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Tips for mindful eating during the holidays.

The holidays are a time for family, celebrations, and enjoyment! If you're on a health journey, here are a few tips to help remove the stress around holiday eating.

1. Enjoy seasonal favorites - in moderation.

Craving a slice of your mom's famous pecan pie or looking forward to Aunt Shirley's Christmas cookies? Enjoy your favorites! It's important to remember that one meal or one day will NOT sabotage your progress.

However, it is important to enjoy these high calorie foods and sweets in moderation. While the holidays only come around once a year, we should consider holiday sweets just as you would any other type of year-round treat (chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, a chocolate bar, etc.). Honor your craving and then move on. Be sure to balance out the sweets with protein and fiber!

2. Knock holiday sweets off of a pedestal.

Remember that we are allowed to make holiday sweets at any time of the year - there isn't anything stopping us from making festive Santa hat cookies in July. Removing the sense of urgency around seasonal sweets can eliminate additional stress associated with the holidays.

3. No skipping meals!

Eat normally the day of any special event. Skipping meals in preparation of a holiday meal or party can leave you feeling ravenously hungry. This often leads to overindulgence and feeling sickly full.

4. Be sure to include protein and vegetables with holiday meals.

Fill your plate with protein and vegetables! When possible, try to keep MyPlate in mind - 1/2 plate produce, 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch. The combination of protein and fiber is key to remain full and satisfied!

5. Socialize away from the kitchen.

If you're worried about nibbling all evening, socialize away from the kitchen. Enjoy your fabulous plate of holiday goodies and move to an area away from platters of food, if possible. This can also help to ensure you're enjoying family and company to the fullest!

6. Swap out some of the ingredients in your favorite recipes.

When preparing holiday dishes, there are a few ingredient swaps that can decrease the fat content and amp up the nutrient density, without sacrificing flavor!

  • Substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins and quick breads such as banana bread.

  • For dips and sauces, try using fat-free Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise.

  • Try sliced or slivered almonds as a delicious, crunchy topping in place of fried onion rings.

  • Choose reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses for salads and casseroles.

7. Remember, the goal is always progress - not perfection!

The holidays can be a tough time for anyone, and especially those on a health or weight loss journey. There is no such thing as a perfect diet! The goal is always to create a healthful balance that includes all of your favorite foods and works for your individualized lifestyle.

If you're struggling to find the right balance for your lifestyle, I'd love to work with you! I provide an individualized approach to nutrition education and wellness.

Are you ready for a more mindful, healthy you?

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