you so much, Hester; great to hear from you! Happy Holidays and thank you for your comment!
I like to eat something before heading to holiday parties when the food will consist of appetizers and sweets. I’ll eat some fruit or yogurt or even a small salad, making sure to arrive with a satisfied stomach, and with some nutrients in my system.
I agree, Lisa; I love having a fruit parfait and salad prior to holiday gatherings…it’s a great way to keep you satisfied before you arrive! Happy Holidays and thank you for your comment. Have a great day. Best, Amie