5 Tips for Eating Well During the Holidays

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”― Erma Bombeck

How many years have you said, “After the new year, I am going on THIS diet”? Or, “I am working out tomorrow because I ate THIS tonight”? We are all guilty of fat-shaming holiday food & ourselves for our indulgences. Between Halloween and New Year’s Day, we punish ourselves with self-hate talk, try to add in extra workouts, swear off sweets, fail at not eating our favorite holiday foods, and beat ourselves up mentally. During the holiday season, we make eating a shameful experience.

Mama, you are not alone in these habits. We do it too.

Let’s agree to give ourselves a bit more grace as we finish December and 2019. We are not advocating falling off the deep end into a pile of sugar, butter, and wine, but we are saying, FORGIVE yourself, mama. Eating is not shameful; even eating sweet or overly savory foods is not shameful.

We do want you to be healthy. We do want you to make smart choices. So in addition to giving yourself some grace to indulge a little bit & permission to stop the self-hate talk, here are 5 tips for eating well during the holidays.

1. Ask Yourself 1 Question

Ask yourself, “where does this food originate?” If it comes from a package, it probably has ingredients you won’t recognize; That means, your body won’t recognize it either. Try to consume foods that are closest to where they originated. In other words, dig into the fruit & veggie platters while eating minimally from the cracker & dip plate.

2. Compared to What?

Every time you are questioning if you should eat a particular food, always ask yourself: “Compared to what?” Is there a healthier, more nutritious option readily available or a treat you would rather have? When baking, could you cut down on the requested sugar or find alternative healthier recipes for the item (Google it! You will be surprised)? When trying to indulge less, ask if that lunch-time slice of cake is worth it, or could you wait to have your favorite holiday dessert that night instead?

3. Be Colorful

Bright colors in fruits and vegetables are the antioxidants that fight inflammation & boost your health. Make sure to include a wide color palette of fresh fruits and veggies on your plate at each meal. Even while the weather may be gray and cold, brighten your meals with a strong pop of color every time you sit to eat. Eat your greens & colors first!

4. Drink Up!

No, not wine. Water! Diligently drink water all day & evening. At holiday parties, go for the water first & drink a cup before you ever hit the food table. If you are consuming alcohol, alternate between an adult beverage and water; in other words, drink an entire glass of water before you pick up your next glass of wine.

5. Eat It & Move On

Yes, have a cookie. Yes, have some eggnog. Eat it & move on. Give yourself some room to enjoy your food. Sit down, eat it slowly, enjoying every bite. Take your time, mama. Do not hide away. Do not shovel it in before anyone else can see. Do not make eating a shameful action. Enjoy it.