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How to Survive the Holidays

by Health, Nutrition

It’s almost that time of year again – the holiday season (crazy, right?)! This year’s holidays may look a little different than most, with 2020 being the way 2020 has been. But, we still need to prepare for making it through the season without sacrificing our health. Here are some tips to surviving the holidays!

don’t focus on restriction

Restricting yourself from eating certain foods that are “bad” is going to cause you to feel like you’re missing out. This can then cause you to end up “giving in” and overeating. Allow yourself to sample everything that you want to – just put smaller portions on your plate.

plan your calories

When you are having a holiday party or meal, plan on eating a lighter breakfast and lunch. Don’t skip meals though! This can cause you to be starving by the time you make it to the party or dinner. If you’re hungry going into a meal, it’s much more likely that you’ll overeat. Eat to a level where you feel satisfied but not stuffed.

be mindful of drinks

At many holiday parties and dinners, the food won’t be your only temptation. There will also be drinks! From your favorite holiday cocktails to sodas and sweet teas, there are many options that have lots of sugar in them. Try to sip mindfully and allow yourself to have 1-2 drinks while making sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water.

plan some activity into your day

Remember to stay active to help burn some extra calories. Plan a walk with family or play outside with your kids. The holidays season can be stressful and busy, but staying active can help reduce that stress and improve your overall health. Plus it’s a great way to spend quality time with your friends and family.

add some color to your spread

Most holiday dishes have a common color scheme: whites and browns. Try incorporating some color and variety to your spread by adding fruits and vegetables. This helps ensure you are getting a wide range of nutrients into your body.

make some healthy swaps

Are there four different stuffing dishes available? Go for the homemade version as opposed to the store bought brand. Or, instead of a loaded green bean casserole, try roasted green beans (recipe below!).

don’t forget to enjoy the occasion

The holidays are a time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends. They are not the best time to start a new diet or eating habits. Try to be consistent, eat a variety of foods, choose appropriate portion sizes, and slow down when eating. And overall, give yourself the grace and freedom to enjoy your favorite dish, dessert, or drink!

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2 simple holiday recipes

Here are two simple recipes in case you’re in need of some inspiration. The Autumn Harvest Salad is one of my personal holiday favorites!

Roasted Green Beans

Ingredients:

-2 pounds fresh green beans (I prefer french style green beans)

-Salt and pepper

-Garlic powder

Instructions:

Spread green beans out on sheet pans (as many as needed). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder evenly over green beans (go easy on the salt). Mix together on a sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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Autumn Harvest Salad

Ingredients:

-10 oz. baby spring mix (salad mix)

-2 large apples, thinly sliced

-Half a small red onion, sliced

-1 cup walnut halves

-⅔ cup dried cranberries

-5 oz crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese

-Apple Cider Vinaigrette (see below) or other dressing of choosing – I like to sometimes serve mine with a poppyseed dressing!

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

-⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

-¼ cup apple cider vinegar

-2 TBSP lemon juice

-1 TBSP Dijon mustard

-½ tsp minced garlic

-Salt and pepper to taste

-1 TBSP 100% maple syrup or honey to sweeten

 Instructions

Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl. Pour dressing evenly over salad right before serving or serve on the side.

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