Holiday Survival 101

The holiday season is upon us, and all that goes with it.  We have exposure to more food and beverage, higher calorie foods and beverages, increased stress, decreased leisure time, and the desire to keep our weight in check!

We get so caught up in the material aspects of the season and producing the most phenomenal dish or desert that we often lose track of the motivation and meaning of the gatherings, the gifts, and the meals. How can you show your love and appreciation without food? Would your family be more excited to have you stress free through the holiday and things less perfect; do they even notice? As you think about the tips over the next weeks, consider how these tips will enable you to enjoy the holidays vs. struggling through and vowing to “do it different” next year.

One idea for holiday survival is to resolve to make your health a priority by choosing crunchy, colorful, naturally sweet and savory foods for the Holidays and New Year.  Choose to move more and take yoga classes more often.  Greet the New Year with no regrets, no guilt, and no diets.  Weight management isn’t weight loss, rather it is being free to choose foods you love and that taste good, feel good, and nourish your body. It’s choosing to be active, to manage stress, and to enjoy a restful nights sleep. It’s living an intuitive life, something that can be learned through many of our programs. Reflect on your motivators for health and weight management and choose behaviors that will result in meeting those goals, versus focusing on weight alone. Often weight maintenance during the holiday season is more realistic, doable and much less stressful than weight loss.  This is the first of a series to ensure success from now until the New Year.

Holiday Survival – Food Tips

  • Join us for yoga and meditation on Thursday, November 15 to free your mind, followed by Holiday Cooking Survival resources and prep demos for healthy & tasty holiday cooking and baking.
  • Start by enjoying your meal! Slow down and savor every bite, take in the ambiance,  bask in the conversation and memories.
  • Remember that you are in control. Take moderate portions, plan, plan, and plan some more, and push away from the table when satisfied (which comes before full).
  • Begin with a plan for the season.  Reflect on the “reason for the season” and on what provides you with the most pleasure at this time of year.  You will often find, the answer isn’t food related!
  • Experiment with lower fat versions of your favorite recipes – you don’t have to tell!
  • Use fat free & low fat ingredients-applesauce, dried plum puree, ff yogurt, ff cottage cheese, ..are tasty additions to your favorite recipes to reduce calories.
  • Choose seasonings, spices, herbs, low-sodium bouillon and oil spray bottles for flavoring foods.
  • Use a fat-skimmer cup or freeze the juices in a shallow pan to remove the fat easily prior to making gravy.  You will save 56 grams of fat or 504 calories per cup!
  • Bring an “appropriate” choice to your holiday parties to ensure that you have a healthy option.
  • Make smaller cookies, pie and cake servings, and mini cupcakes.
  • Choose naturally colorful and flavorful foods.
  • Fill up on low to no calorie beverages such as club soda or sparkling water with a twist of lime, sugar free apple cider,  chilled water with slices of citrus and cranberries, peppermint tea, hot spiced tea, or sugar free/ low sugar cranberry juices.
  • Choose salads, fruits, and vegetables as appetizers.
  • A 3 ½ ounce serving of turkey breast with skin contains 7.3 gm saturated fat; while a 3 ½ ounce serving of turkey breast without skin contains 0.7 gm of saturated fat.
  • Use small plates.
  • Fill your plate with small servings of your favorites, wait 15 minutes before having seconds.
  • Share food gifts with neighbors, co-workers, homeless shelters, extended living centers for the elderly, food banks, fire stations, and police stations.
  • Freeze leftovers in single portion containers for a future date. Remember to date the container.
  • Invite friends for a potluck dinner featuring everyone’s leftovers.
  • Throw out tempting foods; it’s not wasteful if your health is a priority.
  • Eat your regularly scheduled meals and snacks to avoid being overly hungry which results in diminished resolve and over eating.
  • Stand in another room or on the opposite side of the room from buffet tables.
  • Hold your drink in your dominant hand.