Healthy Holiday Eating

Over the holiday season, we all tend to slack on our healthy habits. We no longer worry about looking good in that bathing suit, so we trade fresh salads and fruit for holiday cookies and feasts, hiding behind sweaters and baggy clothes. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Following a few simple steps will keep you healthy and happy through the holidays and the winter months ahead!  

1. Get active in the morning.

During the fall and winter, days are shorter, and by the time you get home from work or school, it’s likely dark out. Take advantage of the morning sunlight by getting your workout done early. When nighttime hits, you won’t have to worry about forcing yourself to the gym. Plus the endorphins will keep you going throughout the day.

2. Hunger VS Cravings.

Animals and humans alike were predisposed to gain weight come fall so that they could survive the winter. To prevent this natural inclination, take extra caution to pay attention to your hunger and fullness levels while you’re eating. Make sure that you’re eating out of genuine hunger and not simply out of craving. Eating slowly, mindfully, and without distractions is the best way to make this happen.

3. Enjoy comforting filling meals.

We tend to crave heartier, warmer meals in the fall, but this doesn’t have to mean less healthy or more fattening. Things like broth based soups and stews, sautéed greens and squashes, are all great seasonal options that will also feel comforting and filling. Fill up on seasonal items like apples, squash, potatoes, greens, broccoli, cauliflower and beets. These are all great options and are plentiful at local farmer’s markets and your grocery store! They’ll taste best, be freshest, and have their highest nutritional value throughout the season. Pair them with lean protein and whole grains for hearty meals. Swap out your iced beverages with a cup of hot tea to warm you and reduce appetite.

4. Go for an afternoon walk.

There is a correlation between depression and sunlight, which is why some people get the seasonal blues, so make sure you are getting enough sunlight and vitamin D in your days.  Make it a priority to get outside in the afternoon for at least 15 to 20 minutes to soak up some sunlight before it gets dark.

5. Get your rest.

The holidays can be a stressful time for many. Chronic stress can lower your immunity and lead to sickness and much bigger health problems. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Find a few minutes each day to relax, do something you enjoy, and just breathe.