Holiday Eating Tips + Recipe
- Friday, 16 December 2011
Let’s make this year the year when you really do stay on track with your healthy lifestyle. The holiday season is a festive time filled with cookies and alcohol, cocktail parties and large family gatherings. Many people approach these weeks with either a sigh of surrender or view them as a free ticket to over indulge. Either way, you end up with tight jeans and a sense of lost control.
I’d love to see you all not only survive the season but also still feel good about yourself by the time the new year rolls in. Discipline doesn’t mean deprivation and healthy doesn’t mean bland. Here are some strategies to help you navigate the party circuit and enjoy the holidays without a shred of guilt.
No skipping meals! Especially before you go to a party. Many people think they should “save” their calories for later in the day but allowing yourself to starve sets you up for cravings and will most likely lead to poor food choices. Keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism revving by eating 4-5 mini meals throughout the day. If you eat a healthy snack an hour or two before your event, you’re less likely to find yourself making a mad dash to the buffet table as soon as you arrive.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day as well as at your party. Enjoy a glass or two of wine but alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water. It will keep your consumption down and help you stay hydrated. Dehydration can be linked to fatigue and weak digestion so keep your energy topped up with lots of pure water.
Make a commitment to yourself to engage in your favorite mode of exercise at least 3-4 times per week. Book it in your calendar and make it non-negotiable. No one ever regrets making time to get to the gym or to a yoga class. Consider it a gift to yourself.
Decide in advance if there’s going to be a particular party or food item you want to enjoy and then enjoy it. No looking back, no negative thoughts, no guilt....just enjoy it. A couple of chocolate pecan shortbreads or a little too much wine one night will not erase all your healthy habits. Next day, get right back on track with all your healthy routines and don’t give it another thought.
Eat until you’re no longer hungry but not until you’re full. They’re not the same thing. Research has shown that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register satiety. Feeling “stuffed” is more likely to make you feel sluggish, sleepy and lead to unnecessary weight gain.
Enjoy holiday treats that are decadent AND healthy. Offer to bring healthy foods to your parties so you know you will have some good options. Most hosts will welcome a platter of veggies and hummus, a big spinach salad or a healthy dessert.
Recipe: Raw Cacao Bliss
One of my favorite indulgences is raw cacao powder. This is chocolate in its purest form; it has not been subjected to any heat processing so its nutrients are all intact. It’s a naturally rich source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron and even fiber. The high magnesium content supports heart health, relaxes the body and mind and can even help relieve the symptoms of PMS. Raw cacao contains compounds (primarily anandamide and phenylethylamine) that boost alertness, happiness and a sense of well-being, and it stimulates the secretion of serotonin, a feel good neurotransmitter. No wonder we all love chocolate!
This recipe is incredibly simple and quick to make. Your friends may have a hard time believing it’s actually good for you. Eating a couple of these Vegan Chocolate Coconut Balls is all pleasure and no guilt. Enjoy!
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Balls
1 1/2 cups of organic unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
dash of vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together by hand and roll into balls. Store in the freezer and take out about a half hour before you want to serve.
Couldn’t be simpler! Happy Holidays!