“Clean” and “eating” don’t have to be mutually exclusive with the holiday season. All your favorite recipes can be made cleaner with a few simple substitutions, and being mindful of your portions will go a long way. Have a look at our list for more suggestions on how to eat clean and keep your body and waistline happy this holiday season.
1. Remember your goals
Before you go to holiday parties, think about how you want to feel during the party. If foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar make you tired and bloated, remember that. If you want to feel great during the party, remind yourself of that and avoid foods that make you feel less than great.
2.Cook it yourself
If you’re going to a holiday party and you want to ensure that what you are eating is clean, make it yourself. If you are not attending a potluck, offer to bring a dish to the party. You may want to check with your host first to see which dish would be best to bring. Many hosts will welcome homemade dishes brought by others as it cuts down on their own cooking time.
3. Show those veggies some love
Create a few simple and delicious veggie side dishes and have them take up most of the room on your plate. Many veggies can be dressed up by tossing them in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Stick them in the oven to roast and you’re all set. Mix the veggies so you have a colorful, wholesome side dish — root vegetables and Brussel sprouts are a great option this time of year. If you’re attending a party, look for the vegetable board or other healthy options as snacks or appetizer. Your goal should be to fill up at least half of your plate with veggies.
4. Avoid or limit alcohol
Alcohol reduces inhibitions and can lead you down a slippery slope of bad choices. Many alcoholic drinks are also filled with sugar. Instead opt for a Mocktail or sparkling water with lemon or lime.
If you do choose to celebrate with alcohol, keep it to 1 drink for women and 2 for men. That’s about how much our liver can safely process. Opt for a clear gluten free vodka with soda or juice. Barr Hill makes an excellent gluten free Vodka. It’s wonderful combined with coconut water or grapefruit juice.
5. Forego the second helping
When you go for seconds, it generally leads to a stomach ache and guilt. Instead go for a walk and separate yourself from the food.
6. Give yourself a break
It’s okay to have the occasional sweet treat or drink. Many holiday desserts can be made healthier by switching out granulated white or brown sugar for less refined alternatives such as honey, agave, or stevia. Remember not to indulge in everything. Pick what you want most and indulge in that. If you do slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Eating isn’t about being perfect. Instead think about what works for you and try to stick to that.
7. Get the gluten, dairy, and toxic foods out
If you do partake in eating treats, help your reduce bloating and indigestion with some digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes help speed up the breakdown of and absorption of macronutrients.
Binding agents like GI Detox also help bind toxins and reduce gas and bloating after being exposed to gluten, dairy, and/or sugar. If you’ve consumed food or drink you shouldn’t have, and can help to “mop up” the toxic aftermath.
You can find both of these products here.