Solutions for Surviving the Holidays the Healthy Way!
Solutions for Sugar, Sweets and Treats
AVOID the following:
Artificial sweeteners = chemical
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – disrupts hormones that tell your brain when you are full, leading to overeating
The Many Names of Sugar - Read your labels!
Corn syrup, HFCS, dextrose, glucose, lactose, levulose, fructose, sucrose (table sugar), sorbitol, mannitol, malitol, xylitol
Natural Sugars - These are better choices, but moderation is key!
Honey, maple sugar/syrup, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, date sugar, coconut sugar, blackstrap molasses, stevia
Healthy Baking Swaps
Look for sugar free recipes, there are many online resources.
Cut back on the amount of sugar the recipe calls for.
Use unsweetened applesauce, low-fat yogurt, prune puree or dates instead of sugar.
Add in more spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
Replace half the white flour with whole wheat flour.
Curb cravings with fruit
Grab a piece of fruit when you are craving something sweet.
Flavor plain yogurt with fresh fruit – it has less sugar than the flavored yogurts.
Pack a Snack
Good choices are nuts, string cheese, fruit, veggies, whole wheat cereal or crackers.
Be sure to portion them out yourself and never eat right from the box!
Moderation is key – allow yourself one treat per day.
Savor the treat you allow yourself.
Solutions for Liquid Calories
Leave the sugar on the table and resist adding more in.
Limit soda and sugary drinks which are loaded with calories.
Better choices are: water flavored with lemon or lime, seltzer, all natural juices and herbal teas
Remember alcohol is dehydrating, so rotate water into the mix.
Chose lower calorie drinks like dry wines, wine spritzers, or a splash of spirits with seltzer.
Limit or avoid the calorie laden holiday drinks like egg nog, cider, holiday lattes, beer and anything mixed with a sugary drink mix.
Repeat: moderation is key!
Solutions for Over Indulging
Always start your day with a healthy, filling breakfast rich in protein and fiber.
Drink lots of water to stay hydrated!
Eat mindfully and in the moment.
Keep a journal – note what and when you ate and how it made you feel.
Going to a Party?
Don’t arrive hungry! Have a light snack before you go
Decide ahead of time which foods you want to indulge in and which you can live with out
It’s ok to say “no”
Offer to bring a dish
Limit the creamy, high fat foods like dips, dressings, red meats, baked goods
Appetizers: fruits and veggies (just limit the dips!), nuts (plain, no sugars and salts), hummus, baked chips, salsa or bean dips
Fill your plate with veggies first.
Hosting a Party?
Tip: Try not to nibble throughout the day as you are cooking!
Try out some lighter recipes, or use healthy swaps. Example: greek yogurt is a great swap for sour cream.
Use quality, fresh, whole food ingredients
Choose lean cuts of meat and trim the excess fat.
Broil or bake and put meats on a rack so the fat can drip away.
Baste with low-fat broth instead of pan drippings.
Fish is high in omega 3’s so choose salmon, halibut, tilapia or flounder.
Serve lightly steamed or raw.
Flavor with herbs such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary and thyme.
Tip: The brighter the color, the better.
Veggies are loaded in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber
Choose whole grain, high-fiber options.
Opt for Sweet potatoes instead of red or white.
Choose brown rice instead of white.
Other great grains: couscous, millet, buckwheat, quinoa
Stuffing and Gravy
Stuffing: add in dried fruits or nuts and cut back on adding in meat
Gravy: make from low-fat broth rather than from pan drippings
Nutritionally Dense Holiday Foods
Include these in your holiday feasts and throughout the year:
Pumpkin, Cranberries,Turkey, Sweet Potatoes and, Chestnuts
Gifts of Food
Give non-food gifts or put ingredients in a jar with the recipe and let the recipient make it.
Donate gifts of food you receive.
Bring your goodies to work so everyone can share!
Solutions for Stress
Deep breathing can be done anytime, anywhere. Inhale for 5 counts, exhale 5 counts. Repeat 10 times in a row and feel the relaxation.
Take breaks and walk away from your desk. Close your eyes for 15-20 seconds then open them and focus on something other than the computer.
Make to do lists and always to the most important things first.
Get Help by distributing your tasks.
Don’t be afraid to say no. You don’t have to please everyone.
Set a budget and stick to it.
Solutions for Lack of Exercise
Get it done first thing in the morning so you don’t have any excuses later.
Anything is better than nothing!
Do it in increments throughout the day.
Park your car further away at the mall.
Schedule in your work outs as you would any other appointment.
Plan a work out before a big party or meal
Be mindful and present in every moment. Check in with yourself when you feel you could be sabotaging your diet, your health or your mental state. Call a friend if you need support!
Love yourself enough to have the control over your actions.
Remember moderation, not elimination!
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t throw in the towel. Don’t punish yourself. Acknowledge a set back, learn from it and move on.
Remember the holidays are a time for enjoying family and friends and celebrating the reason for the season. It’s not about the food, the gifts, the decorations, or the parties!
*** Happy Holidays from A Simply Healthy Life ***