Holiday Survival Guide – Nutrition Edition
By Coach Kate Stone
There is no denying it, we have officially entered the “holiday season.” I find the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day to be the most challenging time to stick to the healthy eating and workout habits that we have worked on all year long. While I do not recommend trying to start a new diet during this time of year (I personally think that it’s unrealistic with all the temptations), I do think it is important to remind yourself daily of your nutrition goals. What’s your why? Are you trying to lose/gain/maintain weight? Are you eating to improve performance? Are you trying to make a weight class for a lifting competition? Do you just want to feel better? Regardless of your answer, try to keep your goals in mind as you make your way from turkey day to the end of the year. It may help you stay on track with your nutrition habits. To help you with this, I have gathered up some nutrition-based tips, tricks, and advice to help you navigate this season of abundance, so hopefully you come out on the other side feeling less stuffed than a turkducken.
- Put down your phone. Be present at meal times so you are more mindful of what you are eating. Bonus: You’ll be more present to those around you too. (And come on people, if you have your phone out at the dinner table, that’s just plain rude.)
- There will be sweets! It is ok to splurge, but try to choose treats that are only around during the holidays. Try to avoid things that you could have any day of the year.
- At a buffet-type meal, get an idea of all the choices available before starting to load up your plate. Get a generous serving of lean protein and veggies and fill up on those foods first. If you are still hungry, go back for smaller portions of the dishes that may not be as healthy.
- Take your time eating and enjoy the meal; it is not a race! Put your utensils down every now and then and give yourself a minute to see if you are getting full.
- If you feel like you over-indulged and “fell off the wagon” hard (like eating too many marshmallows while watching the great Christmas classic Elf), try not to beat yourself up. Don’t let it completely derail you either. Try to get back on track at your next meal.
- Volunteer to bring a side dish. That way you know there is something for you to eat. Check out the recipes below for some healthy and yummy recipes.
- Green Bean Casserole from “Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.” Dairy free, Gluten free. https://lexiscleankitchen.com/green-bean-casserole/
- Sweet Potato Casserole from “Eating Bird Food.” Gluten free, Vegan. https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/moms-sweet-potato-casserole-made-gluten-free-vegan/
- Apple Crumble Pie from “Bakerita.” Paleo, Vegan. https://www.bakerita.com/apple-crumble-pie-gluten-free-paleo-vegan/?_sp=44d372b5-0543-415f-82f5-c73c19e8e75f.1510610028158
For a couple more resources and guidelines regarding eating around the holidays, check out these articles:
“Thinking About Going Easy on the Big Holiday Meals? Think Again.” At https://renaissanceperiodization.com/thinking-going-easy-big-holiday-meals-think/
“Paleo Holiday Survival Guide” at https://stupideasypaleo.com/2013/11/12/paleo-holiday-survival-guide/