See more details here.
I almost hate to say this, but Christmas is almost here (deep breath- you will get everything done!) If you’re anything like me, it can feel like all is lost in the waist line department. It’s hard to find time to be physically active, you’re stressed out, and grabbing whatever little cookie or holiday treat will suffice, so long as you don’t pass out and have time to get all of today’s chores done. Now I’m here to tell you that you can have healthier holidays. Yeah right, with what time?? I know….stick with me, I’ll show you how.
First, let’s talk a couple quick and easy substitutions in cooking. These are game changers when it comes to weight loss and maintenance during the holidays.
Instead of typical mashed potatoes, try my healthy cauliflower mashers (recipe here) This tasty dish will save you 180 calories per serving and add desperately needed holiday fiber.
And how about shaving off a few more calories, adding some more fiber, incorporating some seasonal fruit and sacrificing zero taste?? This one’s simple….use unsweetened applesauce as a healthy substitute for eggs, sugar, or oil in your baking. It measures cup for cup, but if subbing for oil add an extra ¼ to 1/3 what recipe calls for to keep it moist.
Ok, how can you keep it in check the day of an event? Well my favorite rule of thumb is go to your event with a specific plan. I know this sounds really easy, but have you ever really thought about it? Let me give you a specific example. My grandmother is a fabulous baker, but she’s also got boxed candies, store bought goodies, and the neighbors creepy fruitcake around. If I do not go with a plan of what exactly I want, I completely overindulge in things I never even wanted to eat. Plan on eating exactly what you wan the most, make a plate of your favorite things, and savor each and every bite. When you are finished, position yourself away from the buffet, get a glass of water to keep hydrated and keep your mouth busy with a stick of gum. These last steps help you to avoid recreational eating.
My favorite practical overall seasonal tip goes against everything as American as paying taxes, but has to be said. Plan on NOT dieting after the New Year. Anticipation of food restriction sets us up for binge type eating over the holidays. It’s the idea of I’m never going to have cookies (or insert your favorite food) again after the first, so I may as well eat as much as possible now. I myself have eaten half a pie because of this type of thinking, and felt horrible mentally and physically afterword. And we all know restrictive diets do not work in the long run. They slow metabolism, while increasing anxiety, depression, food preoccupation, and binge eating, as well as making it more likely to re-gain weight. Do yourself a favor, eliminate this type of thinking and you’ll likely start your New Year better than ever before. Who wants the guilt of quitting that new diet by the third or fourth anyway??
Remember, the food we eat is very important for health and balance, but what really feeds us does not come on a plate. Things that feed us are open and honest relationships,, creative outlets, exercise and spirituality. These are the things I would encourage you to feed yourself an abundance of this holiday season in order to stay balanced, nourished and get the most out of this holiday season.
Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.