Holiday party season is upon us. Whether you're spending time with family, friends, or co-workers, there is sure to be an abundance of food and drinks. The holiday season should be a time of happiness and celebration of a great 2012, but it doesn't have to be all about food.
Remember to enjoy the social aspects, get outdoors and enjoy the snow (we do have a lot of it now!) - go skiing, boarding, snow shoeing, sledding, skating, etc. You can also encourage others in their health goals by giving cookbooks, workout DVDs or exercise equipment as a gift.
Don't stress about the food temptations, instead have a plan and consider what you do all year as important. You may want to limit your holiday indulgences to a few items or a few parties rather than overdoing it over the next month or so.
If you're hosting you can offer healthier options to your guests (vegetables with dip, fruit skewers, shrimp with cocktail sauce, chicken skewers, low fat cheese, etc.). You can also avoid tempting yourself by waiting to purchase the food for your party (I know you're trying to be organized, but if you start nibbling because it's in the house then don't bring it into the house!). Wait to put snacks out until your guests arrive and then send care packages home with them so you aren't left with all the tempting leftovers. This year I'm taking part in a cookie exchange and am looking forward to sharing mine with family and friends so I don't end up eating them all!
If you're attending a party, be prepared for a "food pushing" host and politely point out how amazing the food is. Pace yourself and eat slowly, enjoy a glass of water between alcoholic beverages, and move away from the buffet table. I read somewhere to "never eat on two feet" - take what you want to sample or share and then move away or you may end up overdoing it and noticing too late. Arrive at the party with a plan (there's no reason to wait until January 1 for that healthy New Year's Resolution - start now).
Take time during the day and busy shopping/errand running to enjoy a balanced breakfast so that you don't leave home hungry. Carry a water bottle with you on your outings so that you don't get dehydrated - we sometimes confuse hunger and thirst and get so busy this time of year that we may forget that H2O! Include a variety of vegetables and fruits with lean proteins early in your day if you're uncertain that they'll be available at the party you're attending. Getting healthy foods into you can also help keep YOU healthy this holiday season - taking care of yourself also means getting adequate sleep!
Since it's Q's Day, I would like to know:
How do you stay healthy throughout the holiday season?
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching