Tis’ the season of temptation –traditional holiday foods, alcohol and desserts served only this time of year. It’s easy to let go of your regular habits, but with these 10 holiday tips and swaps you’ll cruise through the season happy and healthy.
5 Holiday Health Challenges:
Never Go to a Party Hungry:
- Eat a healthy snack before parties to keep yourself from overindulging in rich holiday foods.
- Try an apple with almond butter or a couple of hard-boiled eggs and vegetables to curb your appetite and help you be more selective at the event.
- Drink a lot of water, sparkling water, or low-sugar kombucha to make you feel more full before the party.
- Get up and Move:
- Get up and move every hour. Even if you’re deep in spreadsheets or responding to emails. You may even get a fresh idea when you step away from your desk.
- Schedule walking meetings at work, partner up with coworkers and walk during your lunch hour.
- Walk for 15 minutes before and after work to keep exercise habits in your daily routine. A big key to holiday stress management is to maintain daily exercise routines—even if they feel small, they add up!
Snack on Protein:
- Skipping meals or snacks leading up to a party is not a good idea. Choosing snacks with protein help us feel full, making it a great snack choice.
- Choose fruit & nuts, a hard-boiled egg & raw veggies or a Caveman Protein Bar to keep you satisfied longer.
Try These Healthy Holiday Hacks:
- Take a smaller plate at a party and fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits.
- Choose smaller pre-portioned meals and snacks on-the-go to control portion sizes.
- While socializing at holiday parties, it’s easy to lose track of how much food we’ve eaten because we’re distracted. By placing food on a plate and moving to an area away from the food, you can prevent unconscious grazing.
- Instead of taking some of everything (and eating more than you need), survey the fare, and choose your favorites
- Skip the holiday foods that are less desirable. Buh bye, fruitcake!
- Pay attention to when you’re starting to feel full and stop eating before feeling stuffed.
5 Healthy Holiday Recipe Swaps:
- Instead of Chips & Spinach Dip -- Bring Raw Veggies with Paleo Garlic Artichoke Dip to the party. It’s a great way to ensure there’s a healthy option available, and be sure to choose the veggies at the beginning of the party to help keep a cap on how high the calories go by days end.
- Skip the Green Bean Casserole, Choose Sautéed Green Beans. Instead of a casserole filled with cream of mushroom soup, cheese and French-fried onion rings, sauté fresh green beans in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon zest and slivered almonds. You’ll cut out a lot of sodium and saturated fats. Just like the veggies and dip, eat the vegetable side dishes first.
- Instead of the Candied Yams -- Opt for Roasted Yams. Gives you all the great antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber without the extra calories and added sugar. Candied yams have about 35 grams of sugar per serving, while roasted yams have just 15 grams of natural sugar and no added sugar. Toss the yams in olive oil, season with salt, pepper, dried rosemary and thyme. Roast in the oven for a delicious side dish .
- Instead of Mashed Potatoes, Try Mock Mashed Potatoes. Cauliflower is a great Paleo substitute for mashed potatoes. Using a food processor combine boiled cauliflower florets, almond milk, chicken broth, olive oil, salt and your favorite fresh herbs to create a creamy, tasty side dish everyone will enjoy.
- Skip Rich Sugary Drinks, Choose Lighter Beverages. Never said you couldn’t have an alcoholic beverage, but instead of eggnog with brandy, mulled wine or holiday cocktails, go for a glass of wine, a wine spritzer or a cocktail made with club soda instead. Be sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages to give people lighter, non-alcoholic options.
You don’t have to choose between your health and the holidays, use these healthy eating tips and swaps for a energizing, feel-good New Year!