Holidays and special celebrations are a wonderful time to bring people together! But while food is often a focal point, there are many ways to enjoy get-togethers without totally losing track of your healthy living goals. Focus on the occasion and being with friends and family, not only on the food.
Steps you can take to ensure your healthy eating plan won’t be derailed:
- IT’S ALL ABOUT PORTION SIZE: It's often not what you eat, but how much that can lead to overindulgence at any time of the year. Make 50% of your meal veggies and the rest will fall into place.
- INDULGE THOUGHTFULLLY: Choose the sweets you know you will enjoy the most. If you don’t care for shortbread, opt for pecan pie or chocolate Turtles instead.
- ENJOY REFRESHING HOLIDAY CHEER: Non-alcoholic "virgin" Caesars, sparkling water and spritzers are great choices in keeping with the season. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and avoid the sugary mixers. Go for vodka water or soda, red or white wine, champagne or light beer. Plan to have water or soda water with a slice of lemon or lime between each drink to pace your intake.
- LOOK FOR COLOUR: Opt for fresh veggies, like zucchini or cucumber sticks, broccoli florets, carrot curls, and red or green peppers served with dips or spreads such as hummus, yogurt with herbs, or fresh salsa.
- BE CAREFUL WITH THE CHIPS: Serve crispy pita triangles, lentil chips, Melba toast or rice/quinoa crackers as healthy options.
- BE “FRUITABULOUS”: Fresh fruit trays are a wonderful and refreshing way to end any meal. Try exotic or tropical fruits like pineapple, kiwi, mango, pomegranate, blood oranges, guava, lychees, papaya & persimmon for a fresh twist on traditional flavours.
- MOVE MORE: You will feel better! Regular exercise can give you more energy to cope with the stress of the holiday bustle! Remember that every little bit of physical activity counts, so get moving!
- MAKE MINDFUL FOOD CHOICES: Emphasize protein and veggies as much as possible in your eating habits. Snack on almonds, fruit, raw veggies or yogurt so you are not overly hungry before heading out to your next holiday meal or event. When possible, sit down to enjoy your food and savour every bite!
- PLATE SIZE MATTERS: Limit the number of appetizers you eat, especially if you are planning to have a full meal later. If you are having a buffet, choose the smaller size plate, look at the choices first before you start filling your plate, and take what will satisfy you the most.
- KEEP TRACK: Log your eating and activity over the holiday season to help you stay on track—www.eaTracker.ca and MyFitnesspal.com or the app versions are great places to start!