I know for a lot of people the holidays kills their healthy eating habits, but it doesn’t have to. There are many ways that we can enjoy the holiday foods without risking our health or sabotaging our ‘diets’. I put it in quotes because personally I don’t beleive in diets in the way our society views it. Society often sees the word diet and automatically assumes calorie counting and low fat or something that is only temporary to help us lose weight. In reality though a diet is just what we eat, we can have a healthy diet or an unhealthy diet.
When many people who are trying to eat healthier get to the holiday season, they either try to avoid all of the wonderful treats being offered to them around every corner and feel like they are missing out or they just give up and because they’ve been denying themselves for so long end upovereating and feeling guilty the whole holiday season. Who wants either of those outcomes? Not me.
So, I have a few tips to help us still enjoy the holiday seasonal treats while still adhering to our healthy lifestyle.
Just eat a few bites and throw away the rest (right away) or share with another friend who is trying to eat healthier. The benefit of this is that you can try multiple desserts (if you want) and just eat one or two bites of each. I wouldn’t do this everyday but just for those special holiday parties when you are not in control of what goes into the food and surrounded by lots of delicious foods. Savor each bite and don’t feel guilty.
Give up the guilt. If you over indulge at a party or eat a whole plate of cookies that your neighbors dropped off before your family gets home, then accept it. You overate and you probably don’t feel good physically, but don’t lay on the guilt. Laying guilt on ourselves only pushes us towards more comfort eating. So forgive yourself and just go eat something healthy and decide that you will do better, not tomorrow but from right then.
Create healthier versions of your holiday favourites and make them for your family or take them to your get togethers (often you can’t even taste the difference). This last tip is the most important. While you cannot control what types of foods others make or bring to parties, you can control your own food. When making your holiday favourites for your family just make a healthier version with a few substitutions and eat in moderation. For creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle, making this tip a habit is essential. Try these substitutions:
- Cane Sugar (white, brown, muscavado, powdered, etc): You can half the amount or swap it for coconut sugar, xylitol, stevia, maple syrup, dates, mashed banana, applesauce or honey.
- Butter: Many people think that butter is bad for you, but it’s not. Unless you have an allergy or intolerance to dairy, leave it in the recipe. If you have to go dairy free try using coconut oil in its place.
Check out the links below for some healthier holiday options:
A Nourishing Egg Nog from Made Well
A Refined Sugar and Dairy Free Hot Cocoa from Whole New Mom (you could always add milk if you can have dairy)
Healthy Marshmallows from The Wellness Mama to go with the hot cocoa
25 Grain & Refined Sugar Free Holiday Cookies from The Natural Nurterer
Gluten & Refined Sugar Free Peppermint Fudge from Southern in Law
Paleo Banoffee Cheesecake from Paleo4U
I hope that you enjoyed these tips and recipes and that you can enjoy this holiday season food and all without feeling guilty!