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Holiday EatingWellness

8 Strategies for Healthy Holiday Eating

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“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.

Better wines: Dry Farm Wines are sourced from small, family-owned vineyards that use traditional, sustainable farming practices. The wines are certified sugar-free,

additive-free, and lower in alcohol than most commercial wines. They are also tested for purity and are vegan, keto, and paleo friendly. Subscription base.

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.

8. Move Your Body Moving after eating a big carbohydrate-loaded meal is important for several reasons.

  1. Moving helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When we eat carbohydrates, our bodies break them down into glucose, which is our body’s main source of energy. Glucose enters the bloodstream and is used by cells for energy. However, if we eat more carbohydrates than our bodies need, the excess glucose is stored in the liver and muscles. When we move, our muscles use glucose for energy, which helps to lower blood sugar levels.

  2. Moving after eating helps to improve digestion. Food moves through the digestive system more quickly when we are active. This helps to reduce the risk of bloating, constipation, and other digestive problems.

  3. Moving after eating helps to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Exercise helps to increase our metabolism, which is the rate at which our bodies burn calories. When we have a higher metabolism, we burn more calories at rest and during exercise.

Tips on incorporating movement into your holiday festivities:

  • Go for a brisk walk or dance to your favorite holiday tunes with your guests.

  • Play a family-friendly game like charades or tag to get everyone up and moving.

  • Don’t wait to clean your dishes, do them as soon as you finish eating.

  • Consider light exercises, such as bodyweight squats, lunges, or push-ups.

  • Park farther away from your destination and walk the extra distance.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.

  • Even if you can only move for a few minutes, it will make a difference.

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