The period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day should be considered one of the hardest few weeks to stay on track with a healthy eating lifestyle. There is just so much temptation from sweets, treats, drinks and just way to much food in general.
But you don’t have to navigate this timeframe, unprepared. I have some tips to help you get to January 2nd without an extra 5-10 pounds! In the past, these tips have helped me stay on track between now and the end of the year. I’ve been able to maintain my weight, keep up my energy levels and feel good enough to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the holidays!
6 ways to eat healthy during the holidays!
- Make sure you eat a healthy meal before you go to any holiday function. You’ll run into all kinds of tempting but unhealthy foods. Just eat a small meal that is full of healthy fat, fiber and protein. Opt for a super-sized salad with lots of plant based protein like beans or quinoa. Or even a big bowl of soup with diced avocado.
- Drink some water before you go and alternate water in between higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog or hot chocolate while you are at the holiday party. Don’t underestimate the number of hidden calories in drinks. Watch out!
- Eat the good first. Before you dive into the more fattening snacks and desserts, fill up on lean protein and veggies first. This time of year you’re likely to see a roasted root veggie platter – enjoy them! They’ll fill you up, provide valuable nutrients and fiber.
- Eat several small meals a day. This old tip especially important during the holiday season when we tend to want to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner at the end of the night. Don’t starve yourself all day. Be sure to start your day off with a good, healthy breakfast. Make sure you get some snacks in too, even if you don’t have time for a big lunch. You’ll be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar. Do you really want to spend the day being HANGRY (hungry + angry) from starving yourself all day or be the first to want to end the night early because you overeat and now you need to sleep?
- Use the busy shopping season to burn some extra calories. If you are heading to the mall, park a little further away, or take your time and do a round of window shopping around the entire mall before you buy. Every few extra steps that you take COUNT! Just remember to reward yourself with something OTHER THAN food when you’re done shopping. You don’t want to undo all the hard work you just did. Instead of food, reward yourself with a small gift while shopping – a pedometer to count your walking steps would be perfect!
- Take some time to relax. The holidays can be stressful – IF we let it! Many of us (including myself) tend to overeat or snack mindlessly when we are stressed. Work in some extra time just for you. Schedule a massage or facial, curl up on the sofa with a good book or your favorite magazine, go get your nails done, take a bath or go for a walk. Do whatever works for you to calm you down and help you de-stress.
Above all, enjoy the holidays! Remember they are not just about food, but more importantly about family spending quality time together. Treat yourself to some new holiday candles, sing out loud to your favorite Christmas tunes, or go for a drive through a lit up neighborhood this year. Have fun during this special time of the year and enjoy that occasional holiday treat!
Speaking of holiday treats, checkout this recipe for Pumpkin Bread! Enjoy!
- 1 and ⅔ cups TigerNut flour (can use coconut or almond meal/flour)
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs slightly beaten (replace with 2 x flax eggs for vegan)
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup each walnuts and raisins
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrease. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
- In a 5 quart mixing bowl combine the first 5 ingredients then add eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil and mix until well combined then add your nuts and raisins and mix until smooth.
- Pour your mix into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 70 minutes or until a pick placed into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes then remove from pan and continue to cool on same rack.
- Eat warm!