3 Healthy Holiday Tips To Savor the Season
Lauren and I have been cooking up a storm these past couple of months in preparation for our recent healthy holiday cooking demonstrations at Cal State San Marcos. We whipped up some tasty treats, boosted a few holiday classic side dishes, created some quick and healthy potluck party foods, and crafted a sparkling mocktail to bring on the holiday cheer.
While we love traditional holiday foods (hello grandma’s apple pie), we thought we’d share a few simple tricks to eat well and savor the flavors of the season.
Tip #1 Don’t Skip Meals
“Saving up” for the big meal or party by not eating breakfast, lunch or a sensible snack makes it easy to overeat and feel physically uncomfortable (not good for your body). Instead, start the day off with a simple nourishing breakfast like whole wheat peanut butter toast + yogurt + fruit or overnight oats + pumpkin butter + apple slices. Be sure to eat lunch or a larger snack to sustain your energy like veggies + hummus + a hardboiled egg to load you up with protein and fiber (even if the big holiday meal will be served earlier than your normal dinner time). And don't forget to stay hydrated, since dehydration can mimic your feelings of hunger.
Tip #2: Eat Mindfully
Mindful eating incorporates all of your senses as well as an awareness of your emotions and environment. Think of your favorite smells during the holidays and what kind of feelings it invokes. Mindful eating is a lifestyle (not a diet) that you can adopt year-round, even during the holidays. It starts with listening to your body: eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. We believe no food should be off-limits, especially during the holidays. Give yourself permission to enjoy your favorite foods by being fully present and aware of what and how much you are eating. Start with smaller portions and allow yourself to slowly savor every bite. Then, if you still feel hungry, add another helping.
Tip #3: Have fun!!
Don’t let the food be your sole focus during the holidays. Throw a gift wrapping party, volunteer at a food bank, or get active (if it’s not too cold, walk around your favorite neighborhoods to look at holiday lights or get some extra steps in after you do some shopping at the mall). There’s no doubt that all the parties and holiday gatherings will have lots of amazing food (it’s what brings us together and even how we express our love and care for each other after all). Remember to have fun during the holidays and celebrate the season while it’s here!