Sometimes we get caught up this time of year, here are some tips that might be helpful:
Holiday gift baking: Dark Chocolate dipped/covered dried fruit and nuts are a great gift in place of cookies, they are better for your friends and healthier for you to pick at! Also, don’t underestimate the deliciousness of pickled vegetables like red onions and jalapeños that many people would prefer as gifts over the typical baked good this time of year!
Only eat the things that are worth it, so many times we eat things that we don’t even like because it’s traditional or just because it’s there. If you are concerned about calories, save them for the treats that you’ve been looking forward to all year.
Skip pre-made/store-bought options. They tend to be loaded with salt and added chemicals to extend shelf life.
Buy quality meats and produce (preferably local) which can be prepared more simply and quickly with less added fat and salt. Because they are better products in the first place they taste so much better without adding much.
Control your alcohol intake, nothing ruins you or your family’s holiday quite like being too drunk. Have a glass of water or seltzer between each drink.
Use your every day health swaps, switch olive oil for butter when possible, swap sweet potatoes for white potatoes and use whole grains in place of white bread.
Eat your favorite fresh fruits or vegetables before you go to a party to ensure you get the nutrients you need and so you are not starving. How many times do we end up indulging on foods that don’t even taste very good. I always bring sliced apples, bananas or grapes when I go out so I know there is something fresh and healthy waiting in the car in case the food is not good.
Add a salad to your holiday meals. Just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean you can’t have a salad, I have seen chef interviews saying there shouldn’t be salad on a holiday table, I think they forget about how delicious salads can be!
Fruit based desserts are so underrated and can lighten your calorie intake. Skip the cheesecake and pecan pie (or just take smaller portions) and add an apple crisp or wine poached pears to your dessert table.
When you do indulge, don’t beat yourself up. Stress is worse for your body than a cookie.
Make holiday tasks part workout: Engage your core while baking, do lunges while decorating or cleaning the house, set up your gift wrapping at the table and squat or wall sit throughout. Set your phone timer and try to beat your times as you go.
Remember that Christmas is a religious time of remembrance. When you think about why we are celebrating, any details that give us stress seem shockingly unimportant.
I hope you have a peaceful and rewarding holiday season!