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The holiday season is often a time when there is food everywhere you look. And much of it isn’t going to help you reach your health goals.
Whether you’re trying to lose or maintain our weight, stay ahead of health or digestive issues, or simply want to eat well, the holidays can be hard.
Here are four quick tips to help you stay on track with eating healthy during the holidays.
1) Eat before you go
This is similar to the old advice to never go grocery shopping hungry. When you go to holiday parties and family gatherings hungry, it makes it that much harder to say no when you pass by that platter of fried chicken or honey-baked ham for the second time.
Have a small but satisfying meal made up of foods that nourish your body before you go anywhere where you know your options will be limited.
2) Take a dish
When you’re invited somewhere where you know there will be little to no healthy options, offer to bring a dish.
Bring something that can be a standalone meal, or bring a few sides. This way you know there will be something you can eat without regret and help the host at the same time.
Be careful though – other guests may like your dish as much as or more than the usual fare. Make sure you move fast if you want seconds!
This is also a great way to get your friends and family to try food that is better for them. Once they find out how good it tastes they may be more willing to get on board with eating healthy during the holidays themselves.
3) Learn healthier substitutions
If you have favorite dishes that you miss during the holidays, figure out how to make them better for you.
Over the last few years, I’ve learned to make updated versions of my mom’s cornbread dressing, macaroni and cheese, and most recently, her sweet potato pie.
I can still have many of my favorite dishes, without feeling sluggish and foggy afterward.
In my free Easy Plant Based Substitutions mini-course, I offer plenty of examples of plant-based substitutions that you can use in your favorite recipes.
As you stop missing your old favorite comfort foods, you become that much stronger in your new approach to food.
4) Always carry snacks
Inevitably, at some point, you’ll end up in a situation where you’re stuck somewhere with few options that work for you. In that case, nibble on what you can, then turn to your pocketbook to retrieve your emergency snack.
It sounds funny, but in a pinch, it’s a lifesaver.
The holidays can be full of temptation and opportunity to go rogue with your eating habits. Follow these tips to enjoy a healthier holiday season with no regrets.
Photo by Ella Olsson
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