Surviving the holiday season can be challenging enough! Add in the parties with all the food and alcohol, and for many of us, it’s overwhelming! Here are some holiday tips to help you get through:
- Try not to go to any holiday party hungry! Before going, grab a handful of nuts, some whole grain crackers, a slice of cheese, or a piece of fresh fruit to keep your hunger in check so you won’t be glued to the buffet table.
- When at a party, start with the veggie/fruit platter. Keep the dips, dressings, and spreads on the side.
- As much as possible, choose foods that are colorful, and fresh in appearance.
- Choose whole grain rolls and bread instead of the white stuff
- Always choose foods you know you will enjoy. Don’t waste your calories on foods that are mediocre or downright awful. Rather, aim for freshness and color… take plenty of colorful fruits and veggies, and a moderate amount of other items.
- Savor your food – enjoy the flavors and aroma, and chew thoroughly. Sip your drink in between bites and take it slow, keeping portions moderate. This can help give your body a chance to feel satisfied without overeating
- Don’t “waist” your tastebuds on dessert that is not absolutely delicious to you! Share with family and friends to keep your portion size reasonable.
- If you know you will be eating dessert and maybe a lot of carbohydrates that you would not normally eat, go easy during the rest of your day… eat plenty of fresh veggies, good fats, seme protein, and a moderate amount of whole grains.
Facing a huge holiday buffet? Try the following:
- Baked, broiled, or grilled salmon or other fish, chicken, or beef
- Shrimp with cocktail sauce
- Raw veggies with hummus dip or dressing
- Salads with olive oil and vinegar or fresh lemon wedges
- Steamed or sautéed veggies
- Rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, potato salad, or a whole grain roll (in moderation)
- Choose sliced roast beef, lean ham, sliced turkey breast over fried meats and entrees when possible
- When available at salad bars, choose garbanzo beans, sprouts, and a variety of fresh veggies.
- If available, add some green veggies to your plate: leafy green salad, fresh spinach and cabbage, broccoli, celery, zucchini, green beans… and with a pat of butter or some olive oil
When it comes to alcohol, these ideas can keep things under control:
- Sip slowly and try to keep it to one or two glasses
- Choose wine over hard liquor
- After one or two, fill your wine glass with sparkling mineral water
- Cranberry juice, grape juice or pomegranate juice in a wine glass will fool just about anybody…
What about office parties and all those cookies and moldy fruitcakes???
- Move yourself away from the food! Keep it away from your desk and tell your coworkers no thanks!
- Bring healthy snacks to work and share: Fresh fruit and veggies, dried fruits for a sweet treat, healthy dips such as hummus and vegetarian bean dip, and natural whole grain crackers and real cheese (none of the processed junk!) – try some raw milk cheese for great health benefit!
- If you really want something, go ahead and have it, just cut back a little later.
- Remember that many of these tempting “goodies” are loaded with white sugar, solid white vegetable shortening (TRANS-FATS!), artificial colors, preservatives, and flavorings. Remind yourself that you would rather wait and indulge in real and delicious treats made from whole and real ingredients… far more delicious and ultimately much more satisfying!
- Be kind to yourself! If you over indulge, it’s not the end of the world! You can get back on track again. The human body is very resilient, so don’t beat yourself up!