Healthy Holiday Eating

With the holidays coming up and rich decadent food entering into our diets, you may be asking “What can I do to balance out the unhealthy stuff I know I’ll eat?”

This is a wonderful question because it approaches the problem realistically.  The holidays are probably the most difficult time to stay on a healthy eating plan since there are parties to go to, relatives to take to dinner and large feasts with friends and family.  Not to mention sweets at the office, gifts of bake goods and just general overeating during holiday meals, it’s common that we will all falter during the holidays.  Holiday temptations are common and it’s important to realize that we will all make the wrong decision when it comes to healthy eating over the holidays.  You are not alone, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up too much!

The important thing to remember if you do over-indulge during the holidays, that there are some simple solutions to get yourself back on track.  After this does happen, where do we go from there?  Following a few moderation rules with diet and exercise should help immensely.  

The first thing you can do is think about your special treats and indulgences in moderation.  Keep in mind the 85/15 rule. That is to say, that if you make healthy choices 85% of the time, don’t feel bad about 15% of the time when you are eating Christmas cookies or drinking eggnog.  If you try to eat whole, natural foods and keep your body in motion with yoga, walking or other fun exercise during the holidays 85% of the time, that should be enough moderation to keep things in check. After all, some of these treats are only available once a year and avoiding them altogether is not a solution.  The key is to enjoy them with moderation in mind and to keep moving with regular exercise. 

Next, when it comes to overindulgence, how do we balance those times? Simply, you have to make sure your body has what it needs and that it is still being nourished well, amid all the sweets and treats.  

When it comes to eating, vegetables are the best thing you can give our body to counteract rich, sugary foods, which tend to deplete our natural nutrients. The fiber and phytonutrients in vegetables will flush out toxins and fight inflammation.  You can easily incorporate more vegetables in your holiday eating, along with the cookies and pies.  For example, during those neighborhood or office potlucks, volunteer to bring a vegetable dish with you so that you know at least one healthy veggie option will be there.  

Another way to keep your nourishment intake high during the holidays is to make a fresh pot of soup each week full of vegetables and beans and chicken. Add onions, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale to support your liver in flushing out toxins. Keep this on hand for a delicious, nourishing meal anytime.

 Be sure to eat protein with every meal. This will keep your blood sugar balanced when you’ve eaten too much fruitcake. Roast a chicken and keep the meat on hand to add to salads and various meals. Simmer the carcass for 2 hours with herbs and leftover vegetable trimmings in a big pot of water to make fresh broth for your soup!

 With a little thought and intention, it’s easy to enjoy the holidays and still feel good about yourself come January. Happy Holidays Everyone!


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