This week is by far one of the hardest weeks to stay on track. But just because it is a holiday week doesn't mean that you can just throw all caution to the wind. Thanksgiving is 1 day and only 1 meal. It's not a week long binge-fest! You still hold the power to control what goes into your mouth and whether or not you do your workouts. So just because the kids are off school doesn't mean you cannot work out. I am still getting up in the am doing my workouts, eating my 5-6 small meals a day and on Thanksgiving picking and choosing what I really want to eat! You can stay healthy and still feel satisfied!!!
You don’t have to give up eating “clean” just because it’s the
holidays. Many of your favorite special-occasion treats can be “cleaned up”
simply by swapping whole grains for refined ones, choosing low-fat dairy
products (almond soy, and rice milk), and using minimally processed sugars like
honey, Agave or Xylitol brown or white sugar over granulated white or brown.
Even if you do splurge on a few items, be smart and don’t overindulge. Follow
these nine tips and you can eat well, feel great, and celebrate the season
without feeling guilty or deprived.
1. Search Out Healthy Offerings
most people associate the holidays with rich, high-calorie foods, there are
plenty of other options available. Zero in on produce first by loading up on
raw vegetables found on crudite platters and salads. Instead of high-fat
dressings, drizzle your greens with balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon.
Cheese is another good choice, but beware of going overboard, one to two ounces
is all you need (about the size of a pair of dice or a 9-volt battery).
Recipe: Make a big batch of air popped popcorn with spray butter or light parmesan cheese to share at parties.
Make It Yourself
your own holiday “clean” meal is the perfect way to ensure that you’ll be
eating delicious, healthy recipes. This is ideal for potluck parties, but even
without an official invitation many hostesses welcome homemade food. If you
know you’re going to a holiday party where “clean” options are slim, offer to
bring your own dish. Choose items you can make ahead that lend themselves to
- 8 oz dark chocolate (60% cocoa or greater) chopped,
- 1 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice
- 3 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking
sheet with parchment paper. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 o
chocolate in microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to
microwave on high for 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until
melted. Set aside and cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk coconut, cane juice, cocoa
powder and salt until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate until just
- In a small bowl, whisk egg whites and vanilla and
almond extracts until combined. Add egg white mixture to coconut
mixture and stir until well blended. Scoop level 1 tbsp and pinch into a
low pyramid shape; transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining
batter making 24 macaroons. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, until outer
layers are firm, bottoms are lightly browned and centers remain
soft. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes,
then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt remaining 5 oz chocolate
in microwave for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave in 15
second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Carefully
holding each macaroon upside down by its base, dip peaks into chocolate.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet in the refrigerator until
chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Then store in an airtight
container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Hone in on Whole Grains
whole wheat or whole grain breads over white is one of the easiest ways to
stick to your “clean” diet during the holidays. Prepare traditional stuffing
with stone-ground cornbread, whole wheat, or whole grain breads and be sure and
load up on the vegetables. If you prefer rice stuffing, substitute brown or
wild rice in place of white. For an interesting twist, try experimenting with
different grains like quinoa, millet, or barley. This American version of the
Middle Eastern tabbouleh uses bulgur and offers a unique and tasty alternative
for standard stuffing.
Celebrate Your Sides
dishes add color, flavor, and texture to your menu as well as pump up your
healthy quotient. Make your vegetable side dishes just as attractive as your
main entrée by using fresh, wholesome, seasonal produce. Keep them simple by
roasting vegetables until they’re caramelized and crispy then top with a
sprinkle of toasted walnuts, balsamic vinegar, or kalamata olives. Avoid
loading up mashed potatoes with butter and heavy cream and instead liven them
up with roasted garlic, fresh herbs, or horseradish.
Downsize Your Dishes
plates are essential in the clean eaters’ kitchen because they help keep
portion size under control and calorie overload to a minimum. This is
particularly important during the holidays when temptation is everywhere.
A good portion control trick for cocktail parties, when we all can go a little
crazy over a pan of hot dip, is to stick to something in a self-contained
actually don’t even use my large dinner plates anymore in my house. I packaged them up and put them away. When you use smaller plates you absolutely do
not eat near as much as normal. The good
part is that you still feel satisfied because the plate is full.
Don’t Skip Meals
the urge to “save up” your calories and skip meals in lieu of a big holiday
feast. The practice leads to overeating and making poor food choices. Instead,
follow the “clean” eating plan and eat small meals and snacks throughout the
day even when going to a party. This keeps energy high, blood sugar stable, and
fatigue at bay.
Tip: To avoid an overdose of starchy foods at meal time start the day with a satisfying clean staple. I have oatmeal for breakfast with 1 scoop protein powder, blueberries, 1 tbsp flaxseed and wheat germ to keep me full. Then, I'm not tempted later in the day.
Pay Attention to What You Eat
eaters focus on fresh, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish,
and poultry prepared without loads of fat, sugar, and salt. But, when it comes
to the holidays it’s okay to indulge a little. The key is to choose a small
amount (think about taking a “taste”) and make sure the food is worth the extra
calories. Something as simple as beautiful long-stemmed strawberries dipped in
dark, bittersweet chocolate can make the perfect indulgence.
Don’t Ditch Dessert
likes a sweet treat, especially this time of year. Don’t deprive yourself of
dessert just because you’re eating clean. Make desserts that highlight fresh
whole fruit and search for lightened-up recipes of more traditional dishes.
to Your Health
and beverage calories can rack up fast. To stretch your drink quota, spritz
your wine or juice with mineral water or seltzer. At your own party, consider
serving up flavored unsweetened teas, which make an interesting alternative to
sugary drinks. My tip is to always have 1 full glass of water
for every alcoholic drink that you choose to have!
Labels: Eat clean, Stay on Track., Thanksgiving tips