The holidays are quickly approaching. This is a time where we focus on family and friends (and shopping!) Unfortunately, the holidays can make life a little crazy and frenetic. Often healthy habits are the first to fall by the wayside. Next workouts get diverted and of course, we tend to overindulge. With a little planning, we can ensure that our gatherings are about spending time with the people we love and preparing a meal that is good for both your waistline and your health.
At the Brandwein Institute for Nutrition and Wellness, food deprivation is not something we preach. You can enjoy all that this time of year has to offer, as long as you do it wisely and mindfully. The following recipes and tips will help you get through the season without creating collateral damage to your waistline.
Crave-Worthy Healthy Holiday Recipes Swaps
These are some of our go-to recipe swaps for creating healthy, nutritious, holiday meals that family and friends will crave. You can check them out on the links below:
Enlightened Green Bean Casserole
Pumpkin Oatmeal Anytime Squares (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)
Butternut squash, Brussel Sprouts, and Bread Stuffing with Apples
Balsamic Braised Brussel Sprouts In Mustard Sauce
Cranberry, Cherry & Walnut Sauce
Gingerbread Cake with Maple Cashew Sauce
Ten Tips for Mindful Eating During the Holidays (and Everyday)!
- Give yourself permission to eat your favorite foods. This will help you take back the power from food, reduce guilt and avoid triggers to overeat.
- Plan your menu. Choose foods that taste good and will maximize enjoyment.
- Determine the foods you like most and that taste the best at each event; make room for those foods.
- Stay nourished throughout the day to avoid going to parties hungry.
- Schedule regular meals and snacks to prevent long gaps without eating. This will prevent you from being overly hungry at mealtime.
- Engage in physical activity that you enjoy.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation interferes with hunger and fullness cues.
- Take time and schedule moments of self-care. For instance, include personal quiet times, such as journaling, taking a bath, enjoying nature or meditating. Prioritizing personal time enables you to stay connected to yourself and attuned to your bodily needs.
- Eat with intention and attention to your food and your body. Being attuned to physical and emotional sensations during and after eating are two eating principles that go hand-in-hand.
- Rehearse responses to friends and family members who continue offering food even when you are full. Politely say “This is delicious, but I’m full. I’d love to take some leftovers.” Or quite simply say “No thank you.”
Bonus Tip: Visualization
Try this powerful trick that athletes employ: Visualization. For example, Start from the beginning of your Thanksgiving day and work your way forward, Visualize getting ready and the clothes you plan to wear. Imagine the location, greeting the guests and engaging in conversation. “See” the food on the table and the dishes you are looking forward to eating. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re eating. Then move onto dessert. Picture yourself taking a small plate and allowing yourself the desserts that you crave and make sure you focus on that feeling. You can even Practice this exercise multiple times beforehand. You will be pleasantly surprised by the end of the day, you won’t experience feelings of guilt or regret, but rather accomplishment and success.
Some of our best memories are created by sitting together and sharing a meal with our family and friends. We hope you enjoy this healthy holiday!
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