Put down that cup of hot cocoa and take a seat — we’re talking holiday health: how to avoid adding inches to your waist, keep off the winter weight, decrease the feeling of sluggishness, and actually ENJOY yourself during this special season.
Here’s a short list of my favorite tricks to stay healthy during the holidays — tricks that won’t leave you feeling deprived of sweet treats or left out of spirited fun. After all, food brings families together, so you might as well embrace it every once in a while — and make some memories while you’re at it.
1. Portion Control
One slice of pumpkin pie? Go for it. Three slices? Might be time to put down the fork. It’s important to treat yourself — a bit of apple crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream won’t kill you. But a hefty scoop of crumble and three slices of pie? Slow down, miss lady! While devouring half a pie might satisfy your sweet tooth for twenty minutes, you’ll be left feeling as stuffed as the turkey on the table. Trust me, sugar comas are no fun. Been there, done that. All in all, don’t be afraid to indulge, but don’t go overboard with it.
2. Nutritious Alternatives
Believe it or not, I’ve found some healthy (and tasty) alternatives to holiday favorites. For example, swap out half the potatoes in your mash for steamed cauliflower. You won’t be able to tell the difference. You could also use canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream to avoid adding cholesterol to your meal (without skimping out on the creaminess). Or replace the butter in your favorite green bean recipe for coconut oil — that way, you can chow down on some healthy fats to benefit your heart, skin, and hair.
Follow this link for a great, healthy pumpkin pie recipe (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free): http://frommybowl.com/pecan-pumpkin-custard-pie/
3. Greens & Grains First
Instead of first loading up your plate with mac n’ cheese, buttery potatoes, and stuffing, pile on the green beans, roasted brussels sprouts, and corn. Use two-thirds of your plate for the healthy stuff and one-third for those indulgent foods you JUST CAN’T miss out on. My mama always reiterated this saying to me as a young chap: “Everything in moderation.” And man, was she spot on.
4. Water Over Booze
Drinking water will help naturally detox your body post-holiday fun. Guzzle down a glass of water before every meal to avoid feeling bloated and dehydrated — and make sure to drink up the day after! A glass or two (or three or four…) of wine is fine, but try to accompany each boozy beverage with a bottle of water.
5. Balance, Baby!
The most important tip? Let yourself ENJOY this holiday season. Don’t beat yourself up if you over-indulge or eat one-too-many treats. Guilt over food is absolutely not allowed! Besides, that’s what New Years resolutions are for, right? For cleaning up your diet and whipping yourself into shape? (Okay, I’m joking about that.)
Happy Holidays and see y’all soon!