Ah, the holidays, my favorite time of year! They really snuck up on me this year… between studying for boards, working, and traveling – I feel like I was just celebrating Labor Day! Nonetheless, the year’s best party season and some of the best times are upon us – and none of those need to involve de-railing your healthy habits! Tis’ the season to eat, drink and be merry, and why not do all of these in a way that doesn’t make you feel bad the next day?!
There are a few tips I have about enjoying the holidays and parties while still being health conscious. The first one is to bring a healthy holiday dish to the parties you attend! Just because you are put in charge of bringing dessert doesn’t mean it can’t still have some nutritious value to it – opt to use applesauce in place of oil or butter in recipes, and sneak in spices to dishes to pack flavor instead of sugar. All natural sugar substitutes like Stevia and Truvia can sweeten dishes without the added calories. Pumpkin based dishes are always a good option – with pumpkin being a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber! (see my previous post for some great pumpkin recipes☺)
Having a healthy snack before a party can also help when it comes to overindulging in sweets – aim for one with substantial protein and good carbohydrates. Trail mix, whole wheat crackers with cheese or an apple with peanut butter are all good options. Sneaking in a workout beforehand is also a good idea and will give you those feel-good endorphins before you even arrive to the party!
Upon arriving at a party, it helps to remember why you are there; it’s not all about the food! (contrary to popular belief….) Focus on spending time with family and friends and enjoying great conversation. Position yourself around people instead of camping out by the desserts table – it’s much easier to avoid temptation when the pies aren’t staring you in the face ☺
Planning fun activities at parties is my favorite thing to do! Making festive crafts and playing games is a great way to connect with party guests and enjoy each other’s company! You can also try going for a short walk during the party or playing with kids outside to keep your blood flowing.
And always remember to HAVE FUN! This is the greatest time of year – and it doesn’t have to be difficult to maintain a healthy balance through all of the temptation that holiday parties can bring, enjoy what you like in moderation and aim for the healthy dishes/drinks when you can – I promise your body will thank you for it!
I’m Hillary! University of Mississippi Dietetics graduate, future RDN, peanut butter addict, runner. I love traveling, thunderstorms, healthy eats and always saving room for dessert! Nourish to flourish y’all!