Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 Tips to Eating Healthy During the Holidays

by guest blogger Holly Yzquierdo

We are all adults here so I'm going to go ahead and say it. You can't let a couple of holidays completely derail your health or your goals. Now I know that was a little harsh but let's think about it objectively. Depending on your traditions you probably only really celebrate a few days between now and the end of the year. Why does that usually turn into a junk food fest for a month and a half? Are those few days worth the downward spiral that usually follows poor food choices. I'm not saying you can't indulge a bit but let's be smart about it. The following tips will help you celebrate without derailing your health.

5 Tips to Eating Healthy During the Holidays

1. Eat Healthy Before You Celebrate

Most celebrations this time of year are full of unhealthy foods. You'll find too much salt, fat, oil, sweets all disguised as holiday cheer. To combat the temptation eat a healthy meal before you celebrate. If there is no time for a meal eat a few pieces of fruit on the way. This simple step will allow you to resist temptation or at least only indulge to a level you are comfortable with.

2. Bring a Dish

Many celebrations are informal and everyone can bring something to share. Make sure to bring something substantial and delicious. I usually opt for a Southwest Quinoa Salad full of veggies and avocado or this Spinach Artichoke Dip. Someone usually brings a veggie tray so it's safe to keep it simple and bring a container of hummus.

3. Speak to the Host BEFORE the Party

I once attended a Christmas party and was asked to bring a salad and a dessert. I assumed that meant they would have other things for us to eat but that was not the case. It was a meat and seafood fest. The only thing that my family could eat was the salad and Gluten-Free Brownies I brought. Learn from my mistake and don't make assumptions. Ask about the menu and if they will have something available for you. If not volunteer to bring it. We still had a great time by the way!

4. Save the Party Food for Parties

During the holidays we seem to be surrounded by cookies, mixed nuts, chips, dips and all other manner of temptation. Personally I don't have a problem with indulging during holiday parties but keep it at the party. Do not allow these unhealthy foods to become a permanent fixture in your kitchen. If you happen to be the one throwing the party, send unhealthy leftovers away with the guests, donate it or throw it away. If you know any college students or parents with teens they will happily take it off your hands.

5. Start Over

Hopefully you set out to make healthy choices during the holidays but even if you don't quite meet your goals there is no time like the present to renew your goals and start again. Maybe even set a date to jump back on track and make sure you are ready to follow through. If you need a little help you can join me for the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse and Challenge starting January 1st. I'm offering a special 50% off for all of you!

Holly Yzquierdo is determined to show people that healthy eating doesn't have to be difficult, expensive or time consuming. She blogs at My Plant-Based Family and offers free weekly meal plan, allergy-friendly recipes and must-read tips about plant-based living. Holly has also just released her new ebook, The Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook, that is perfect for planning a healthy and delicious, full-course holiday meal.

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by Dustin Rudolph, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

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