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12/15/14 Issue

healthy eating during the holidays, healthy eating, holiday food shopping, holiday parties, exercise during the holidays,Eating Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are here and there is a lot of focus on parties and office potlucks to celebrate and eating healthy during the holidays can be a challenge. Each year memories of past years baked goods, large dinners and special treats start coming into your mind. Mm mm good. It can make your mouth water just thinking about some of those chocolate desserts and the cookies cutouts with sprinkles of colorful sugar. How about the three different kinds of potato dishes for one dinner? It is all very tempting and all very fattening and in large amounts could take your body for a spin.

Now, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a lighthearted and healthy holiday and a little of the dreamy desserts, but moderation is key. Try some of our healthy holiday tips to get you set up for the next few weeks and start your year out a few pounds lighter.

Eating Healthy During the Holidays – Mindfulness Matters

Don’t compromise on continuing to make healthy decisions during the holiday season – Whether you are on the go, eating at home, or out at a holiday party. Staying with a clean, light and healthy diet is possible during the holidays; it just takes some time to prepare your plan of action and your mindset.

  • At home – plan your meals and keep healthy foods snacks in the center of your daily regime. Instead of having holiday cookies sit out, have a bowl with berries instead. It is still a sweet treat, but with way less sugar and calories.
  • Don’t skip meals – So as not to be tempted to indulge too much when the holiday buffet appears. Skipping meals makes your body go into starvation mode and puts extra stress on your organs. And the next time you eat, it is much harder to control the amount of food you eat because of being so hungry. If you are in a hurry and cannot have a meal, try turkey slices with cheese or get a quick bowl of soup, preferably something with beans or protein. Stay away from soups with pasta and sweet tasting soups.
  • Take the focus off eating – By making time for and planning activities with friends and family that don’t revolve around food. You can get together before the holidays to go shopping with a friend or family member or just to have some coffee or tea at a nearby café to ease the holiday stress.
  • On the go – Pack a healthy bite for when you’re out and about, such as nuts, a hard-boiled egg, berries or cut raw vegetables. Anything you can put in a bag or closed container to take with you.
  • Don’t overeat – Relish in the holiday treats by controlling portions. If you simply can’t resist the temptation of the holiday fares, at least make sure to keep your portions are small. Sometimes talking in-between bits allows the food to settle in and for the stomach to communicate to the brain that it is full. If you eat quickly, the brain does not get the message before you have eaten too much. Slow down, only small portions of food on your plate and eat what is on the plate before you take any other food and hopefully the first plate will be enough if you took your time. Go for foods with good fats and proteins that will fill you up and keep you satisfied.

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Start planning your menus in advance. Make your mind up and condition yourself to keep up healthy habits during the holidays. When you go to the store, ensure you have a list with you so your stomach does not drive your purchasing decisions. There are so many holiday treats with eye-catching packages that staying focused is important to get home without additional items, typically the items that are high is sugar. Include plenty of vegetables, fruits and try some dairy alternatives like almond, coconut or cashew milk, lean meats and seafood. Check the food-labels and pick foods that are rich in nutrients but lower in sugar, saturated fat and calories. If you plan your meals and stick to the plan, you can create a meal that is tasty and healthy.

Make Time for Exercise

With all the holiday commotion, your exercise-schedule threatens to go swoosh! out the window. Exercising may be just what you need to let out some of the tension and stress that goes along with the turmoil of the holidays and to stay in tip-top shape. Setting time aside for a little bit of exercise can help you work out the extra holiday eating. You might want to consider parking downtown and taking a walk to view the festive decorations and listen to the music that fills the air.

Make some time for activities with the kids or friends that involve a sport or activity that keeps you moving. Holiday celebrations do not always have to focus around the dinner table. How about high tea, followed by some shopping and maybe even a trip to the ice skating rink…if that is a little too much, how about a stroll through the local park.

The Holiday Party and Eating Healthy

One of the best tricks in the book is to eat before you go to a party. Again, stick with nuts, lean meats, and healthy fat snacks so that your eyes don’t create a frenzy when you walk into the party and there is a table as long as a football field laden with rich foods. If you are not hungry, you won’t be drawn to eat as much. Also, go the vegetables first. If you ate a snack at home and then fill up on vegetables, you are less likely to have any room for all the desserts.

Remember the real meaning of the holidays is having quality time to spend with family and friends. Keep these tips to eat healthy during holidays in mind. They will help you get through the holidays in the pink. Don’t beat yourself up about the occasional dessert or candied yams, just regroup and begin the next day with a new plan. The key is to not overindulge and know that in the end, it is not the food that you will remember, it will be the memories that you made.

In Health and Happiness,

Pia Civiletti, The Sassy Italian Lady

Pia Civiletti, The Sassy Italian Lady, Founder of All Over Wellness






Tip of the Week

organic gifts, healthy gifts, holiday gifts, give a gift that shows you careThink about getting a healthy gift for your friends and family.  Nothing says you care more then a gift of health.  Gym memberships, gift certificates for a massage, a gift basket with organic fruit and treats, a gift card to a wellness center, or maybe even some organic skincare, soaps, baby products or a soft cotton bamboo t-shirt.

You can get gifts that are gluten free, free trade, non-GMO, organic, vegetarian, cruelty free and without harsh chemicals. There are so many to choose from and healthy gifts is definitely a growing trend.

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Said What?

“At the market my kid said, ‘Why are you buying beer, Dad? Do you know how much candy we could get with that money?!’” from buzzfeed.com