Healthy Christmas Day Strategies
My “The 12 Days of Christmas health” blog started with suggestions for healthy recipe swaps. There were some great ideas for making swaps to holiday recipes you may plan to make. But what if you are a guest, and not responsible for the menu? How do you navigate the choices someone else has made? Here are a few suggestions on how to just that:
Offer to bring a nutritious dish to the gathering. Your host will be happy to have some help with the meal, and you can ensure that there is at least one healthy option at dinner.
Bring your own snacks. High protein snacks, such as raw nuts or a healthy protein bar (beware of the sugar-laden ones though), will help keep you from being hungry and in turn, helps to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Stay hydrated. This tip was listed in the health tips of Day 2, but it is worth repeating. It is important to stay hydrated at any time, but especially when you may be sipping a glass of wine or trying to avoid overindulging in sugar. Dehydration can mask itself as hunger, especially sugar cravings. And, drinking water can actually make you feel fuller, also helping to keep you from craving sugar and other junk foods.
Have a healthy snack every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and keeps you from becoming overly hungry. Snacking throughout the day is
Fill your plate with healthy options first. Look for lean cuts of turkey, a fish dish, and vegetables without a lot of sauce (Brussels sprouts, carrots and leafy greens are all “regulars” on most holiday menus). Fill your plate with these foods. Save any high-calorie treats for your next round, when you won’t be as hungry but will likely be able to control your portions better.
Have a cup of tea instead of dessert. Tea is full of antioxidants, and there are some nice holiday herbal blends like chai, peppermint or licorice spice.