For many of us in the past, the holidays have been the perfect excuse to have a cheat week and freely indulge in any food we’d like. From the Thanksgiving turkey to the holiday ham, we shamelessly take a break from our healthy lifestyle to enjoy all the tantalizing flavors that come with this time of year. However, many of us feel the aftermath of our choices in the weeks after when we try to get back to our routine of healthy eating and exercise. We may feel sluggish or unmotivated to jump back in so quickly which of course, can take a toll on your healthy lifestyle in the long run. Luckily, a great way to skip this course of events altogether is by continuing your healthy habits throughout the holidays. If you’re in need of some tips on how exactly to do so, keep reading and watch your favorite holiday foods become a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.
1. Shop Smart
Whether you are hosting events throughout the season or simply looking for healthy alternatives in your own home, the best place to start is in the grocery store. Creating delicious and healthy meals will be a lot easier if you start with delicious and healthy ingredients.
Before you even make it to the store, you’ll want to start the shopping process at home with some research. Your shopping trip will be most beneficial to you when you have a full understanding of what particular foods will be ideal for your diet and your meals during the holidays. Whole grains, for example, are great for targeting your brain and heart health as they contain more fiber than many refined grains that we eat on a regular basis. Similarly, leafy greens contain great sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can promote your overall health during the holidays. When you know this ahead of time, you can make sure to pick up foods like brown rice, quinoa, kale, or collard greens to include in your meals this holiday season.
Additionally, make your shopping trip one that you enjoy. Do not go at a time when you are in a rush or when you will feel overwhelmed and frustrated. This will cause you to be much less intentional with your purchases and likely attach a negative connotation to your healthy lifestyle. Instead, try to go shopping early in the morning or late at night to avoid the midday rush. This way you can take your time and choose the best ingredients for you without the pressure and stress that can come with holiday shopping.
2. Explore Substitutions
Either before or during your grocery shopping, you should always keep in mind some healthy substitutions and alternatives for your holiday meals. This will be the key to a delicious meal without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle. As a quick guide to get you started, here are some healthy replacements for common holiday ingredients:
- Coconut Milk vs. Heavy Cream: Coconut milk is said to have about 91% less saturated fat than heavy cream in addition to its very small amount of calories.
- Nutritional Yeast vs. Cheese: Although it is a holiday favorite, mac and cheese isn’t the healthiest of dishes. However, when the cheese is replaced with nutritional yeast, you can get a great source of protein and B vitamins for a fraction of the calories.
- Applesauce vs. Oil: When it comes to baking for the holidays, applesauce can be a great replacement for oil in any muffins, brownies, or cakes you’re making. Make sure that it is of the unsweetened variety to take advantage of the fat-free benefits without making your recipes too sweet.
3. Meal Prep
Preparing your meals ahead of time is typically not something we do during the holiday season but it can be incredibly helpful in order to keep you on track between feasts. While you can incorporate your healthy ingredients into your meal prep, the main benefits will be your controlled portion sizes and consistent eating throughout the day.
When you train your body to become satisfied with a certain amount of food, you are less likely to experience cravings and overeating during holiday meals. Similarly, when your body is on a consistent routine of eating, you won’t have to “save room” for your holiday feast because you will feel satisfied throughout the day.
Even if you’re not necessarily ready to meal prep for the holidays, you can, instead, take advantage of Nutrifusion’s fruit and vegetable nutrient blends to make your own smoothies and drinks to fill you up. Each blend provides you with a clear breakdown of the ingredients used and the health benefits you will experience. So even without a full-blown meal, you can maintain your lifestyle with a quick and easy smoothie prep.
4. Don’t Forget About Snacks
While you may have found some great, healthy options for your meals throughout the holidays, you’ll want to make sure you’re intentional with your snacking as well. For many of us, we naively assume that we will avoid snacks altogether throughout the holidays; however, this idea is what usually causes us to be lackadaisical with our snacking habits and in return, we overeat. Thankfully, however, snacking is not always unhealthy and with some intentionality behind it, you can prepare some great “in between foods” that will satisfy you without sacrificing your health.
Using an app or online delivery service can be extremely helpful when purchasing snacks because you have clear transparency of each snack you’re purchasing, the price, its ingredients, etc. However, in a physical store, you run the risk of shopping based on your environment and current cravings and can easily forget about the health implications of what you’re buying. An app like Gopuff, for example, gives you access to hundreds of plant-based and organic snacks in addition to its traditional groceries. The app even filters the healthy options from the others so that you are not left guessing what foods are best for you.
If you would rather make your own snacks, you use any produce you purchased for a quick bite to eat as well. Cauliflower bites, veggie rolls, and kale chips are fast, plant-based foods you can make to hold you over between meals. Not to mention these snacks can also be great treats to add to any event’s menu for your guests to enjoy.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout the holidays takes discipline and drive. Luckily, by starting with these few, quick tips, you can create your own authentic plan to get you through this holiday season healthy and happy.
NutriFusion develops all‐natural fruit and/or vegetable powders that are nutrient dense for use in foods, beverages, supplements, and pet foods.
Consumers may purchase our powders at: https://sales.nutrifusion.com/. Add our powders to juice, or sprinkle on top of foods such as yogurt, pasta dishes, beverages, and baked goods such as cookies, brownies, cakes, etc. A small amount, 225 mg, will provide 50% of the daily value from a range of nutrition from fruits and vegetables.
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