Tips for a Happy & Healthy Holiday

Thanksgiving is just a day away! Who’s excited ?!

Me Me Me !!!

It is easy to get overwhelmed just thinking of all the holiday treats you may consume this season, but do not fret!  The holidays are a time to sit back, relax and enjoy time with friends, and family. They are not to be spent worrying about counting calories or of that dreadful word “diet” (blah!).

This time of year includes a lot of what I like to call “sometimes” foods. I mean, how often do we eat pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole? Really just one, maybe two times per year.

So, instead of stressing out about excess calories, consider these four tips this season for creating a balanced, happy and delicious holiday.

1. Replace one starchy side with a vegetable. This year, my family and I made a list of all the side dishes we were to make for Thanksgiving and realized they were all carbs! When you think about the usual suspects; the sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, bread rolls, and not to mention the stuffing and cranberry sauce, you got yourself a carbohydrate overload. So this year we are taking a stand and “86-ing” the bread rolls, mashed potatoes, rice even (Hispanic household) and substituting them with tossed green salad and roasted veggies. YUM!  Remember, it is Thanksgiving after all and we shall eat those “sometimes” foods. But, at least adding two veggie dishes to the menu will provide nutrient dense goodies to occupy real estate on that Thanksgiving plate.

2. Get some fresh air! I understand the holidays are usually the time when most of us  finally get some time off from work and are just dying to get home, put on our stretchy pants and kick our feet up. BUT… what better time to get fresh air and a bit of exercise than on vacay ?! Go for walk after you take that bird out of the oven before you get going on the next dish. Brush the dust off that bike and go for a ride with the family. At the very least, just take a step outside and breathe in some fresh fall air. For my friends up north, build a snowman or have a snowball fight! I had my first snowman building experience this year and I tell ya… its WORK! Whatever the activity may be, go out and do it. I have faith in you!   : )

3. Get plate happy and savvy. Once you have that slice of turkey slapped on your plate, it is tempting to load up on stuffing, sweet potato casserole and cornbread,  but remember, just because it is there does not mean you need to have it!  This year, try serving yourself with a tablespoon. This allows for smaller scoops and less packing on to that dinner plate! Then, once you have your turkey, tofurkey or a slice of honey baked ham on your plate, add two to three additional sides. Maybe it’s a dab of mac and cheese plus a tablespoon or two of stuffing but please please please be sure to make at least one side a vegetable. Before you know it you’ll be holding a happy plate that is not piled to the sky, but will fill you up nonetheless!

4. You are allowed to eat! Let me tell ya folks, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Eve or any ‘ol day for that matter you do not, I repeat you DO NOT need to starve yourself the week or day before a holiday meal. Instead, I suggest maintaining your metabolism with healthy fats, protein and veggies throughout the day in the form of small, frequent meal/snacks. Greek yogurt, deli meat roll ups with cheese and trail mix are a few options to spread out throughout the day. Remember to honor your hunger cues and you will have a wonderful starvation free day.

I wish everyone a safe and happy, healthy holiday season!

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Leave me some love– let me know what you think! … I don’t bite  🙂

 

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