I always say, life is about balance. That ABSOLUTELY applies to what we eat.
Around the Holidays, or any special occasion, you might find yourself eating richer, more decadent foods than you would any other day of the year. That is O.K. Remember, life is about balance. Enjoy a glass of eggnog, slice of pecan pie, scoop up some spinach artichoke dip, and gobble that deep fried turkey leg. (Maybe just not all 4 at the same time!)
For some, depriving yourself altogether can lead to giving up your healthy eating goals completely. On the other hand, if you know abstaining is better for you than moderating, stick to what works for you. Quiz – Are you an Abstainer vs. Moderator: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Below you’ll find some tips you can do on your own, or with a personal chef. These tips will ensure you can enjoy life to the fullest during the holidays AND set yourself up for success by eating healthy once January 1 rolls around.
I hope this takes away any shame, guilt, or discomfort around food. That is a gift everyone deserves!
Eat THIS not THAT! If you want to enjoy all the flavors of the holidays AND want to make healthy choices, that IS completely possible. Simple, yet mindful, swaps allow your taste buds to do the happy dance all while maintaining a health-ish diet. Check out all 64 simple swaps at The Ultimate Guide to the Best (and Worst) Holiday Foods brought to you by 3 expert nutritionists.
Presentation is Key! Give your eyes something to feast on as well as your tummy. Think about how farmers present their produce artistically at farmer’s markets. Do the same thing with your plate. Try to include 3-5 different colors on your plate. These colors mostly come from fruits and vegetables and will ensure a variety of micronutrients in your diet. 5 colors that should always be on your plate
Remember, our brain can play tricks on us! Unhealthy foods can sometimes call upon nostalgic feelings and memories. Once you recognize you were reaching for the unhealthy option simply because it made you feel warm and fuzzy, you can make positive connections with good for you dishes and joyfully reach for those instead.
Keep Fresh On Hand! If you are afraid your veggies will go bad before you use them, keep the sturdiest produce on hand. A few options are: beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, red cabbage, spaghetti squash, bell peppers.
Convenience & Variety! For convenience, buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables (or even frozen). If you know the prep of washing & cutting is your limiting factor, set yourself up for success and buy the pre-cut version – you will thank yourself time and time again. Variety is the spice of life! After day four of bananas, you might be tired of them. Mix up your options with a variety of fruits to ensure you’re excited about your healthy options!
Don’t Skip Dessert! That’s right, I said it, don’t skip that sweet treat. This doesn’t mean have a dessert after every meal or the giant cookie for an afternoon snack. BUT, having one dessert every day can teach balance and moderation. So enjoy that small dish of ice cream or bowl of berries with whipped cream. Be mindful if you are diabetic or have another health condition that requires limited sugar intake.
Don’t Skip Breakfast…or ANY Meal/Snack! Skipping breakfast slows your metabolism down and can give you the munchies later. If you can’t stomach a big breakfast, no problem! Start light with fresh fruit and yogurt or whole grain cereal and low fat milk. Also, try not to let more than five hours go by without eating. Waiting too long to eat decreases energy and can lead to binge eating later. Keep protein packed snacks on hand, they’ll help you feel more full. Great options are: jerky or meat sticks, trail mix, greek yogurt, tuna packs, hard boiled eggs, turkey roll ups, no bake energy bites, cheese slices, handful of almonds, roasted chickpeas, and apple with peanut butter…just to name a few.
Portion SIZE is Key! A lot of people tend to over eat protein and under eat vegetables and fruits. Produce is packed with essential antioxidants and vitamins. It is also loaded with fiber which helps you stay fuller longer – score! Easy way to remember to eat the right portion size: ½ your plate fruits and veggies, ¼ lean protein, ¼ whole grains.
Tips for those pasta lovers out there:
- Instead of a whole plate of spaghetti, mix ¼ noodles with ¾ vegetable noodles (you can also buy pre made veggie noodles in most grocery produce sections). This allows for the mouthfeel of pasta while you consume mostly vegetables.
- Swap pasta completely with Farro. Farro is a whole grain wheat with notable mouth chew when cooked, which can mimic pasta when mixed with your favorite pasta sauce.
If all of this sounds great, but you’re thinking, where will I find the time!? You’ve come to the right place. We invest in a lot of things we care about. How much are we investing in our health? By partnering with a personal chef you can ENSURE you will ALWAYS have healthy options on hand because they have been pre-planned, shopped for, and prepared specifically for you!
Wake up in the morning, bam – healthy breakfast option is ready!
Need to zoom out the door and don’t have time to make healthy lunch or snack options for you and your family? No worries because they are also ready for you to grab and go.
Long day with work, errands, and kid’s events? Come home to a healthy dinner ready for you to simply reheat and enjoy!
Want to make sure you “obey” tip 5 above (don’t skip dessert)? That’s easy too – a personal chef can make you delicious and healthy-ish desserts to satisfy the sweet desire without going overboard.
I, Libby Corneau, Personal Chef, would love to help you live a balanced life by preparing you healthy full flavored meals that leave you satisfied without needing a nap.
There are many ways to partner with a Personal Chef to set you up for mealtime success. I would LOVE the opportunity to discuss your mealtime needs and make your healthy eating goals your reality. Together, we can make your dreams come true…and that goes beyond the kitchen table. Call or email today to make this dream your reality!