The holidays can be a difficult time for some people. You may already be on a diet or just trying to be mindful of your cholesterol levels, either way the holidays should be a joyous time, not a stressful one. Whether your family holiday party, or joining coworkers for a holiday happy hour here are my top 3 tips for happy and healthy holiday eating!
Avoid Sugary and Sugar-Free Drinks - Most holiday drinks contain high amounts of sugar including warm apple cider, eggnog, candy cane cocktails and pumpkin lattes. Many times they have higher amounts of sugar than most sodas.
Did you know, a 16oz serving of your average pumpkin spice latte has a whopping 50 g of sugar, that’s a 1/4 cup! These same drinks are usually available sugar free which does not mean they are healthier. Most contain fake sugar alternatives such as aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) which are extremely harmful to health. If you do choose a sugar free version of something, it's important to choose ones made from stevia or monk fruit which are natural sugar alternatives with no known negative health effects.
Eat Salad and Vegetables First - It’s okay to indulge and enjoy your favorite foods, even if they are the unhealthy ones. I go crazy for my uncles cheesy German noodles we have at our family holiday party! That being said, I'm always sure to eat a good sized bowl of salad and include at least 2 vegetable based sides on my plate that I eat before digging into anything else. Doing this ensures I won’t have any excuse to not eat my veggies because I am too full and that I won’t have that totally bogged down ready to take a nap feeling that I dread. It will also reduce the room in your stomach so you can still enjoy your favorite unhealthy foods while avoiding triple portions!
Take a Little Stroll After Eating - Although you may not feel like it, walking after a meal is one of the best ways you can aid your body in digestion, regulate blood sugar and promote a healthy metabolism. Take this opportunity at a family gathering to take a walk with someone you don’t get to spend much time with. Along with all the delicious food around the table, comes all the sodium! Make sure you stay hydrated, let your lawn fend for itself!