Strategies for Eating Healthier During the Holidays

health and wellness healthy eating options holiday Nov 23, 2021

Have a Healthier Holiday’s

Thanksgiving and Christmas is magical time of the year when we show the love of Christ to our family, friends, coworkers, and special people in our lives. Last year, many families could not spend time together, so that this Thanksgiving and Christmas will be even more special.

Everyone wants to enjoy the holidays and not go crazy eating foods that set you up for weight gain or exacerbate health conditions affected by the foods you eat. So this year, set a goal to avoid the traps of overeating and not eat candy, cookies, cakes, and foods you will face this holiday season.

We start the holidays with Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s not the healthiest meal, but it’s oh so good. By implementing certain tricks to make some of your favorite foods healthier and forgo the uncomfortable turkey, dressing, and ham-induced food coma, on the couch or being balled up in a corner somewhere a thing of the past.

Christmas is by far one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Homemade cookies, candy, and all sorts of goodies bombard us for weeks leading up to December 25th, then we get together with our loved ones and friends and enjoy the holiday with some of our favorite foods.

As you wake up on these holiday mornings, begin with the mindset that you’re going to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner so that you will be less likely to stuff yourself at the big meal, says Willow Jarosh of C& J Nutrition. You don’t want to deny yourself on this day. So go ahead and eat, but do it more mindfully.

Whether you’re serving your own portions, or you’re at the mercy of Aunt Betty passing out plates piled high with some of everything, make informed decisions and set a strategy about some of your favorite dishes.

Strategies for healthier Holiday Eating

  1. Maybe this year start with a nice soup and salad. I recommend a butternut squash or a broccoli and carrot soup with potatoes and thyme. By kicking off your meal with soup and salad will help you slow down while eating. Also, it may help you avoid overdoing when you get to the main course.
  2. Make smart swaps. Instead of candied yams, maybe have baked sweet potatoes with all the fixings on the sides. Greens made with smoked turkey meat can be a healthier option and use a better quality mayo or salad dressing for cauliflower or potato salad.
  3. Pile your plate with protein and lots of vegetables. Fill up 50 percent of your plate with non-starchy veggies. Greens, brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, and roasted peppers are good options.
  4. Make homemade cranberry sauce. It’s so easy, and you can use healthier alternatives other than white sugar for sweetness, such as xylitol or stevia.
  5. Skip the gravy. White flour, butter, and oils make gravy heavy and full of calories that are not necessarily needed.
  6. Eat either rolls or cornbread, neither, not both. However, I tend to skip the cornbread because it’s an ingredient for most dressings.
  7. Use a smaller plate and get smaller portions of food. You can still get quite a bit of food on your plate and feel full and satisfied.
  8. Sample desserts and don’t go back for seconds.

You can celebrate the holiday and spend time with family and friends. However, there is no reason you can’t enjoy healthier holidays without feeling deprived and guilty.

Enjoy life and enjoy your holidays and Happy New Year~Melesha.

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