How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Happy Holidays, everyone! This is such a beautiful time of year. Everyone just seems happier, more joyful and peaceful and full of love and generosity. It truly is the most wonderful time! We get to spend quality time with our loved ones, free from the stresses and distractions and hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.
Unfortunately though, many of the foods that are served at holiday parties and get togethers are extremely unhealthy. Think stuffed turkeys, fatty meats, potatoes, vegetables drowned in oils, sauces, gravies, pies, cookies, pates, finger-food, chocolates, bowls of salted nuts, cocktails, wine… It’s hard to walk away from these foods, or limit our portions. Even seemingly healthy foods such as nuts become unhealthy as the portions double, triple and even quadruple. We consume so much food during the holidays, much more than we would at any time of year. It’s so easy to over-eat and drink in excess when you’re surrounded by friends and family, sitting down, having fun, not a care in the world. And the next thing you know, you’re waking up with a killer hangover, dehydrated, bloated, feeling sick. And not to mention a few pounds heavier. Although of COURSE it’s totally okay to indulge every once in awhile, over consumption in one night can undo some of your hard work. So let’s find ways to help you stay on track, and still enjoy your holidays!

– Make a healthy dish to bring to a party! Something as simple as a huge mixed quinoa salad with lots of beans, raw chopped veggies, fresh herbs and a light dressing is perfect. You can have a nice potion of it, and it will satisfy you.
– EAT BREAKFAST! You shouldn’t skip it EVER, especially on the day of a party. Eating breakfast will keep your metabolism in check, and keep you from overeating later on.
– EAT BEFORE going to a party. A banana and peanut butter is a GREAT choice, as is a small bean salad, half an avocado sprinkled with hemp and flaxseeds, a few fruits.
– Limit your alcohol consumption to one glass of wine. Alcohol is nothing but empty calories, save your calories for actual food. One glass of wine is enough to make you feel nice without getting sloppy.
– Skip the hors d’oeuvres. You already ate BEFORE getting to the party, so you’re not hungry!
– Scan the food table and see which options seem healthiest. If the veggies are steamed, pile them on! Try to avoid as much as possible anything that has been fried, cooked in oil, breaded or covered in cream or cheese. Go for the simplest foods, and eat a ton of salad.
– Say no to bread! It also is empty calories and will fill you up physically but not mentally, which means you’ll be dying for more food, when you just finished up a whole baguette! Munch on some unsalted nuts or sip some water instead.
– Drink a lot of WATER! Water is great! It’ll make you feel full (you already ate, remember!?) and give your hands and mouth something to do. For some reason when we’re at parties, we feel empty when our hands and mouths aren’t doing anything. So drink up!
– Just because someone offers a piece of something to you, does NOT oblige you to eat it. Don’t let anyone guilt you into eating something you don’t want to. Politely smile and say “it looks great! Maybe I’ll have some later” or “Not right now, thank you so much!” Just be polite. It’ll be fine.
– Eat a bunch of salad! There is always salad. Just loaddddd it up!
– When it comes to dessert, pick the one thing that looks most appealing to you, the one thing that as soon as you saw it, it screamed your name. Have a slice. Enjoy it. Do not feel guilty. You deserve a little treat! But keep it down to one piece. Savour it!
– Eat a bunch of fruit! With reckless abandon!

I hope these tips could help you get through your holiday parties without feeling guilty or bad about your choices. The holidays are all about love and joy and peace, friendship and family time. Enjoy the company of your loved ones (and of course your own company!) and have a beautiful time. Don’t stress too much about anything, just keep a light heart and a happy heart. Food shouldn’t rule your life, but if you’re committed to living a healthy lifestyle, you’ve got to plan ahead and go in with the right mindset.

If you’ve got any other suggestions, don’t be shy to write it in a comment! Email me (verbichlaura@gmail.com) or add me on Facebook: facebook.com/laura.verbich, if you’ve got any questions or comments or just want to connect!

Happy Holidays and lots of love and peace and presents!

xx Lau

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