Monday, December 19, 2016

Healthy Holiday

Healthy eating is really hard at this time of year. Personally, I crave carbs when it's colder outside. I am comforted by warm bread and pasta. Plus, everywhere you turn there is candy, cookies, and other treats. I get it. It's tough.

I had a piece of pie today. I normally only eat pie, or really any dessert besides a chocolate fiber brownie, on very special occasions- like holidays or parties. Sometimes Tom and I will split a piece of pie or dessert after a date night, but even that is rare. 

So here I was, on a Monday afternoon, eating a piece of pie. And I enjoyed every minute of it. 

But, there's the part of me that, of course, feels just a little guilty. So I started talking to myself, building myself up and reminding myself how I was going to stay on track for the rest of the week. I thought some others may want or need to hear this too, so here we go. Here's how I plan to stay healthy through the holidays.

1. It is a very, very real possibility that you will see a slight increase on the scale between now and New Year's Day. Do not fret. It is okay. More than likely, this is just due to the increase in salt and sugar in your diet. Do not get so discouraged that you throw the towel in, do not give up your healthy lifestyle over it, and DO NOT beat yourself up. It's OKAY.

2. Drink a ton of water- you should be drinking half of your weight in ounces every day. If you're working out, drink a little more. Water will help flush out your system. It is especially helpful to drink water on the big party days. 

3. Exercise! Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in every day. This won't always be do able, and sometimes it means just going up and down stairs in your building or taking a few extra laps around the hallways to get some steps in. Do what you can, but try to get those 30 minutes in. I know with the winter weather it's even harder, but your body will be grateful- and it helps boost the mind, too.

4.  Eat lots of protein. This week I am eating egg muffins with spinach and green pepper in them every morning for breakfast to start my day with a protein boost. Next week, when I'm detoxing from Christmas parties, I will probably drink my green smoothie for breakfast (spinach, banana, peanut butter powder). Snacks should include greek yogurt, protein bars, etc. 

5. Roasted vegetables make a perfect side dish at this time of year, and they are healthy! Cut back on the oil (I just spray my veggies with coconut oil instead), season them however you want, pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes and voila. You have a delicious, healthy side dish.

6. Take small portions. I cannot resist cheesy potatoes on Christmas, but instead of taking way more than my tummy can handle, I take a small scoop and will fill my plate with salad and vegetables. 

7. Limit the alcohol.  My drink of choice is beer, but because it's heavier than most drinks and I'd rather eat my calories rather than drink them, I will probably go for a glass of wine instead. (Sidenote, drinking water in between alcoholic beverages is a lifesaver)

8. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it's had enough. Our eyes often want more than our tummy does.

9. HAVE FUN. For goodness sake's, it's Christmas. No matter what you eat, or how much you do or do not exercise, you are still a warrior who is going to continue to kick ass. At the end of the day this holiday is not about food or exercise or counting calories, it's about enjoying time with your loved ones. So do that. Recognize the beauty in you, and do not define yourself by your food choices.

That last one is one I constantly need to remind myself of.

Got any other tips? I would love to hear them!

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