Fall is here again. Can you tell? The daytime temperatures have dipped below 95 degrees and pumpkin spice is everywhere. Many of us greatly look forward to this time of year as it brings family and friends closer together. We also get time away from work and of course, the delicious food.
Whether it’s the company holiday party or a family celebration, here are five healthy holiday tips that will save you from dietary dismay come January 1.
1. Substitute foods. There are a lot of different ways to make recipes healthier. Most holiday meals consist of rich foods with decadent ingredients. Try some of these recipe substitutions during your next holiday meal.
2. Choose your treats. We all need to relax and let loose every so often, however, planning for the occasion will help avoid overindulging. Choose either a sweetened or alcoholic beverage, or a dessert, but not both. A calorie is a calorie so limiting yourself to one “treat” per meal will not only prevent you from excessive intake but will help strengthen your self-control practice.
3. Put yourself first. Always remember that you are the most important person in your own life. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first, especially during the holidays. I recommend setting aside 60 minutes every day to do an activity for yourself. This could be a brisk walk in the park, relaxing with a cup of coffee and a great book, or just simply recording thoughts in a journal. If you don’t have 60 minutes, take however much time you can. Any amount of time away for yourself from the daily routines and chores is better than none.
4. Emphasize the event, not the meal. Instead of planning a celebration around a meal try to plan an outing or event that doesn’t revolve around food. This will allow you to do something active with family and/or friends that doesn’t encourage overeating and excess calorie intake. Some examples include walking around looking at holiday lights, carving pumpkins or doing fun holiday crafts.
5. Keep your medical appointments. It’s very easy to skip medical appointments during the holidays due to a busy schedule. However, it’s a critical responsibility to follow up with your medical provider regularly.
Follow a child's mantra and enjoy some relaxing time reading a good book.