The biggest holiday season is quickly approaching. With Thanksgiving in late November, I feel like it basically runs from then all the way to New Years Day! I love it! It's my favourite time of the year. I love that people always seem to be a bit friendlier, the catchy Christmas songs that we say we hate but c'mon, do we really?, hot drinks that warm my belly, that crispness in the air, the food... oh yeah, the food. That's kind of what I wanted to talk about today. Food is a big part of the holidays and I know for many people it can also be a cause for anxiety. There's a lot of holiday parties, baking, big dinners and so on. So how can you get through the holidays with your health, happiness and sanity in check? Well, I've come up with a few suggestions!
- Eat whole foods. This really applies to any time of the year but during the holidays it's easy to reach for box mixes and other short cuts. This is an easy way to end up consuming far too much sugar, processed additives and other ingredients without realizing it. Try to stick with foods that you recognize; where you know what the ingredients are.
- Bring your own dish to a party. A healthier, cooked from scratch dish. This way, you know there is going to be at least one healthier option for you. Not to say you can't also eat other things but perhaps you can eat smaller amounts of the things you know are less good for you. As a vegan, I often bring food to parties so that I know there's something I can eat! At first I thought I might look odd but I find that people really appreciate and enjoy it (I bring enough to share!).
- Drink more water. This is especially important if you're consuming alcohol. Not only will it help hydrate you (alcohol dehydrates you) and help you to avoid a hangover but it may prevent you from over drinking. Try to have a glass of water for every drink you consume, if not more. Carrying it in your hand at a party also makes you less likely to eat out of boredom.
- Eat consciously. It's really easy to eat out of boredom or simply because it tastes so freakin' good! Just remember to be aware of what you are eating and how much of it. Know your comfort zone; how much of something can you eat without feeling guilty? There's nothing wrong with indulging but it should feel good, not bad. I know I can, say, eat 2 cookies and fully enjoy them but if I eat many more than that I'm not going to feel so great so why bother? Just be present in the moment and listen to your body. Also, remember to really chew your food! You'll digest it better, feel satisfied quicker and consume less overall.
- Prep food ahead of time. Cookies are so easy to just grab and eat but hey, so is fruit, nuts, roasted chickpeas etc Try making some healthy snacks (or meals) to have on hand. It's a busy time of the year but hey, if we can find time to bake we can find time to prep healthy food right?
Creamy artichoke dip
Black bean soup