Have your holiday and eat it too
Adding a healthy twist to your traditional holiday recipes
The holiday season is a time full of family, friends, and plenty of delicious, tempting foods. To stay on track this year, we have a few tips to keep you feeling less full and allow you to eat all the holiday foods you love without the guilt.
An easy tip is to fill up on vegetables! Switch out a heavy appetizer with a hummus platter or veggie dish that you can munch on before the meal. To avoid overeating at dinner, make sure your plate has plenty of colors and covers all the essential food groups. Celebrate with the season’s best produce like squash, sweet potatoes, or kale, all of which make a wonderful pairing with any Nature’s Earthly Choice grains. By eating good-for-you foods first, you can cut back on the heavier dishes later.
Along with seasonal vegetables, you can find creative ways to use fruits this holiday season. In the winter months, we love pomegranate, orange, mango, and kiwi. We recommend grilling fruit to bring out some of the natural sweetness, or mixing up a fruit salad featuring seasonal fruits to get the sweet after-dinner taste you crave.
If you’d rather have a side dish or salad with your meal, try this Herby Couscous with Citrus and Pomegranate Dressing.
For those of you who have a party to attend, at which you expect a lot of good food, make sure you don’t skip breakfast or lunch on the day of the event. Skipping meals leads to the potential for more overeating later in the day. You can still enjoy all the delicious holiday dishes at the party, in smaller portions.
It’s also not a bad idea to bring your own dish to a holiday party so you know you can count on at least one healthy dish. Mix up a salad or a light appetizer, or even a healthier dessert, and then you’re guaranteed to have an option you’ll want to eat. For a simple dessert with a holiday taste, try these Almond Cranberry Quinoa Cookies.
If you tend to turn to munchies and appetizers before the meal, try keeping at least an arm’s length away from the appetizer table while you’re chatting so that you’re less likely to fill up on empty calories. Alternatively, position yourself next to the healthy options that you wouldn’t mind filling up on, or situate yourself by a fellow healthy eater so you can keep each other on track.
Remember to enjoy what you’re eating and focus on each bite. We all love our holiday treats, and this time of year everyone deserves to indulge a little. Don’t feel like you can’t enjoy your favorites, just remember to indulge wisely! Plan in advance and leave room and calories for your favorite treats. Pick a special treat to make the indulgence worthwhile. If your aunt’s holiday cookies are your all-time favorite, or your grandmother makes a delicious homemade pie only for the holidays, take a slice and enjoy it!
The holidays are a special time of year meant to be enjoyed with loved ones and delicious food!