There are so many reasons to enjoy this time of year, sparkling lights, wonderful music and movies, and extra time with loved ones are just a few. With much of what we do in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and even the weeks after, there are a fair amount of treats and eating involved. It feels easy to overload at this time of year, but with a few tips in place, you can find a balance between a healthy lifestyle and celebration.
One of the great aspects of living in a digital age is the access we have to millions, if not billions, of recipes, alternative ingredients, and reviews on what works and what doesn’t. A quick internet search can provide the perfect way to take your favorite holiday treat and adapt it to fit whatever dietary needs you may have. While some recipes may not work as well as others, you are bound to find a few that satisfy your cravings. Our search brought up several lists of recipes to try, complete with pictures for shortbread style cookies, gingerbread, and even mint and hot chocolate treats. Some changes to these recipes involve using various types of flour and others used different oils or other ingredients. Even searching for a chart that lists ways to swap out ingredients can be a fun way to experiment in the kitchen with your old family favorites. When making your desserts, using alternative recipes or not, use quality ingredients. It’s sometimes more expensive to buy a higher grade chocolate or a better type of butter, but these ingredients often have a richer taste leaving you more satisfied with a smaller portion.
Making a Plan
With any treats, made with a healthy recipe or your grandmother’s traditional recipe, should be eaten in moderation. There are many ways you can fight your urge to overindulge. By making a plan every day or before events, you can think critically about where you want to have a dessert and where you can pass one up. By sticking to the plan, you can create healthy habits that will extend far beyond the Christmas season. Allowing yourself to feel full is an important component to your plan. The Harvard Health Blog suggests “It’s advisable to take a 10-minute break after your first helping […]” Planning can also be especially important when running errands, a time most people forget to think about eating until the food court or fast food drive-thru is calling. Bring healthy snacks or plan where you can stop for a healthful meal.
Finding ways to get up and get moving is imperative at this time of year also. Meet up with friends at the gym before finishing gift shopping or take the family for a pre meal walk. Many experts advise breaking up work out sessions into smaller 10-15 minute intervals if the demands of your schedule aren’t allowing for a longer workout. While you are searching for healthy treats, you can open an additional browser tab and quickly find videos or workout plans you can do from your own home to keep the holiday gain in check.