Staying sane and healthy... it can be done!
This holiday season, please give yourself a break. Focus on friends, family, pets, community, or whatever else the holidays mean to you. Worrying gives food too much power over what should be a joyful celebration. This is a tall order for some of us who are used to thinking a lot about the foods we eat…
Therefore, I'll share a few strategies to help you keep calm and turkey on
Think of including healthy foods in your holiday, rather than abstaining from less healthy ones:
Especially if you’re used to eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, getting enough on a holiday will keep your energy and mood on an even keel (can’t control your family, though). Not only is it a kinder exercise for your brain to say yes, rather than no, but including foods high in fiber (like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes) also signals our brains that we are nourished and satisfied, which may mitigate some physiological urges to indulge in the less-healthy snack foods.
Making or bringing food to a gathering? Choose something you’d like to eat!
From-scratch green bean casserole and butternut squash farro risotto: Recipes for both at the end of the post!
Even if it’s got more calories than a plain steamed vegetable, healthy dishes can provide nutrients and fiber to offset some of the refined carbohydrates and fat present in many party foods. You’ll know that you can achieve the first point listed if you bring the nutritious foods yourself.
The Co-op has new vegan Thanksgiving options in their prepared food’s department if you’d prefer not to cook yourself (but still want delicious, healthy food)!
Vacation days can be a great opportunity to fit physical activity into our lives. Even a walk around the block allows your muscles to clear glucose from your blood (great news for diabetics, good news for all of us). Moving after a meal may also help with digestion, mitigate or prevent heartburn, and is recommended for everyone anyways…
The hard part can be working this into your family’s traditions. However, you’d be surprised what folks will agree to do if you’re willing to do it with them! Bring good shoes and warm layers and encourage others to move with you J Not only will you feel better after eating, but your body will benefit in the long term as well.