Like so many things in parenting, navigating holiday indulgences among a sea of candy canes, school celebrations loaded with Christmas-colored doughnuts, social events and sentimental meals is totally and completely … exhausting. This very morning I was having a minor panic attack (OK, I’m being a little overdramatic), about a weekend of gingerbread cookies, candy-cane hot chocolates and Nutella crepes. I shifted gears and got excited thinking of how “clean” (c’mon, this is what I do for a living) I was going to cook and we were all going to eat to help get us through the rest of this holiday week. As I pulled out my first carrot to chop for a big veggie soup, I was thinking I couldn’t wait to make the Hanukkah cookies with the kids that we make every year. Do you feel my pain here? Is it possible to indulge and feel empowered rather than victimized? I think the answer is a resounding YES, but it also means taking a look at your food culture and deciding how you plan to empoweringly indulge. I have some ideas:
Tag: holiday tips
For many of us, holiday overeating is a tradition, a ritual that leads to weight gain, not to mention enormous guilt. The good news is, there are plenty of wise food choices at most soirees, so you can enjoy the revelry, nosh on great food, and still feel great in the morning. Here are some strategies to help you navigate any party spread.
Healthy eating over the holidays can be tough. Finger food and cocktails are overly abundant at every holiday party, and the cold weather certainly doesn’t help the comfort food cravings. But instead of trying to steer clear of all fatty foods, indulge a little. You read that right, indulging is 100 percent okay — it is the holidays after all. Indulging smartly, however, is the key.
Health expert Dr. Dean Ornish has five tips for navigating holiday parties:
- Eat something beforehand. If you don’t eat all day, you may arrive at holiday meals and parties ravenous and lose control.
- Eat the healthier foods first – they will fill you up somewhat, so you’ll be less likely to overeat the more indulgent foods.
- Choose foods that leave evidence – e.g., keep the shrimp tails and chicken wing bones on your plate after you’ve eaten them. Studies show that if you have cues to see how much you’ve eaten, you’ll eat less.
- Eat more slowly. The faster we eat, the more we eat. Sip water between bites. Holiday meals last longer than typical meals. If you wolf down your food, your plate may be clean while others are still eating, which will lead to seconds.
- Close your eyes and savor the food periodically during the meal. You’ll consume fewer calories and experience more pleasure.