This season is a time to celebrate. But, you can enjoy the holidays in a healthy balance. Here are 10 tips for indulging without overdoing it, and finding time for some wellness-driven self care.
1. Start each day with a nutrient rich breakfast.
This important meal can set you up for all day energy, and leave you less prone to oversnacking in the evening. It can be as quick and simple as a piece of fresh fruit paired with a few hard boiled eggs and cut veggies dipped in guacamole. Or, check out the breakfast recipes on our site for options like make-ahead frittata, savory egg muffins, and overnight oats.
2. Drink plenty of H2O.
It can be easy to forget to drink during this busy time of year. But staying well hydrated helps to regulate appetite and support overall energy and good digestive health. Keep a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day.
3. Rate your splurge options.
There are numerous opportunities to indulge throughout the season, but some are more special than others. Before reaching for a treat, rank it on a 0-5 scale with 5 being can’t-live-without and 0 being meh. If something doesn’t rate at least a 4, chances are you won’t regret forgoing it or feel deprived.
4. Fit in veggies.
In addition to being chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and low in calories, eating more veggies is tied to better mental wellness. That’s key during what can be a stressful season. Stock veggies with hummus for snacking, and rely on easy breezy choices at mealtimes, like: ready to eat greens dressed with balsamic vinaigrette topped with quick protein, like canned beans or salmon; fresh or frozen veggies quickly sautéed in low sodium veggie broth with minced garlic and Italian herb seasoning; fresh or frozen veggies steamed and tossed with jarred pesto.
5. Find a little ‘you time’ each day, even if it’s just five minutes.
Go for a brisk walk, listen to a guided meditation, stretch, turn on some music, or dance! Taking a break to briefly focus on yourself can reinvigorate your spirit, and help you make intuitively healthier choices throughout the day.
6. Imbibe strategically.
Pair every cocktail with a full glass of water. This will keep you better hydrated and slow your drinking pace. It may also help curb your calorie intake, and avert the alcohol-induced munchies.
7. Bring some nutritious dishes to holiday parties.
A veggie tray with healthy dips is always a good bet, or try our recipe for light but flavorful veggie stuffed mushroom caps. Filling up your plate with options like these can help balance out traditional, more indulgent fare.
8. Stash better-for-you snacks in your bag for shopping excursions.
Opt for nuts, or a clean ingredient protein bar. Apart from keeping you fueled, a healthy snack can help prevent becoming overly hungry, which can lead to rebound overeating, and allow you to avoid less healthy fast food options.
9. Slow your eating pace, especially at big holiday meals.
Try to put your utensil down between bites, take breaths, and remain mindful of both your food and your fullness level.
10. Practice gratitude.
Research shows that spending 15 minutes before bed writing down grateful sentiments improves sleep length and quality, another key wellness component this time of year. If you don’t have the chance to jot down your thoughts, simply run through them in your mind. Any time spent focused on gratitude is valuable now, and all year long.
How do you stay balanced during the holidays? Please share your thoughts, tips, and favorite healthy recipes.