The holidays are here, and so is the beginning of parties surrounded by family, friends and good food. As we approach holiday meals and festivities, it can be easy to overindulge without even realizing it. Excess calories from constant overindulgences throughout the season can find a way to add on pounds.
Here are a few healthy holiday survival tips to take with you this season:
1. Maintain Healthy Habits
Be realistic about your weight and instead of aiming to lose weight, aim to maintain your current weight during the holiday season.
2. Plan for Daily Movement Throughout Holiday Stress
Here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise:
- Take a brief walk after your meals whether it be in the office or for a family stroll after a holiday dinner.
- Toss the football outside for some fresh air.
- Clean up the yard for company by raking leaves and doing yard work.
- Need inspiration to get moving? Here are 24 ways you can exercise without the gym.
3. Plan Ahead
Before leaving for a party, make a plan. Eat a light snack to curb your appetite to resist overindulging on tempting finger foods.
4. Put Veggies Front and Center
Often times, the classic American meal centers the plate with meat and potatoes first, adding vegetables to the side. Reverse this line of thinking and center your plate around as much seasonal fresh vegetables first, adding the “side” of lean meat (if that is part of your food choice) after.
5. Be Mindful
It is easy to forget how many appetizers and finger foods we pick up before the main meal. Be aware of how much you are taking in throughout the day and be mindful of your actions and food choices.
6. Turn the Focus from Food to Family and Friends
Instead of focusing the day around the meal and food, focus on your conversation and make close connection with special people in your life you get to spend time with!
7. Celebrate Seasonal Veggies
- Turn over the stuffing and sweet potato casserole: choose naturally sweet Roasted Apple, Parsnips, and Sweet Potatoes, or a Mixed Roasted Veggie arrangement of Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Eggplant.
- Turn over butter and cheese heavy mashed potatoes for Mashed Purple Potatoes with Rosemary, Garlic, and Lime.
- Turn over the creamy green bean casserole: choose fresh green beans, topped with slivered toasted almonds, or try a new irresistible veggie of Caramelized Maple Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms.
- Bring a new veggie to the table: Choose Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with Mushroom and Sage or easy Roasted Butternut Squash.
8. Enjoy Dessert — But Do It Right
- Turn over the pumpkin pie for a fresh Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.
- Turn over the Cherry Pie for a Cherry Cinnamon Apple Bake.
- Turn over the chocolate trifle for Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies.
- Turn over the Apple Pie for Apple Coconut Crumble.
9. Curb the Cocktails
Be mindful of wine, cocktails, and the popular eggnog. Treat beverages the same as food in terms of how they can add on calories. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and increase overeating tendencies while non-alcoholic juices and mixers can be high in sugar and calories.
- 1.) Turn over the Egg Nog: Re-create it with 3 bananas (the darker in color the more naturally sweet flavor), 1-1/2 cup almond milk, cinnamon, dash of ginger and cloves. Blend all ingredients and puree until smooth.
2.) Turn over the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte for your own Pumpkin Spice Latte that is both caffeine and dairy-free.
3.) Turn over spiked apple cider for your own Pumpkin Apple Smoothie.
4.) Turn over the orange-ade brunch mixers by making a refreshing Orange Immune Boost Juice.
Remember this ode to the holidays: Enjoy the holidays, plan a time for activity, incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals, and savor the choices and foods you choose!