Christmas festivities are now amongst us and will most likely continue for the month and into the new year!
The holiday season is a time for celebration, family gatherings, and indulgence in tasty treats. With all the invites to work parties, family gatherings, and celebrating with friends, it can be difficult to stick to a healthy diet and maintain a balanced nutrition plan. However, with a little bit of planning and preparation, it is possible to enjoy the holiday season while still maintaining your health goals.
Here are eight tips on how to maintain your health goals during the Christmas festivities:
- Plan Ahead: Before attending a holiday party, plan out your meals for the day, including snacks and any potential indulgences at the party. This will help you stay on track and avoid overindulging.
- Don’t Arrive Hungry: It can be tempting to skip meals in preparation for a holiday party, but this can lead to overeating once you arrive. Instead, have a healthy snack beforehand, such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts, to keep your hunger in check.
- Fill Your Plate with Plenty Veggies: At holiday parties, there are often plenty of indulgent treats available. To balance out your meal, make sure to fill your plate with plenty vegetables. This will help you feel full and satisfied, while still enjoying the festivities.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol is often a big part of holiday celebrations, but it can be easy to overdo it. To avoid derailing your nutrition plan, limit your alcohol consumption and choose low-calorie options such as wine or light beer.
- Bring a Healthy Dish: If you are attending a potluck-style party, bring a healthy dish that you know you will enjoy. This way, you can still indulge in the treats, but also have a healthy option available. (See recipes below.)
- Practice Mindful Eating: When you are indulging in holiday treats, practice mindful eating. Slow down and savor each bite, paying attention to the flavors and textures. This will help you feel more satisfied and avoid overeating.
- Don’t Skip Workouts: With all the holiday celebrations, it can be easy to skip your regular workouts. However, exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing stress. Make sure to schedule in time for exercise, even if it’s just a quick walk around the block.
- Get Back on Track: If you do indulge in holiday treats or overeat at a party, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, get back on track with your nutrition plan the next day. One indulgence will not derail all of your hard work.
Here are two super simple healthy recipes you can bring to a Christmas potluck or any holiday party:
Winter Fruit Salad
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, mixed berries, apple, pear, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, and ground cinnamon to make the dressing.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly charred.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the fresh cranberries and chopped pecans to the baking sheet.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.
Both of these dishes are healthy, delicious, and perfect for bringing to a holiday party. Enjoy!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!