Healthy Holidays?

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Kay LeamenBy Kay Leaman, HealthDay HealthyLife

The holidays are officially here and although they might look different, the smells, tastes and recipes will bring back memories and the joy of spending time in our most comfortable morning clothes with wrapping paper, pies, cookies, hot chocolate, movies and sports.

Hmmm, that last paragraph had a lot of sugar in it. Sugar comes in high quantities during the holidays. The trick is enjoying all the pies, treats and sweets without having to add ‘diet’ to our vocabulary in January.

So, let’s look at some things we can do to help curb our desire to have ‘just a little more.’

  • Package cookies in multiple containers. Freeze some and only set out one container each day.
  • Substitute the sugar in recipes with honey or applesauce (less liquid required).
  • Set out a healthy snack tray 1-2 hours before the big meal: veggies, hummus, cheese, fruit and nuts.
  • If you use syrup for breakfast or holiday recipes, use ‘pure maple syrup’ in place of the cheaper imitation syrups (These are filled with syrups and sugars that are highly processed and very unhealthy.)
  • Take a family walk in the park, at the beach or around the neighborhood.
  • Increase your water intake to help your gut process everything that you’re consuming.
  • Eat a salad before filling the table with the main dishes.
  • Make your hot chocolate from scratch instead of using instant packages.
  • For holiday parties and family potlucks, walk around the table before filling your plate to locate your favorite choices. Also, eat a snack before attending.

Of course, the best thing we can do is to say no to that extra cookie, extra helping or a bigger piece of pie. But when our willpower disappears, these options can help to curb those cravings.

Have a healthy, blessed and joyful holiday! Write Kay with your questions at succeed@healthydayhealthylife.com.