Staying Healthy During the Holidays

christmas dinner compressed

People look forward to the holiday season. We look forward to seeing loved ones, getting time off work, and those parties and dinners. But with holiday festivities, and all those Christmas treats, it’s easy to forget those healthy eating habits. Here are some tips on making healthy choices for the holidays.

Before Christmas

  • Try giving out bags of mixed nuts instead of cookies or chocolate. Does your family have a sweettooth? You can also opt for dried fruits (prunes, apricots, dates) to satisfy that craving. Candles, soaps, or flowers also make nice gifts.
  • Avoid regular indulgences you can have anytime (lunch time fast food, unhealthy snack outside of festivities)
  • You can lighten even your traditional recipes. Try applesauce instead of butter in your cookies, or whole-wheat bread in your stuffing. For a list of ingredients substitutions click here.


Christmas Day

  • Use healthy fats in your cooking. For potatoes, try roasting them in olive oil instead of mashing them in cream and butter.
  •  Choose white turkey meat instead of dark meat, and leave out the skin for less fat
  • Root vegetables are great as a side, especially those who are diabetic and concerned about glycemic load. Yams, sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots are good carbs for diabetics.
  • Be careful of canned foods. Though convenient, can be loaded with sugar and preservatives. If you’re up for it, try making home-made cranberry sauce. Fresh cranberries will have way more nutrients in them, and you can control the amount of sweetener in your sauce.
  • Fill yourself and your guests up on veggies and well as the traditional Christmas dishes. Consider a Christmas Salad. Leafy greens, avocado, chopped nuts, goat cheese… get creative! Online is full of great salad recipes. For a list of holiday recipes click here.


Foods to Be Mindful of

  • Eggnog – Though delicious, one cup has 350 calories, which is about the same as two cups of diced white turkey meat. Try diluting your eggnog with skim milk if you want the taste with fewer calories.
  • Baked goods – It’s easy to chow down on those gingerbread cookies. Sugar taste good, but
  • rarely fills us up. Try to limit your cookie portions.
  • Alcohol – Many people enjoy wine, rum, and other drinks during Christmas. Remember that drinks can be quite calorie heavy. A typical glass of red has around 125 calories, and a shot of rum in your eggnog is around 70.

And remember, it’s okay to indulge a bit for the holidays. Just be mindful of how much and what you’re eating. Happy Holidays!