It’s that time of year again. Family gatherings filled with holiday treats and a smorgasburg of anything and everything delicious, but not always nutritious.
So what do you do? Is there a way to enjoy the holiday season without feeling guilty or over-stuffed by January 1st? Yes!
There’s more to this holiday season than the meals. It’s a time for celebrating friends and family, giving back to the community and saying thanks for all of your blessings.
7 Helpful Tips for Making This a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season
1. Don’t Skip Meals
Start your holiday off with a healthy egg white omelet with fresh vegetables and a slice of whole grain toast. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables during the day. This will keep your metabolism going and help to control your portion sizes during Thanksgiving dinner. Knowing that you’ve already had your 3-4 cups of fruits and vegetables will help you feel healthier when the buttered mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie come out!
2. Healthy Appetizers
Try bringing your own healthy appetizer or dish to your family or friends’ Thanksgiving meal. This way, you know you’ll have at least one healthy option. Try to keep a mental note of how many appetizer bites you eat before dinner. On average, most appetizers contain 60 calories per serving.
3. It’s Just One Meal
You can’t gain 10 pounds from one meal. Make healthy choices the day before and after a big meal, and stay active. Maybe take a 15-20 minute walk with your friends and family after dinner. Stay active during the holiday season, but don’t stress out!
4. Emphasize Friends & Family
Try to take the focus off of food. Play a game, go on a walk, or make a craft project with the kids!
5. Choose Your Favorite
Food that is. Eat the foods you’re craving, and stay away from the ones you can do without.
6. Satisfaction, Not Stuffing
Eat until you feel satisfied, not stuffed. Try having a plate with healthy portion sizes, wait 15 minutes while you talk with your grandmother, and see if you still feel hungry. Remember, there will be leftovers and dessert.
7. Be Careful with Your Beverages
Many holiday beverages can be high in calories. Try using diet sodas, sparkling water with fresh squeezed fruit juices or tonic water when creating your holiday cocktails. Think about eating your calories, instead of drinking them.
Disease-Specific Holiday Meal Tips
Here are some disease-specific holiday meal tips for people with,
Chronic kidney disease
If you need to watch your potassium intake, try cutting the potatoes into small cubes and boiling for 10 minutes. This is the fastest and easiest way to lower the amount of potassium in potatoes.
Try counting your carbohydrates before Thanksgiving day. This way, you’ll have a visual plan for your holiday plate. Eat a few smaller meals before dinner to keep your blood glucose within a better range, and remember to take your medication. Don’t waste carbohydrate servings on your drinks. Try using diet options instead.
Use more herbs in your recipes to replace some of the salt. Try low-sodium broths and soups also.
Use healthy fats like olive or canola oil in place of butter when you’re cooking. Try adding flaxseed meal to your stuffing recipe for added Omega-3 fatty acids.
What are your healthy holiday tips? Share with us in the comments below.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.