Load your plate up with true veggies. This means vegetables that are closest to their true form. Vegetables found in casseroles or mashed are typically full of extras like: oil, cream/milk, butter and or cheese. Enjoy some mashed potatoes, but opt for a much larger portion of roasted green beans and green salad. Roasting vegetables or making a broth based soup for a starter course is a great way to add in vegetables to the holiday menu without all of the extra things that can make them really heavy.
I sometimes mix up a big batch sangria for the holidays. Its just wine, brandy, fruit and tonic water and such a crowd pleaser. I also love serving kombucha as well. There are so many delicious alternatives to heavily sweetened and alcohol cocktails.
Bring Your Own Food. It might sound silly, but this is by far your best option. If you are responsible for taking a dish to a holiday shindig, then take a dish of something that you know will satisfy your guests but fits your dietary needs. Make some paleo stuffing, a green salad, fruit dessert or butternut squash soup that you know everyone will love.
I know this is easier said than done, but try to stay moving as much as you can. It can be difficult to stick to a work out routine during the holiday season, but your body will thank you if you can get something in. One of our Thanksgiving traditions when I was a kid, was to walk down the street together after Thanksgiving lunch. It was a great way to stay moving after a big meal and was fun bonding for everyone. Another tip would be to workout early in the morning before your guests arrive or while something is cooking. There are also Turkey Trots, Santa runs and holiday shuffles all over the country at this time of year so get out there!
Holiday meals and get togethers often mean unhealthy options, so eat mindfully when you are able to. If I know I have a holiday party or big dinner at the end of the week, I will try to eat much cleaner on the other days of the week. You can still enjoy the holidays without having to indulge every meal. Choose the things you want to eat and don’t feel guilty.
Do your best to plan ahead where you can and focus on enjoying everything. Remember that the season of giving and thankfulness is meant to be shared with those that you love. The true meaning of the season is about the ones you love and cherishing the time when everyone can come together. Stressing won’t help you make the most of the season.
Thanksgiving and Christmas have become less about the actual day and more about the entire season. Enjoy your time with the ones you love and relish in the moment. Don’t lose track of your goals, but don’t spend your energy spinning your wheels too much.
xoxo – Alaina