Quick Tips for the Holidays: Your Personal Survival Guide!

Holidays don’t have to mean that healthy eating goes out the window, but they also don’t mean you have to completely stop enjoying the occasional treat that the season brings! Below are a few tips about how to make this next month work for you.

1. Eat slowly and mindfully.

It takes 20 minutes for our brain to get the message that we are full, which is hard when you are faced with a banquet of favorite foods. Remind yourself to slow down, enjoy and savor the flavor of the food whether sweet or savory. When we take time with our food, we tend to eat less, and we set out bodies up for a more optimal metabolism. So, enjoy Gramma’s pecan pie. When you do so mindfully, you might not need more than one slice.

2. Eat balanced meals throughout the day.

It can be easy to “be good” all day in preparation for a big feast or holiday party. This often means not eating very much and consequently gorging oneself on everything set before you, including the napkins. Be sure to eat balanced meals throughout the day that include a source of fiber, fat, and protein so you don’t wind up starving by the time that holiday soiree comes.

3. Try adding a vegetarian protein dish to your menu

Or bring one to your next Holiday event. Plant protein like beans and lentils not only offer a host of beneficial nutrients they contain a lot of fiber which helps you to fill up and reduce the likelihood overeating. Skip the processed Tofurkey and try out a bean dip, a lentil soup or a spicy chili all of which provide heart health components to boot!

4. Get creative with sweets!

Your month does not have to be about candy canes and endless sweet pies. Molasses, dates, fresh fruit, dried fruit, roasted nuts, coconut can all serve as sweet snacks and dessert ingredients that are a step up from your basic sugar cookie. Roast nuts in an oven on 250 degrees for 20 minutes, stuff into dates and roll dates in coconut. Yum!

5. Up your veggies.

It may sound like old news, but many holiday feasts can be a big carb fest. Be sure to offer or bring fresh vegetables to have as an appetizer. The vitamins and minerals they provide can help replenish the nutrients that sugary and refined foods often deplete and give you the energy to have that uncomfortable conversation with kooky Uncle Harry.

6. Make drinks more festive and…add a little flair!

Throw pomegranate juice or seeds into Seltzer. Make a Hot Chocolate with high-quality cocoa, a milk alternative (almond milk is great), a touch of vanilla, and a sprinkle of maple syrup. If you like add a dash of cinnamon or cayenne or a little orange zest for an extra kick! Spicy Chai Tea is always a winner especially for those of you who like a kick in your drink. It’s hard to go for seconds when your mouth is on fire.

7. Keep up the exercise during this time.

Even a brisk walk or two can be helpful for boosting metabolism and increasing energy, making the need for those quick go-to carb dishes we often turn to when we’re sluggish, a little less necessary.

8. Take time for yourself.

We can get pretty busy during this time which causes a lot of stress which can lead to less supportive dietary choices. Be sure to have a timeout or two over the next month where you can relax, slow down and not be rushing. You’ll be amazed at the results.

9. Make a goal for yourself this season

Before you head out to the next holiday bash ask yourself: What do you want from this holiday? How do you want to feel? How many glasses eggnog do you want to keep to? How can you have a healthy and joyful next month? Make it a lovely Holiday that you can enjoy!   Like funny videos?  For 3 simple  Holiday tips in 4 minutes – see this video