Make Enjoyment Part of Your Health and Wellness Holiday Plan

I originally wrote this for IGA and you can see the post here:


Yes, you heard me, the dietitian is suggesting that we enjoy and acknowledge our traditions, culture, and special foods and feasts that come but once a year—as long as you’re doing it in moderation. Here are my top four tips to caring for yourself, your loved ones, and celebrating the tastes of the season.

1. Embrace it. As the holidays approach, make a list of all the things that make your mouth water in anticipation. Have a fun conversation with your friends or family about your favorite food memories at the holidays, and plan to work the best of them into your menu the day of the party or feast.

2. Keep your activity routine. Travel and busy holiday party schedules can make it seem like there’s no time for exercise. But…exercise helps with stress, extra calories, and overall feelings of holiday cheer, so, shift your activity to morning or lunch hour instead of after work so you don’t miss it, or arrive a bit late to the soiree if you must. Altering your routine versus deleting it will help you stay the health and wellness course during the holidays.

3. Don’t be a mindless eating victim. Before you park yourself next to the buffet and mindlessly eat while you socialize, take the time to check out all your options. Make conscious choices and take things that you will really enjoy, knowing it’s a once a year treat. Consider portions like you would at any other time of year, and think about your beverage calories, too.

4. Eat party foods at the party. Look at your social calendar, think about all the fun things you may want to eat this year, and then think about that before you eat a random office treat. Choose wisely throughout the rest of the days and weeks between parties, and you can make room for those tasty items you may not see for another year. You’ll also want to be mindful of continuing to eat decadent foods every day as leftovers. Instead, consider sharing portions and/or freezing items in proportioned amounts for a treat another day, or serving smaller amounts surrounded by nutrient rich dishes that will help to balance out the total meal.

If health and wellness is your thing, celebrate that it’s your thing at celebrations, too!