Healthy for the Holidays
How to eat, drink and be merry, in a healthy way
By Daina Hulet
The focus of many winter celebrations are the delightful high-calorie foods we share with family and friends. Some of us just go for it and indulge in festive feasting and worry about the effects later, while others stress over every single bite. Consider a happy medium with these healthier holiday food strategies.
November 21, 2017
Food Game Plan
Just because you’re trying to be party health-conscious, doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. Have a food plan prepared before each event. An hour before your gathering, have a healthy snack; a handful of almonds, a bowl of greens or an apple, to curb your appetite. Saving yourself for the party will only leave you hungry and vulnerable to unintentional binging. You can apply the same snack prep rules to any traditions or celebrations that restrict eating for a certain amount of time.
Analyze Your Options
Survey the table before filling your plate and make a B-line for salads, veggies and proteins. Pass on the gravy and other sauces and keep track of your starches; they stack up fast on those holiday buffets. If you can’t help yourself, pick the foods you’ve been looking forward to all year. Totally worth the calories…in moderation, of course. If you’ve opted out of desserts entirely, make it easier on yourself by bringing along your own teabags. Sipping a tasty cup of hot peppermint, ginger spice, or cinnamon tea is a zero-calorie alternative to sweets and after dinner drinks.
Pass On The Spirits
Alcoholic beverages are full of calories. Look up the nutritional details of your favorite cocktails before you go out in case you want to find a more calorie conscious option. Fun Fact: Mixed drinks tend to have more calories than wine or champagne. If you don’t drink, or choose to forgo drinking, consider sparkling water instead of a soft drink. Order it with a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice and a lime. Mock cocktails, or mocktails as they’re so fabulously called, are satisfying and just as festive!
Thanks, But No Thanks
You may feel obligated to partake in high-calorie homemade favorites around the holidays for fear of insulting a coworker or family member. Instead of giving into politeness and taking everyone up on their offers, know that it’s okay to just say, “No, thank you.” If you still feel guilty, mention that it’s hard to turn down such a delicious offer, but you’re being mindful of your holiday intake. ;)
It’s easy to abandon your exercise routine during the holidays. Be sure to schedule a regular time to break a sweat or it may slip to the bottom of your to-do list. After a holiday meal grab a friend or relative to take a walk with you, even if it’s just around the block. It will help you burn a few calories and keep your energy up.
Enjoy your family and friends and have a healthy and happy holiday season!