For a lot of us, the holiday season is packed with family gatherings, ugly sweater parties, office potlucks, and a variety of other fun social events. While it’s great to enjoy socializing and gather in celebration, many of these events typically involve indulgent food and drinks that aren’t always the healthiest. Whether this is your first holiday on your nutrition journey, or you’ve experienced it all before, we are sharing some of our go-to strategies for navigating the holidays while staying the course with your food and drink choices. Hey, even we like to taste a homemade cookie at the yearly cookie exchange, or grab a glass of eggnog while watching a classic holiday movie, but that doesn’t mean we need to go for that second piece of pie, or glass of wine, when we already feel satisfied. Make your Food Freedom choices worth it and guilt free by using these tips to stay true to your nutrition goals this holiday season.
Top 5 Tips for Sticking to Your Nutrition Goals During the Holidays
1. Bring your own healthy side dish to the party!
With so many easy holiday recipes just one internet search away, ensure you have a healthy option by trying out a new dish and bringing it to your office potluck or the Friendsgiving table. Not sure where to start? The Whole30 website is sharing fifteen recipes for Thanksgiving that are sure to leave even the pickiest eaters’ taste buds wanting more. We’ve also got some crowd favorites in our recipe posts. Who knows, your Bacon and Rosemary Sweet Potatoes might just be requested next year for an encore performance!
2. Pack some extra emergency snacks on the go.
We’ve all been caught unprepared and starving, only to make food choices that we later regret. Make sure this isn’t you at impromptu happy hour by stashing a Nick’s Stick or Patter Bar in your bag or coat pocket for those 911 moments. Avoiding the fallout from a cheese fries incident beats eating a meat stick in public anyway. I mean, who doesn’t love a good ol’ purse avocado? We are huge fans of preparation in order to guarantee success.
3. Do some research.
So, your annual office party isn’t a potluck, but it is at a local restaurant. This is the perfect opportunity to explore a new menu! You may have used this strategy during Whole30, but it’s one of our tried-and-true suggestions when dining out. We don’t want you to miss out on a great experience, so don’t avoid situations like this (unless you decide it’s in your best interest). Typically, restaurants are more than happy to accommodate dietary limitations or simply share what kind of oil they use in their fish entree. Knowing what to expect so you can make adjustments for the situation takes some of the anxiety and worry out of the equation, leaving you more space to chat with your boss about that new position opening up that you’re perfect for.
4. Choose your words carefully.
Holiday indulgences are sometimes par for the course, but not every offer of a serving of Grandma’s pecan pie is one to be accepted. Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying, “No” in a way that is assertive and meaningful to you. This could mean saying something like, “Thanks for offering me this (blank) and it does look delicious, but (reason for refusal).” You can fill in reasons like, “I’m can’t/am not eating (thing/ingredient) today,” “I already had some,” “I have to drive,” or simply a “No, thank you.” You ultimately control what goes into your body and what is going to make you feel good. You can always ask for a to-go piece if necessary.
5. Know when to say yes.
Even Whole30 guru Melissa Hartwig is an advocate of making choices that are “less healthy” in favor of the fact that it will bring us pleasure and joy. The key thing to remember here is that there are reactions to, or consequences of, those choices. Consider these when deciding between saying no or saying yes. For example, a glass of champagne for a midnight toast to ring in the New Year? If it’s worth it to you, go for it. Sometimes it takes practice saying yes to realize next time it’s better to say no. That stomach ache from the cookies that were left out for Santa might just be worth the delighted look on your children’s face when they wake up in the morning, but that mulled cider sugar hangover may not be. Regardless, be conscious that your choices can either enhance or detract from an experience. We encourage you to say yes to those choices that will add to the happiness and joy this holiday season!
EXTRA: Want to know what Melissa says about holiday alcohol? You can read her blog here.
Pssst! Already planning for January Whole30? Do it with Model Meals! Check out our discounted January Whole30 meal packages. We totally think they’re worth saying yes to for starting your 2019 off right.