A woman's hand holding a green smoothie with sliced strawberries on top.

Live Fully

Healthy holiday eating Survival Guide

Can you have your pumpkin pie and eat it too? We think so! No one wants to miss out on the fun and festivities of the holiday season, but doing so while staying in tune with health goals can be a tough balance to strike. Make sure you aren’t missing out on favorite family recipes and #pumpkineverything, all while sticking to your healthy lifestyle.

Don’t make it a Season of Second Helpings

When we go into celebration mode, it’s common to want to attach indulgences like second helpings of pie or punch or stuffing to the occasion. Why not? It’s (FILL IN THE BLANK)! The thing is, when you’re talking about an entire season of celebration, those second or third office cookies and party appetizers add up. We all love sharing food and family recipes, so go ahead and try a bite or a serving, and by saying no to seconds, you’ll avoid over-indulgence.

Remember one word: Lifestyle

Choosing a healthy lifestyle means not beating yourself up if you had dessert two nights in a row. Unrealistic expectations are one of the main reasons people give up on their health goals, so don’t hold yourself to hard and fast rules. Had apple pie for breakfast? Go for a brisk walk after. Overdo it over the weekend? Make sure you get back to the gym on Monday. Don’t give up after a slip up! You are living a healthy lifestyle, and that means recognizing when your body might need a little more attention.

Start the day with a smoothie!

The holidays are a great time to get into a regular smoothie-for-breakfast routine. Studies show that when we start with a healthy breakfast, we are more likely to stick to healthy food choices for the rest of the day. Plus, you’re ensuring that you get the vitamins, proteins, and nutrients you need to motivate your workouts. Consider rotating between green smoothies, chocolate, nut-based, and fruit-forward smoothies to keep things fresh and creative. The Orgain Blog is full of recipes for you to start with, including seasonal smoothies like this Pumpkin Chai Smoothie or Chocolate Peppermint Protein Smoothie.

Sip smartly

The season can be full of staff parties, house parties, dinner parties, and holiday happy hours, moderating alcohol intake can be a challenge. Even if you aren’t big into booze, one or two drinks at every holiday event can add up over a season. A couple of important points to keep in mind: First, there are empty calories in alcohol, so as with anything, your portions are important. Additionally, alcohol affects our sleep, so if you want to commit to making it to the gym in the morning, consider whether that second beverage is going to help or inhibit. Alcohol also affects our blood sugar and decision making abilities, which often means reaching for late-night leftovers. So, sip smartly.

Don’t holiday party hungry

Running out the door after work to get to so-and-so’s annual holiday bash? Or maybe it’s your third party in a week? Chances are that whatever gorgeous spread of food you’re looking forward to doesn’t fall under the clean, healthy nutrition umbrella. That’s ok! Grab a protein bar or even whip up a smoothie or snack before you get your glam on to make sure you don’t show up with a growling stomach. You’re much more likely to make good portion decisions if you aren’t ready to eat an elephant.

Bring a crudite

‘Tis the season for potlucks! It’s tempting to show up with Gran’s famous casserole, but chances are everyone else is, too. Stir things up a bit with a spread of colorful, crunchy veggies and delicious, healthy dips. This super simple Superfoods Hummus recipe is a great addition to any potluck table. Sometimes we even lightly roast our winter veggies in olive oil and a little sea salt, just to up the flavor value (and make it look like you put in a bit of extra effort).

Give the gift of health

The best thing you can do to stick to a holiday season of healthy eating is to not go it alone. Don’t feel guilty for making good choices! Share healthy recipes with friends. Commit to only healthy holiday treats at the office. Even better, get your family in on the fun. Have house guests? Offer a smoothie bar for breakfast! Go for walks or runs as a family, or bring Mom to your next yoga class. Get some of the cousins to join you for your town’s annual Turkey Trot 5k! Chances are, you have friends and family members who are working towards their own health and wellness goals, so join forces and commit to maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the holidays.

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