Healthy Holiday Hacks

Posted on December 19, 2016
Christmas Clean Eating

Christmas cheer is here already! It seems only yesterday we were all sitting down at the dinner table to share a Thanksgiving turkey with friends and family alike. And now with more holiday festivities on their way, more feasting, more hot cocoa, and plenty of gingerbread houses to be consumed are in our near future.

Holiday indulgences on the table will surely be tempting us for the next few weeks, so we decided to get together to offer some holiday tips to help balance out this rich and delicious time of the year!

Holiday Hacks

  • Make a new (active) tradition!  From milk and cookies the night before Christmas to stuffing stockings, the holidays are full of timeless traditions.  Take the initiative this year and start your own family tradition.  Agree on a traditional evening stroll post-Christmas dinner and enjoy your festively lit neighborhood.   Go sledding, make a snowman, or even get together for some flag football for the family to work off that holiday stuffing!
  • Manage your stress levels wisely. After all, a lot of us tend to reach for the milk, cookies, and hard apple cider when our stress levels begin to rise. Don’t take on more duties than you should when it comes to dinner preparations or party planning.  Bringing in extended family in itself can already be a bit nerve-wracking, so do your best to know your limits and only take on what you know you can handle.  Keep your stress levels down and remind yourself that the holidays are about spending time with the family and being grateful for what you have.
  • Remember that time is on your side.  Take advantage of your time off from work or school and fit a 30-minute workout in that you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.  Also, although the holidays are all about family and being together, 30 minutes to yourself on a light jog or working in the backyard will contribute to a healthier body and a happier you during the rest of the day when you’re balancing storytime by the fire and decorating the Christmas tree.
  • Don’t go heavy on every dish.  We get it, your grandmother’s recipe for the pumpkin pie is a tradition that you would only give up over your dead body.  We wouldn’t want you to give it up either!  However, there are some dishes where you could switch out the butter for light whipped butter or white flour for whole-wheat flour.  Dietitian Julie Upton wrote an article called, “Calorie Hacks to Lighten Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes.”  You don’t have to use them for every dish on the table, but even swapping out a few heavy options for some lighter ones can make the difference!