I’ve been reading articles and posts about how to transform traditional holiday goodies into more healthy fare. You know making them gluten free, or low fat or whatever your idea of “healthier” is. My thoughts on the holidays are a little different.
They come around once a year. In my family there are traditional recipes I would never mess with! My grandmother and mother and mother-in-law made these foods this way and I won’t change that. It is family tradition at a time of year when we celebrate family and traditions! Here is what I do instead. I elevate the ingredients where I can. For example I use organic eggnog for Christmas morning eggnog French toast; I use grass fed and finished beef in the lasagna and Greek Pastichio; I bake the cookies using organic, unprocessed sugar. But I don’t change the recipes.
Instead of worrying about the foods I’ll be eating during that week between Christmas and the New Year, I prefer to just relax, enjoy extra time with my family as well as the tastes and treats I only make once a year. They bring back warm memories and that’s a big part of the beauty of this time of year.
It’s more important to focus on what you eat from New Year’s to Christmas than it is during that time from Christmas to New Year’s!
As soon as January 1st rolls around – I enjoy my dinner of black eyed peas and chicken sausage (a tradition we started when we lived in Tennessee) and then get right back on my healthy eating plan the very next day.
Holidays by their very nature are meant to be out of the ordinary. I think it’s important to just relax and enjoy them. As long as you commit to getting back on track quickly, that one week will not undo all your hard work.
I believe stressing and being anxious about what you’re eating and whether or not you’ve put a pound or two on is worse for your health than enjoying a piece of lasagna and a few Christmas cookies!
So as we approach Christmas may I suggest a few tips?
- If you are in the process of trying to get to a healthier weight that you switch your goal, just for that week, from weight loss to maintenance. Be realistic.
2. Get out there and exercise each day – you’ll just feel better! Stay active.
3. Be sure you are drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily and staying hydrated (this will help you process emotions more effectively too – which have a way of escalating during the holidays!);
4. Continue taking your supplements each day;
5. Have a clean, healthy, protein breakfast, especially if you’ll be having a heavier dinner.
You will be giving your body the basics it needs to stay healthy and those extra treats will not be as big an issue.
6. Make time to spend with family, especially those you don’t get to visit with often.
7. And take time to remember what and Who we are celebrating!
I want to take this opportunity to wish you blessings and every beautiful gift during Christmas and Hanukkah!
Do you have tips for making the holidays less stressful and healthier?
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