It’s December, so here are 5 healthy, happy holiday eating tricks for you. The month is filled with shopping, hectic schedules, cooking, baking, parties, and gatherings (not 2020). However, it can be one of the busiest months of the year, but it can also be a lot of fun. For those of us on a nutritional program the trick is to stay on track with our eating habits even with the many snickerdoodles, peanut butter pinwheels, fruit cakes, cookies covered in every color and form of sugar imaginable, and gingerbread men that happen to cross our paths. My holiday gift to you is a list of healthy holiday eating tips to help you stay on track so you can enjoy the holidays without sacrificing your health. Learn about eating healthy during the holidays below!
- Eat protein throughout the day. I know you are busy and time-crunched, especially at this time of year. That’s what makes having protein in your system at least three times a day so crucial. It helps you to maintain your energy by keeping your blood sugar steady. Being fueled by natural protein also makes it easier to turn down that slice of ho-ho cake when offered to you ever so sweetly by Aunt Dotty. If you are on the go, you can take a hard-boiled egg, a pack of nuts, or even some nitrate-free lunch meat along for the ride. I like to keep a protein bar in my purse in case I find myself in a pinch.
- Put a new twist on old traditions. I get it, for most of us, there are certain foods that are an intricate part of the family tradition. Although you may be all right without it, cousin Billy Bob may not agree. Try making a healthier alternative that is gluten-free and has no refined sugar. Some good pie recipes use coconut flour and maple syrup or other healthier choices. Even though the delicious dessert you love may still be there, you will be able to turn to something delicious that won’t make you need to take a three-hour nap or have to wear your “eating pants.”
- Create new traditions. In years past, my family didn’t have a lot of holiday traditions except to gather around a bunch of food and eat. I don’t think we are the only family that does this. Try planning other activities that are not entirely reliant on food. My family in recent years has started integrating other activities into the festivities that are not reliant on food, like playing games.
- Bulk up on low carb indulgences: So if I’m at a gathering and there’s a table with lots of yummy food, I still eat like royalty. I focus on the meats, the veggie trays, and fruits. The nice thing about doing this instead of my old way of stacking up everything on the table is I maintain good energy, and I don’t feel bloated or yucky later…just happy.
- If you can’t resist…compromise. Now that you are on your quest for better health and you have accepted the mission of getting off of sugar and eating low carb and thoroughly educated on the health consequences of making bad choices, you can laugh in the face of the demon sugar without batting an eyelash! Right? Right! Except for the times when you can’t. You are still human after all. If that happens, don’t throw all your hard work down the chute. If it’s something you really can’t resist and the siren sugar is singing your song from inside a decadent piece of chocolate chip cheesecake, eat a bite or 2 if you must, then put down the fork and walk away. You can feel good that you tasted it but also feel good that you exercised control not to eat the whole thing.
Getting through the holidays without having to get the “fat pants” out of the closet come January IS possible. I hope these tips help you to hold your own during the holiday season. Happy Holidays!
Yours in health,
Dr. Amanda Childress, Holistic PharmD