How to Adult: Healthy Eating During the Holidays

You don’t have to totally ditch your diet for the holidays. Here’s how I’ll be enjoying all my favorites this week while still eating responsibly!

How to Adult: Healthy Eating During the HolidaysI have been doing my absolute best to eat healthy over the past couple of months, a challenge made significantly harder by all the holiday goodness. Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year and Christmas has ALL the good desserts. It’s really stinking hard to make wise nutrition choices right now!

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about staying mindful of your diet this week, here are some tips to help us both stay on track while still enjoying the Christmas spirit!

#1 – Control Your Portion Sizes

This is my every day go-to tip for my diet and it really does work! My favorite way of doing this is just by grabbing a smaller plate. Big plates make it super tempting to just fill ‘em up but if you have a smaller plate, there’s less room to fill. I also find using paper plates to be a helpful option, especially the cheaper ones, because you can feel the weight of your food a lot more dramatically. Yes, Christmas china is pretty but paper plates are disposable and can help you control your portion sizes…I think I know which one I’d go for.

#2 – Eat Only When You’re Hungry

This one is tricky for me because my body is not great at letting me know when I’m hungry. But one of the real dangers with holiday over-eating comes not so much in the meal itself but all the grazing that happens throughout the day. I know in my family we’ll have breakfast and then snack until the big meal is ready sometime in the afternoon and boy, do those snacks get ya! Reading your body’s natural signs of hunger and only eating when it tells you to is hard but so worth it.

#3 – Drink More Water

This is another one straight off my day-to-day diet but it’s so good, it just had to be included in this list. Water. We need it but there’s a lot of other delicious holiday drinks that like to get in our way of consuming more of it. Opting for water instead of eggnog will not only save you calories but also help out with tip #2. If you think you’re hungry, drink a glass of water. If you’re still hungry when you finish, you can eat. But a lot of the times, our bodies tell us we’re hungry when really we just need more water.

#4 – Eat You’re Veggies First

So much of what we like to eat during holidays is protein and carbs so eating your veggies first may not be your favorite idea but it will help make sure you get all those good vitamins and nutrients before you get too full to get around to them. This is probably a good practice to get into for day-to-day life too, but I just can’t bring myself to make it a normal practice just yet. I’ll hold on to my childish dislike of most veggies for a little longer, thank you very much.

#5 – Only Indulge in What You Love

It’s Christmas, go ahead and treat ‘yo self! But instead of filling an entire plate with every tasty treat on the counter, scout out only the things you’ll really cherish and enjoy those. Ask yourself “what are my three favorites?” or “What’s something I only get to treat myself to during the holidays?” to help narrow down your options.

#6 – Don’t Feel Guilty

It’s Christmas! It’s ok to indulge. Feeling guilty won’t delete calories that you’ve already eaten. Nor will it replace the benefits of a morning run. Basically, feeling guilty doesn’t get you anywhere. Be kind to yourself and remember that each day is a fresh start to take care of your body.

I hope these tips help you enjoy Christmas this week and enjoy yummy, delicious foods that make your heart smile. Eating healthy during the holidays is tough work so do your best and feel good about it. And remember that tomorrow is a new day with a fresh start.

Meal Hacking for the Reluctant Chef

You could describe my cooking style as…reluctant. Here’s how I keep Jake and I fed with healthy meals throughout the week.

Adobe Spark (11)One of the things I discovered very quickly in my marriage is that cooking is not quite what I thought it would be. Did anyone else run into this scenario?

Before I married Jake in January, I honestly did not cook for myself. Eating out and microwaving meals was about all I could do while planning a wedding, moving, and getting used to my new job. Plus, since it was just me, leftovers from restaurants seemed like they could last me forever so why worry about making my own meals?

I knew that living with Jake, we’d want to eat at home to save money and have better control over our diets. And even now, though I still dislike cooking, I see it as a way to love and serve my husband when he gets home from a long day. So how have I managed to decrease eating out and start making healthy meals at home? Meal Prepping!

And no, I don’t spend an entire weekend day cooking for the week like a lot of fellow meal preppers might. I like my weekends to be filled with friends, family, adventures, and naps, NOT cooking.

So here’s how I do it:

  • Grocery Shopping: Jake and I typically shop for groceries on Sundays after church like what seems like the rest of all mankind. During this trip, we buy ingredients for two meals that I will make and sometimes a frozen family skillet meals or pizza to allow ourselves some wiggle room for the week.
  • Cooking: I make these one or two large meals usually on Monday and Wednesday. Because I just hate cooking, I use my crockpot as often as possible to have food cooking while I’m at work or asleep so that’s even less work on me!
  • Freezing: Depending on when the meal is done cooking, I pack some up in a container for lunch or dinner/leftovers and freeze the rest in individual tupperware that I take for lunch all throughout the week.

Making two large meals a week helps break up the monotony of eating the same things every day but can create a space problem in our freezer. When this happens, I try to either space them out as much as I can or make a larger serving of one that I know Jake and I will love and smaller serving of the other.

Anyone else have any meal hacks to share? I’d love to hear how you make healthy meals last in your house! Ideas are welcome in the comments below!