Have A Happy Healthy Holiday!
Staying healthy around the holidays sounds impossible, but I promise its not as difficult as it seems! Paying attention to your choices and staying accountable will help you stick to your goals.
Top 10 Healthy Holiday Tips
1.Set realistic goals:
Just maintaining your weight (and not gaining) can be win during this treat-filled, less active time. When we set goals that are not realistic, we often feel discouraged and defeated. This is a journey and a lifelong commitment, there is no rush. Allow yourself to have some of your favorite holiday fare, because it is unrealistic to expect yourself to stay away from all temptation.
2. Stay accountable & mindful:
Track what you eat and drink (good, bad, and ugly) a few times per week (or more) using an app or the old fashioned way. Make sure not to let this habit die! You can never get too comfortable because it is easy to fall back into old behaviors. Remember, it is how you bounce back that matters.
3. Move more:
Make sure you do some sort of activity. Whatever you can do is beneficial. Instead of saying you have to exercise for an hour, try 15-20 minutes and you will probably go even longer. Walk extra around large department stores and malls or do some extra cleaning around the house. It all adds up. Plus, it should force you to drink more water!
4. Avoid going to dinners and parties on an empty stomach:
Going to a holiday party starving will not end in anything good! Have normal, balanced meals throughout the day, and do not “save” your calories so that you can go crazy and eat them all at once. You will most definitely overindulge and go over your calorie goal, not to mention have a belly ache.
5. Bring your own healthy appetizer to parties:
Don’t rely on other party attendees to supply the healthy choices, bring your own! Bring a veggie and dip or hummus platter, chicken kabobs, lettuce wraps, tomato/mozzarella salad, deviled eggs, zucchini/eggplant dishes, the list goes on… This will keep you away from the chips and other empty calorie, high carb choices. Keep reading on to get some delicious recipes!
6. Be wary of drinks:
They have more calories than you think. Pick your poison, and consider if it’s really worth the extra calories. A drink is a drink is a drink…
7. Stay hydrated:
Water intake tends to be neglected during the colder months since we feel less thirsty. You need to keep your water bottle with you at all times. Try adding fruit or get an infuser bottle to make it more interesting. The latest recommendation are the True Lime drink mixes- they have a lot of great flavors. Also remember, when we are dehydrated we may think we are really hungry and go for food instead of water.
8. Have a support person:
Have that go-to support person to slap your hand away from the chips and who isn’t afraid to say “don’t do it!” Someone to text you when you need it most, to be a great influence when you are out to eat, (to also share with and one who says no when you ask if you want dessert) and someone to trade healthy recipes with.
9. Dust yourself off after a “bad” few days of eating:
It is how you bounce back that is key. One or two days being “off” isn’t going to completely sabotage all your hard work and effort. We are human, which means we are not perfect. So, dust yourself off, move on, and tomorrow is a new day. Just do not allow the “funk” to linger- then it will be extra hard to dig yourself out.
10. (last but not least) Visit your Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist!
This will help you stay focused, stay accountable, keep motivated, and keep you on track. Not to mention you can get some great ideas for meals/snacks, a new eating plan that is tailored to you, and some nice variety. When we are bored of what we are eating, we fall off.
As always, you can only try your best 🙂
To help you make good choices this holiday season, here are some healthy and delicious recipes that won’t set you behind! Offer to bring one wherever you’re going, and I’m sure there will be other party members who will thank you for it.
Filled with healthy fats from olive oil and walnuts, fiber from the vegetables, and protein from cheese, this cheesy brown rice veggie gratin is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!
Nothing says winter holidays like roasted root veggies such as carrots, parsnips, and turnips. If your guests aren’t a huge fan, you can easily swap in different vegetables, too. Pesto made from walnuts and basil is heart-healthy and gives it a nice twist from traditional, plain vegetables.
Roasting your turkey will give it crisp and flavorful skin, while keeping the meat super moist. The apples and onions infuse such great flavor!
Nothing warms you up on a cold winter day like beet soup! Beets are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They detoxify, fight cancer cells, and also prevent inflammation. Plus, they make a beautiful colored soup!
Using spaghetti squash rather than potatoes lightens up traditional latkes by cutting carbs practically in half. They taste almost exactly the same, too!
Can’t forget about dessert! This clean apple crisp uses very little added sweetener, but will taste like the real deal.
You can’t come empty handed to a cookie exchange, and I can guarantee people will be fighting over these! When I made these, no one could tell that they weren’t made with refined sugar and flour. Made with chickpea flour, they have 3 grams of protein each and much less carbs than regular cookies.
Some additional dessert ideas:
Fruit menorah: Blueberries, bananas, kiwi, and strawberries
Dark chocolate bark with pistachios and pomegranate seeds
Dark chocolate covered strawberries with pretzel antlers and reindeer faces
Grape/strawberry/banana santa hats
Most importantly, have a healthy and happy holiday and new year!