Healthy Food Tips for the Holiday Season

December 15, 2020

The holiday season, or the silly season can be a crazy time where our routine and our choices around food and exercise become inconsistent. It's time to relax, enjoy, laugh, eat, drink and be merry! However, there are a few mindful things we can do to help us survive the silly season without a complete blow out. Here are some of our healthy food tips for the holiday season!

Stay hydrated and don't binge drink

Sometimes the bubbles are flowing and it's easy to over consume, especially if you have that one person that keeps topping up a glass. Some tips:

  • Politely decline a top up until you are finished your glass.
  • Between each glass enjoy a glass of water.

Make social outings active

Instead of meeting friends for lunch, try a morning walk followed by a healthy brunch or lunch. Simply moving before we eat, which increases our feel-good mood, can encourage us to make better choices around food.

Ensure there are healthy options available

Snacks/Starters tend to be the most dangerous. We overeat and they are usually full of high fat processed meats and cheeses and lots of crackers.

When those tempting platters go around, try to fill up on fruit and vegetables and vegetable-based dips made from avocado, beetroot and cannellini beans and chickpeas. Reach for nuts and seeds, lavash bread, and then a few small treats such as sweet popcorn.

If in doubt, make your snacking choices colourful. The more colour there is the better it will be for you. Cheese obviously can be added, but try feta and low fat cream cheeses.  The humble cheesed ball is one of my favourites and very easy to make. This Pear Pecan Cheese from Eating Well is on my list this year.

Colourful Vegan Falafel Bowl

Eat till you are Satisfied, Not Stuffed

If we think about how we fill our plate we stand a better chance of not overeating. According to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, your plate should consists of:

  • ¼ protein, such as lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs or legumes.
  • ¼ wholegrains, such as pasta, bread, starchy vegetables
  • ½ veggies, such as salad or cooked vegetables.

For Standard Serving sizes take a look at the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Don't feel guilty!

Don't beat yourself up if you overindulged. Just make sure your next meal is healthy and be sure to incorporate exercise into your routine. Guilt has no place here! Also don't skip meals if you are hungry because you over indulged.

choc chip banana muffins on a bench

Say no to food pushers & savour your food

There is always one person encouraging excess eating; say no to them.

Be mindful with what you are eating. Take the time to really taste and enjoy your food.

Lastly, we will leave you with some of the Fundamentals of Mindful Eating:

  • Eat slowly and without distraction
  • Listen to physical hunger cues and eat only until you are full
  • Engage your senses by noticing colours, smells, sounds, textures, and flavours
  • Appreciate your food

You can read more about mindful eating here

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Images found here: platter, watermelon, champagne bubbles, Australian Dietary Guidelines.

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