404.941.5795

Healthy Holiday Eating

Healthy Holiday Eating

Healthy holiday eating can sound like an oxymoron. Depending on who you listen to, American’s gain on average 1-7 pounds from the end of November to beginning of January. What makes that weight gain worse is that we tend to not lose it during the rest of the year. So over time we add a few pounds each holiday season. It can be even harder at the holidays if you are trying to eat real foods (as opposed to highly processed) and you aren’t the one doing all the cooking. While I am all for treating yo’ self and enjoying the foods that are meaningful to you at the holidays, it is important to keep portion size in mind and make healthy choices when possible. Follow these tips for healthy holiday eating and help yourself keep that belt notch right where it is.

Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Turkey is Your Friend: Unless it’s been deep fried, turkey is one of the healthiest choices you can make at a holiday meal. It is lower in fat and calories than ham and is full of protein. Choose white meat over dark meat for the lowest amount of calories making more room for dessert.

Vegetable Trojan Horses: Sure green bean casserole has green beans in it, but is also has some heavy cream soups. Watch out for veggie dishes that are full of extra fat and sugar. There’s nothing wrong with eating them, just keep in mind that they are not as healthy as their names might suggest. For a healthy veggie option that is easy to bring with you wherever you go, toss some frozen broccoli with olive oil and spices and roast in the oven for a quick and easy veggie that actually is good for you.

Carbs in Disguise: Much like veggie Trojan horses, sweet potatoes and cream corn sound like vegetables but actually count as carbs because of their high starch content. Add in the extra butter and sugar that goes into those dishes and they definitely do not count as vegetables. Cut back on rolls and other breads if you splurge on veggie carbs.

Pie is Pie: There is no pretending that pie is healthy. But if you’re torn between the pumpkin and the pecan pie, the pumpkin is typically lower in sugar. For a great real food option, check out this great GF pecan pie recipe.

Mackin’ on Mac-n-Cheese: Macaroni and cheese is definitely my holiday eating weakness. So I’m not about to tell you not to eat it. But if you are the one making it, opt for whole-wheat macaroni for extra fiber and try adding some turmeric for added health benefits. Just don’t add too much turmeric or it will turn neon yellow and your family will think you’ve gone crazy. Also don’t let it fill up three-quarters of your plate. (I won’t if you won’t)

Portion Size is Everything: The most important thing to remember for healthy holiday eating is portion size. You can eat whatever you want as long as you don’t eat too much of it. Half your plate should be fruits and veggies, one quarter should be protein, one quarter should be carbs, and fats and sugars should be limited.

healthy-holiday-portions-5

Don’t Drink your Calories: Watch out for high calorie drinks like soda, sweet tea, beer, and wine. Moderation in everything, but make sure water is your primary drink of the day and drink plenty of it.

Eat a Salad: Depending on when your holiday meal is, eat a salad for lunch or dinner to fill up on healthy greens and give your body the fiber it needs to digest all the other foods you eat. Maybe even consider bringing salad to your holiday meals. You might be surprised how many people are thankful for a healthy option. Check out this post for other healthy holiday eating recipe ideas.

Go for a Walk: Trading that Turkey-coma nap for an after meal walk can help your body digest all that food you just ate and also help you burn some extra calories. And you can always take that nap after the walk.

Enjoy Yourself: Holidays are supposed to be a time to enjoy yourself and your time with friends and family. Don’t give yourself a hard time over one day’s meal. It’s ok to splurge every now and then, but feeling sick from overeating might not be worth it. Healthy holiday eating isn’t just about one holiday meal, it’s about making healthy eating choices throughout the holiday season.

One Last Thought: Who decided all this turkey, casserole, pie stuff is what we’re supposed to eat for holidays anyway? Why can’t we have tacos and cheesecake and still call it Thanksgiving?

 

Bonus Holiday Portion Planner

Success starts with planning! So before you sit down for dinner and suddenly get overwhelmed with all the options, take a moment to think about how you want to fill up your plate.

Holiday Portion Planner

Join the Conversation

FREE FORGIVENESS DEVOTIONAL

How Forgiveness Sets us Free
Subscribe to download this free devotional for small groups or personal use!
Download Now

FREE LENT EBOOK

Feasting on His Presence
Subscribe to download this free ebook with Lenten Bible Reading Guide!
Download Now

FREE Devotional ebook

Expectant Light
Subscribe to download this free devotional ebook for the Advent Season.
Download Now

FREE Printable Gift Tags

Printable Gift Tags
Subscribe to download these free printable gift tags
Download Now

FREE ebook

Restart Your Resolution
Subscribe to download thist free ebook. Your resolutions don't have to wait till next year!
Download Now

FREE Handout

Gospel Bracelet Meaning
Subscribe to download this free gospel bracelet meaning handout to use for yourself or your small group.
Download Now

FREE Printable Cards

Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Printable Cards
Subscribe to download these printable wallet cards for shopping and eating out. 2"x3.5"  print size for wallet.
Download Now

FREE Printable Verse

Free Mediation Reminder Printable Verse
Subscribe to download this printable 8x10 verse art to remind yourself to meditate on instead of just memorize scripture. 
Download Now

FREE Printable Verse Art

Free Psalm 22 Printable Verse Art
Subscribe to download this printable 8x10 verse art as a reminder this Easter that God will never leave us.
Download Now