This holiday season, there are ways to enjoy the festivities, the desserts … and you won’t have to regret the holidays once they’re over.
Guest Post by Paula Miller of Whole Intentions
Thanksgiving and Christmas – the holidays that everyone looks forward to, yet dreads at the same time.
We look forward to spending time with family, celebrating and remembering Christ’s birth, and. . .the eating which seems to be a focal point. The visions of sugarplums that dance in our heads make us cringe and salivate at the same time. How are we supposed to be healthy during the year’s biggest feasts of temptation!?
It would be so easy to just chuck it all to the wind and say, “I’m going to enjoy the holidays, eat what ever I want, and worry about it after the New Year.” (Why do you think exercise equipment is at an all-time high in January?)
I’ve been there myself – and truth be told I struggle with that attitude each year! But there are ways to enjoy the festivities, the desserts, and not regret the holidays once they’re over.
When you’re not the cook
When you’re invited to a get together, you have no idea what’s going to be there to eat, and you’re told not to worry about bringing anything … it can be easy to cave in. Here are some of my favorite tips:
Eat something before you go.
You don’t have to make it a full meal, but try to aim for protein or something that will stick with you. You’re a lot less likely to overeat if you’re already satisfied when you get there.
Choose healthy appetizers.
Look around for a veggie tray and nibble on those instead of the sugar-coated nuts and chocolate-covered pretzels. If they offer cheese and crackers, opt for the cheese (protein) and skip the cracker.
Enjoy what your host has prepared, but make careful decisions.
If you’re looking between a turkey or ham, pick turkey as it’s usually at least a little less processed (less sodium and additives).
If you’re debating between mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, choose the one with less toppings. Sweet potatoes are healthier, but many recipes call for a lot of brown sugar, marshmallows, and other toppings that pretty much negate the healthy factor. Go ahead and have a small scoop of mashed potatoes and either forgo the gravy or use just a little bit. Your potatoes are already dead … you don’t have to drown them in gravy!
Choose a beverage that you like, but have a small glass and try to drink water the rest of the time.
Apple or pumpkin pie?
Go ahead and have your favorite, but make it a half a slice and be sure to stop there.
When you’re the cook
When you’re the cook, the possibilities are endless! Let’s say you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year. You’re the cook, so the choices are up to you! You can bring healthy AND delicious recipes to the table that your guests will enjoy – and you won’t have to regret them!
Need ideas? Check out these healthy recipes:
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Bars
- The Best Thing Ever Almond Butter Buckeyes
- Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Pecan Pie
- Spoon-Lickin’ Cranberry Sauce
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pies
- ’14 Carat’ Carrot Cake
- Pumpkified Cheesecake Mousse
If you don’t want to regret the holidays, how do you handle holiday temptations?
Various family health issues including Lyme disease and candida turned Paula Miller into a researcher with a passion for understanding how our God-created bodies thrive or deteriorate based on what we put in it. She’s writes at Whole Intentions and is a health and fitness coach at PaulaMillerFitness.com. Paula and her husband homeschool their five children.
Great suggestions, Paula! It is so hard to resist during the holidays; I have definitely thought of just throwing caution to the wind until January! But you’re right, by just making a couple of these small decisions, we can avoid going overboard and regretting it later. Thanks for the ideas!