The holidays, who doesn’t look forward to them? You get time off; you see your family and friends, and the uncontrollable “cheat day” in your diet. But, what if you didn’t have to have a “cheat day”? What if instead you decided to stay dedicated to your healthy food choices or maybe only had a small unhealthy thing? Here are a few easy ways to outsmart the holidays
1)Stay Active Before, During & After The Holidays
You always need to keep moving, whether it’s going for a long walk, playing a sport, or attending your HeartCORE appointments: https://heartniagara.org/hc-appt/! Make your exercise like booking a doctor’s appointment. You know it can be a real pain to reschedule an appointment so why not treat it the same so that you are motivated to keep moving during the holidays.
**PROTIP: Get the family involved! Maybe during the holidays you and your family go for a walk, bike ride, play badminton or in my family we play spoon hockey!
2) Stay Hydrated By Drinking Water!
A lot of us take the ability to have water nearby for granted. Drinking water helps our bodies to flush out waste in our bodies, lubricates joints and maintains our body temperature, but how does this help you during the holidays? By drinking water throughout your day and even during your meal it helps you have that feeling of being full, which may help you eat less food during the holidays.
**PROTIP: Make your water more flavourful by adding lemon, cucumber, mint, or even fruit to make it a little bit different. You can even remake it and bring it to your host’s house instead of a bottle of wine.
3) Bringing Your Own Food
I know it may sound crazy, but as someone who has food intolerance, I found it’s sometimes easier to bring your own meal to avoid asking a million questions about what they are making and what’s in it. By doing this you are able to enjoy a meal with everyone.
**PROTIP: Make a large amount of salad/side dish/dessert for everyone, so that they can also enjoy the same dish as you are.
4) Ask For A Smaller Plate
What sometimes can get people to over eat is the size of their plate. Think about. How likely are you loading up your plate with food? Most people would say ‘very likely’ and in that case the bigger the plate the more room for food to go on it. By using a smaller plate you can pick and choose what food you would like to have and also have them in smaller portions because you are trying to fit it on one plate.
5) Control The Amount You Scoop Onto Your Plate
Portion Size of food is very important. You want an equal place to everything you eat. Now what is for you can be different for someone else, but I find the best option is to have smaller amount of carbohydrate foods (such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.) and more protein and vegetables/fruits (such as turkey, salad, green beans, asparagus, etc.). Maybe even think about dividing your plate into sections such a ¼ carbohydrates, 1/3 protein, and the rest of the plate covered in vegetables/fruit.
**PROTIP: Use measuring cups to measure the amount of food you are putting in your plate or even invest in measuring spoons that can be used to serve the food.
6) Choose The Right Foods
Sometimes people forget that you can make a choice in what food you eat during the holiday. Think about what we talked about before. Instead of loading your plate with unhealthy/too much of the same food, make the choice to sticking to your healthy foods like having turkey, vibrant green salad, asparagus, sweet potato mash, etc. The more colour to your plate the more nutrients you are getting from different kinds of food. Also try to stay away from overly processed food that can contain little to no nutritional value to diet, such as canned food for example which can be high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and sugar.
**PROTIP: Want to eat a healthy dessert that everyone can enjoy? Here is a delicious chocolate energy ball recipe that can make up for the holiday chocolate that you get at the grocery store and that is “Diana Friendly”!
- 1 Cup Cashews
- ¾ Cup Pitted Dates
- ¼ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/8 Cup Raw Honey or Maple Syrup
- 1 Splash of Milk (I use Unsweetened Original Almond Milk)
1) Mix all ingredients (except the milk) in a food processor or blender until it is crumbly
2) Add milk and mix again. If it is too sticky add more Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. If it is too dry add more milk
3) Roll the dough into balls and store in freezer.
4) Serve after holiday dinner for dessert! Enjoy!