The holidays are here – a magical time of year filled with sparkling lights, homemade treats, loved ones and holiday feasts.
Although there is much more to this season than these large meals, the festivities most certainly can become centered around the dinner table.
Many give up on their health goals during this time of year, planning on picking back up where they left off in the new year. It can sometimes feel like a lost cause even attempting, but I have some good news for you! You do not have to compromise your health goals this season, and better yet, you also don’t have to compromise missing out on your favorite holiday meals.
With a few healthy tips you can implement this season and beyond, you can add some healthy additions to your meals without anyone noticing.
A few of my favorite healthy tips are…
1. Ditch and Switch. Ditch the refined foods and switch them with healthier options. For example, instead of using refined white flour and/or sugar, use almond flour or coconut sugar instead. There are many alternatives to choose from, and you can most definitely find one that you will love – and I bet you nobody will even notice!
Aside from the sweets, you can also trade out white rice or mashed potatoes with creating cauliflower rice or mashed “potatoes” out of cauliflower.
2. Is it Worth the Calories? Choose to think of food as your fuel to live a happy energetic enjoyable life. When you think about the energy a certain food will give you or take away it is easier to stop or not even start eating that food in the first place. Even though that double chocolate cake looks delicious it won’t after the first or second bite. If you don’t love it, don’t keep eating it. If you really do enjoy it and have planned on a holiday dessert then enjoy a small piece.
All the foods we eat have a certain energy. People have an aura or life energy and so do foods. Think about the energy this food will give you to live or maybe it will take energy away and leave you feeling depressed and depleted? Bummer! This is a powerful paradigm shift and is worth spending time thinking about.
3. Fresh Herbs and Spices. You can really dress up a meal by adding fresh herbs and spices to it – I personally use them every time I cook. It’s incredibly affordable and simple to keep a small, fresh herb garden growing in your kitchen window, and you will always have direct access to fresh herbs. Even better, there are incredible health properties in many of the herbs and spices we use and love.
Many of our favorite holiday spices are greatly beneficial for our health and a strong immune system, which is certainly helpful during cold and flu season. Cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, and nutmeg are a few of these popular holiday spices that you will reap healthy benefits from, so find a place for them in your recipes anywhere you can!
4. Use Different Plateware. One of my favorite, most powerful tools to stay on track with my health goals is getting creative with portion control. Instead of using dinner-sized plates, which we tend to fill, use smaller plates. Use a mid-sized saucer or salad plate for your dinner plate, and then go back for seconds if needed. Which brings me to my favorite and is really the number one way my clients lose weight and keep it off.
5. The 50% Rule. A lot of the overeating that we do is mindless, habitual eating because it’s in front of us and we were taught to clean our plates. So learning to take only 50% of what you think you need has worked really well for myself and my clients. You take only 50% of what you think you need, knowing you can go back if you feel your need more.
This method can help you eat more mindfully, and enjoy the food you have on your plate before reaching for more. It also helps to wait 10 minutes before going back allowing the brain to get the signal that the stomach is full.
Taking this temptation away helps tremendously, and you’ll very quickly learn how much you actually need to feel satisfied – I guarantee it is less than you are used to!
With these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to not entering January feeling bloated, discouraged and off track.
A truly healthy life revolves around balance – and finding your own personal balance will take trial and error.
Speaking of January – why wait until AFTER the holidays to feel energetic, sexy, and happy?
Reflect Revive & Renew for 2017 – with a totally NEW 60-Day REAL FOOD Wellness Plan
We start TODAY To –
Reflect on the past years successes and failures
Revive our commitment to health and wellness
Renew our commitment to our inner health coach
Aren’t you FED UP with the holiday fatigue, over-eating, and feelings of failure?
Frustrated with trying one program after another only to go back to those nasty bad eating habits? Click to read more and sign up for a complimentary session to answer any questions and encourage you to love yourself to health!
Thank you for being a faithful follower and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Jennifer M. Cross
Jennifer M. Cross, MS, LPC, CHC, is a certified health counselor who helps people achieve a healthy lifestyle that is flexible, fun and long-lasting. Jennifer provides a personalized road-map to health that suits each unique body, lifestyle, and set of goals. Contact Jennifer to continue or begin your health journey today.