Three Food Rules For The Holidays (And Beyond!)

Three Food Rules For The Holidays (And Beyond!)

The holidays are full of festive activities and we often find ourselves at many events that center around food and drinks. Although enjoying some indulgences is a healthy part of participating in the holiday season, that doesn’t mean you can’t still work towards your health goals – even during the holiday season! If you stick with healthy choices for the majority of the time, you’ll be able to enjoy the extra treats without guilt or feeling like you’re depriving yourself.

Today we are sharing three basic strategies to help you create a realistic meal plan that you can stick to during the holidays (and thereafter!) 

• Look at your schedule each day when planning meals for the week ahead.With added obligations, cooking for family gatherings, and fun activities on the schedule, December may not be the month to try all the new recipes you’ve been saving. During busy weeks or months, it’s usually best to stick to meals that you’ve made before, that you know are generally liked by your family, and are nutritious. Meals don’t need to be fancy or complex, and you shouldn’t hesitate to repeat meals. If you know you won’t be home until later one evening, try to plan something that can be pulled out of the freezer and thawed in time for that evening, or plan something that can be left in the instant pot or crock pot so it’s ready when you get home. If you have a day that’s a little less hectic, perhaps use that day to make a meal that takes a bit more time but will provide leftovers for a few other meals that week. By building your meal plan around the time you have available each day, you’ll set yourself up for success with a plan that you can realistically follow.

Build meals centered around healthy proportions of the basic macronutrients: 45%-65% carbs, 20%-35% fat, and 10%-35% protein. Protein, fat and carbohydrate are the three primary macronutrients. Macronutrients are the chemical compounds that we require in the largest amounts and provide us with bulk energy. A great meal could consistent of pan-roasted veggies, a protein source like chicken, and a healthy grain, like a side of quinoa. Keep in mind these proportions of macronutrients when planning ahead for meals. Follow these recommendations when building your healthy plate!

• Keep a close watch on your sugar intake. Our bodies weren’t meant to be inundated with sugar and yet sugar is an additive in nearly every processed food! Not only will sugar contribute to weight gain, it also will make you much more susceptible to getting sick during the cold and flu season! Sugar weakens the immune system, and since it’s inevitable that you’ll enjoy some special holiday treats, do so deliberately and try to be conscious of limiting your sugar outside of those special occasions.

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