It’s almost here, Christmas is only 4 days away!! The holiday season seems to be one of the hardest times to make healthy choices. It’s like there are unhealthy foods easily available and staring at you no matter where you are. In your house, office, friends’ house, at the mall, in Target. And there is very rarely anything nutritious available. Aside from the tangerines and other citrus fruit in season, it’s hard to come by a healthy "treat" this time of year.
Really, the season starts in October as we lead up to Halloween and extends through to Easter. You know we have a problem when there are peeps for every occasion. Pumpkin peeps, Christmas tree peeps, Valentine peeps, St. Patrick’s day peeps, all leading up to the real time for peeps…. Easter! And not to mention how every other candy has added their own holiday flare. How can regular old fruits and vegetables ever keep up in this kind of market??
So here are my tips for staying on track during the holiday season.
- Safeguard your home. Don’t keep extra junk food ("disease promoters") around. It’s hard enough to resist everywhere else, not to mention in your house.
- Keep healthy food in the house. This will encourage you to eat more "protectors" or disease fighting foods. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
- Fill 1/2 your plate with vegetables/fruits. Don’t forget to keep working on your fruit and vegetable intake, especially as you increase your amount of junk food this time of year.
- At holiday meals, be sure that the foods you serve are a variety. Most holiday meals consist of meat, starch, starchy vegetable, vegetable cooked in fat and topped with sugar, more starch and dessert. Remember to serve those non-starchy vegetables and skip the rolls this year.
- Don’t eat everything that is available. I know this seems obvious, but remind yourself which food items are special to you this time of year and treat yourself with those. Don’t treat yourself with not so healthy foods that you don’t even think are that good!
- Enjoy a taste. If someone gives you special treats as a gift, you can always have a taste and then throw the rest away. Yes… I said throw it away! There are 3500 calories per day produced in the US (after exports). Something is going to be thrown away, so it might as well be junk food.
- DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE! Often exercise gets pushed aside. This is the worst thing to do at this time. When our calorie intake AND stress levels increase, we have to keep the exercise to burn up the calories and de-stress. Make it a new holiday tradition to take a walk after the meal and before dessert.
Those are my Holiday Eating Survival Tips! So relax, enjoy the company and your health as you prepare for another year.