Keep Your Holiday Eating in Check

“What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE.”
-Gretchen Rubin

Keeping Your Holiday Eating in Check

The holiday temptations start well before the actual holidays. We often find ourselves surrounded with fattening foods, sweets and alcohol from November through January. On average, Americans gain between 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years, and only about 20 percent of New Year’s diet resolutions succeed beyond the month of January. So, that being said, it is wise to keep moderation in mind during these months so that you don’t over-indulge and end up packing on the pounds.

Just because it’s the holidays, we shouldn’t throw nutrition out the window for the last 2 months of the year. Many of us get a little too comfortable using that excuse. Staying healthy and trim through the holidays can be a lot easier if we don’t get too carried away.

Here are some helpful tips to help keep you looking and feeling your best during the holiday madness!

Shop Smart

When you’re doing your shopping and running around, go on a full stomach so that you aren’t tempted by all of the treats. Try parking far away from the door to burn a few more calories walking to and from your car.

Drink Plenty of Water

Start your morning off with a tall glass of water as soon as you get up. This is a great habit to get into every day! It helps jump start your metabolism and aids in better digestion for the rest of the day. It also helps you feel more full right out of the gate. Many times we aren’t craving sugary treats, we are just thirsty!

Have a large breakfast!

Breakfast is the meal that will fuel your day, so think protein and fiber! Eating something like oatmeal, with nuts and fruit in it will sustain you for a long time and keep you from snacking sooner then you want to. Start off any holiday morning with a solid breakfast so you don’t dig into the finger foods and hors d’ oeuvres too much before the big meal.

Bring Your own dish

Win people over with a new favorite that is healthy and delicious! Sneak fruit and vegetables in wherever you can. Use healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil whenever possible. You can also take some of the calories and fat out of your favorite vegetable dishes like squash, yams or sweet potatoes by only adding a teaspoon or two of maple syrup instead of all the brown sugar and marshmallows. I have yet to ruin a recipe by removing some of the sugar from it.

Make sure you chew your food really well!

Eating slow helps you not only digest your food better but also helps you realize when you are actually full. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive the signal from your stomach that you are full. So know when to say “when!”

Show up to the holiday late

This allows less time for unnecessary snacking! It is much easier to keep eating when you spend several hours sitting in front of a bunch of temptations! Also, it helps if you eat a little something before you leave your house. Don’t arrive hungry!

Don’t sit right next to the food.

It is human nature to want to keep eating if it is right in front of you!

Fill up your plate with your favorite vegetable dishes!

Vegetables are usually the lowest calorie items on the table (not the sugar laden ones or the white potatoes), eat them first so that you have less room for the foods that will add to your waistline. Make each and every calorie count!

Say “No” to Seconds

We usually aren’t hungry enough for seconds but we indulge anyways. So skip the seconds and save room for a little slice of dessert!

Get up from the table when you are done to avoid continued nibbling as well.

Apple Sauce

Recipe of the Month

Homemade Apple Sauce

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

This tastes like apple pie filling! Such a treat! Double the recipe and freeze some of it for later!

Ingredients

  • 12 Empire apples or Macintosh (let them get nice and ripe to add natural sweetness)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup organic raw sugar (or xylitol for half the calories)

Use the following tools

  • 1 large stock pot
  • 1 peeler or I like to use an apple peeler which also cores them
  • 1 potato masher
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 glass measuring cup and measuring spoons
  • 1 small bowl for pre measured sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg

Directions

  • Peel and cut apples into bite sized chunks.
  • In a large stock pot, add the apples and all other ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.
  • Turn down the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the apples have softened enough to mash with a potato masher. This leaves a more organic and slightly lumpy texture. You can blend it in a blender if you like it really smooth. It will be ready in about 40 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool before placing in the fridge.

Tip:
This apple sauce freezes very nicely! I like to double this recipe and then vacuum seal it and give it away as gifts during the holidays as well as having enough for myself for the year. It is always a huge hit.

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