The holidays are here: the family, the fun, the food…the drinks…the pumpkin pie…the egg nog…you get the idea. Yes, the holiday season can be both happy and healthy. Here are a few tips and recipes to help you continue on your journey to good health.
Surviving the Holiday Party:
Your boss has a holiday party, your spouse’s boss does as well. Wait, there is the neighborhood cookie exchange, the kids’ school parties you are supposed to attend. And then of course, your best friends are getting together to celebrate. And don’t forget New Year’s Eve. The parties can add up and so can the indulgences.
Avoid skipping meals the day of the party
If you show up really hungry, you are much more likely to overindulge in that buffet.
Choose your drink wisely.
Liquor has between 80-110 calories per 1.5 ounces. Margarita mix packs in 100 calories per 4 oz. Tonic has 80 calories per 8 oz, wine comes in at 110-120 calories per 5 oz glass and beer and cider bring about 95-200 calories per 12 oz glass.
Drink 8 oz of water for each alcoholic beverage consumed, preferably between each drink. The more you drink alcohol, the more likely you are to make unhealthy food choices.
Suggest an ornament exchange instead of a cookie exchange
Do you really need (or want) 12 different types of cookies sitting in your kitchen?
Now for the big days themselves!
We love sitting down to that big family dinner. Everyone is together and on their best behavior. Maybe you only get to see some of these folks once a year. Maybe there is someone missing this year. Have a favorite holiday food? Grandma’s mac-n-cheese, Aunt Sally’s stufﬁng?
Go ahead and have your favorites
Just be sure to load most of your plate with veggies and lean meats.
Slow down and enjoy your meal
It isn’t a race. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize that you are full. Rule of thumb—if you can’t keep up your end of the conversation while eating, you are eating too fast.
Suggest some family bonding time that doesn’t revolve around food
Go for a walk, try ice skating, charades, or an indoor scavenger hunt. Anything to get the body moving.
Most of all, enjoy your time with your family and friends. Have your meal and then eat your normal healthy fare the rest of the week. Make time to exercise, even just a few extra minutes walk. Try some yoga or go for a run. The best workout is the one you will do. Find healthy recipes and download a holiday cookbook at tnthealthyrecipes.com.
Kristin Metzler recently received her Master’s Degree of Nutrition from NC State and started working with Total Nutrition Technology in March. A minivan-driving, soccer mom of 3, she knows how hard it is to feed a busy family nutritious food.
She believes that if “healthy doesn’t taste good, you are doing wrong.” You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.