Holidays are all about celebrating good times with family and friends. And, of course—enjoying the delicious, rich, decadent holiday foods—who doesn’t love a good chocolate mousse? With co-workers bringing treats to the office, neighbors dropping off plates of goodies, and sugary treats on display everywhere you shop—there’s no doubt, staying away can be a bit of a toughie. Believe it or not—by following a few simple tips, you can revel in all your favorite foods—without worrying about your waistline!
Going shopping? Eat before you go! You’ll less likely get hungry during your store-to-store shopping. Even if you’re planning on it being a quick trip—make sure to bring along a healthy snack like an energy bar, dried fruit or nuts to hold you over.
Don’t skip breakfast. There’s a reason why it’s the most important meal of the day! Try having a protein-packed gluten-free bowl or your overnight oats! In a hurry? Blend up your favorite Plexus 96® shake before scurrying out the door.
Downsize your plate. The average holiday dinner packs a whopping 3,000 calories.1 Whether you’re at home or at a fete, opt for the smallest plate. A small plate tricks your brain and makes your portion size seem larger. So, aim small—you can always go back for seconds.
Eat the healthiest foods first. Instead of heading straight for the Jell-O casserole or the oh-so buttery garlic bread—grab a bowl of soup, or load your plate with a serving or two of vegetables and salad! Vegetables are high in fiber, low in calories, and help you feel full—making it a win/win for weight maintenance.
Keep tabs on your alcohol consumption. The average alcoholic beverage contains 125 calories and up, depending on the mixer. Try skipping the high-sugar juice mixers all together and consider alternating your alcoholic beverage with sparkling or seltzer water instead.
Share the wealth. When friends pop in with plates full of sugar cookies, keep as many as your family can eat in one day and re-gift the rest to neighbors or colleagues.
Healthy Holiday Fare. at Home Generations of family holiday recipes are the best. It’s easy to keep family food traditions alive by serving healthier versions of your beloved standbys. Here are some ways to help your family stay healthy while still enjoying your favorite festive foods.
Go a little nutty. Nuts are known to be the healthiest kind of calories, especially for children. They’re packed with fiber, and healthy fats to help keep your appetite in check. Keep a bowl of pistachios, chestnuts and walnuts out to snack on—they’re perfect when watching your favorite holiday movie.
Embrace the fruit and veggie platter. Keep snack cravings to a minimum by keeping fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. Serve carrot, and celery sticks with hummus instead of calorie-rich dips.
Start with soup. Try creamy pumpkin soup made with cashew milk, coconut cream, vegetable broth, and unsweetened pumpkin puree spiced with nutmeg, and cloves. Don’t forget to ditch the heavy cream!
Go for greens. A roasted chickpea and kale salad packs a punch. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and kale is nutrient-dense. Toss chickpeas roasted with olive oil, paprika and cayenne with kale and top with a tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil dressing. And, wah-lah a beautiful, colorful plate awaits.
Let sweet potatoes shine. Roast the sweet potatoes—drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, and coconut cream. Top with corn flakes instead of onions for a gluten-free treat high in fiber and vitamin A.
Dress up the dressing. You can eliminate a lot of calories by simply cutting down on the amount of bread in your stuffing. Add veggies like garlic, onions, celery or leeks, and fruit such as apples or cranberries. Punch it up with pecans or hazelnuts. For gluten-free dressing, substitute gluten-free corn bread instead of bread croutons.
Heart-healthy sides. Roast a variety of vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, onions, diced pumpkin, beets and carrots—then toss with balsamic vinegar, toasted walnuts, and kalamata olives.
Green bean casserole makeover. And when we say makeover, we mean makeover. For a super yummy, gluten-free low-calorie dish—cook the green beans with sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and onions in vegetable broth and white wine. Then, add coconut cream, thicken with chickpea flour, top with corn flakes for a bit of a crunch then bake!
Swap the mashed potatoes. Instead, try steaming cauliflower florets and mash with vegetable broth, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and olive oil. Top with fresh sage, thyme and chives.
Lo-cal nog. Did you know, Eggnog has about 11 grams of saturated fat and about 343 calories per cup? For a healthier version, blend 2 cups of soymilk with 3 ripe bananas, ¼ teaspoon rum extract, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, then top with a sprinkle of nutmeg. And wah-lah! Your scrumptious holiday beverage awaits! For a real kick, add a splash of dark rum. Keep in mind—when celebrating the holidays, and enjoying the festivities—don’t forget to keep up with your exercise regimen! By keeping your activity level up and incorporating healthy foods into your holiday menu—you’ll be able to indulge in your favorite foods without fear of wreaking havoc on your health.