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9 Tips for a Successful & Nourishing Holiday Season

healthy-holiday-tips

By Jessica Gilbreath, MS, CNS, LDN Dietician Nutritionist/Health Coach 

As we dive into the holiday season, it’s crucial to remember that what you do most days matters way more than the occasional splurge during festivities. 

The key to a healthy and balanced holiday season is to approach the festivities with a sense of balance and moderation. Your daily habits and routines throughout the year play a much larger role in your overall well-being. By prioritizing long-term well-being and integrating mindful choices into your daily routine, you empower yourself to navigate the holiday season in a way that enhances joy and connection without compromising your overall health. 

 

Learn some practical tips to set you up for success this holiday season: 

 

  1. Keep Nourishing Food in the House: Stock your kitchen with the good stuff – fruits, veggies, healthy proteins and fats — even during the holiday rush. Having healthy options within arm’s reach makes it way easier to make wholesome choices when the weeks start to blur.
  2. Make the Healthy Stuff Easy to Grab: Rearrange your kitchen so that the healthier options are front and center. Eye-level veggies in the fridge, clear containers for whole grains. Make it so easy to choose the good stuff that you don’t even have to think twice.
  3. Manage Stress: Holidays can be a rollercoaster. Find your ideal stress-relief practice and prioritize it. Practice deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help center yourself. Prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s reading a book, listening to music, or spending time in nature.
  4. Set Realistic Expectations: Manage your expectations for the holiday season, both in terms of food choices and social interactions. It’s okay if things don’t go exactly as planned. Be flexible and focus on the positive moments rather than striving for perfection.
  5. Practice Mindful Eating: Enjoy your holiday meals mindfully by savoring each bite and paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Avoid distractions, such as electronic devices, while eating to fully appreciate the flavors and textures of your food. This can help prevent overeating and promote a healthier relationship with food. It’s not just about what’s on your plate; it’s about the experience.
  6. Meal Plan for Easy Recipes: Figure out what you’re cooking in advance to save time and stress. Opt for recipes that are quick, easy, and align with your taste buds. Pro tip: Consider preparing larger batches of meals that can be portioned and frozen for later use, providing convenient and healthy options during busy holiday times.
  7. Get Creative with Veggies: Veggies can be exciting, promise! Try making new vegetable-based holiday dishes, adding greens to soups and stews, or preparing colorful salads with a variety of textures. Experiment with different herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of your vegetables without relying on excessive salt or unhealthy sauces. Finding delicious ways to incorporate vegetables into your meals makes it more likely that you’ll consistently choose them over less nutritious options.
  8. Connect with Loved Ones: Building strong social connections can provide emotional support and contribute to a sense of well-being. Take a breather from the chaos to connect with your loved ones. Share stories, have meaningful conversations, and soak in the joy of being together.
  9. Reflect and Set Intentions: Before the year wraps up, take a moment to reflect. Consider what the holiday season means to you and set positive intentions for the coming year. Reflecting on your values and goals can provide a sense of purpose and guide your actions during the festivities.

 

Remember, it’s all about finding your balance and enjoying the season without compromising your well-being. The goal is to create an environment that makes healthy eating a convenient and enjoyable part of your lifestyle. Consistency and small, sustainable changes over time contribute to a lasting and positive impact on your overall well-being. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season! 

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