My tips for a happy, healthy holiday

holiday tips

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime of the year! That’s right, it’s time for food and friends and food and fun and food and family and food! Between Thanksgiving (aka the perfect excuse for binge eating) and all of the holiday parties (cookie exchanges, work potlucks, and all the family dinners), the next few weeks are going to be really food-centric… if we let them. Lucky for you, I’ve got a few tips to help you get through the holidays and stay sane, healthy, and happy.

It’s just another day, and just another meal

Don’t let a day dictate how you’re going to live your life. If you normally choose to avoid certain foods, or limit your sugar intake because you know you feel best when you do that (or have to for allergies) then don’t change how you eat just because it’s a holiday. Approach each party and each dinner table with the mindset of eating what makes you feel good, and politely declining everything else. Is it more important to feel your best, or humor your grandma by eating that stuffing that you don’t even really like anyway?

Also, Holidays are not an excuse to go nuts

I’ve done this so many times. Overindulge on holidays or at holiday parties because it’s socially acceptable and only happens once a year. Except when you add up all of those parties and activities it’s more like once or twice a week for 2-3 months. I’m here to remind you (and me) that just because it’s a party does not mean you have permission to go nuts and eat your body weight in cookies. Treat it like any other meal – eat until you’re satisfied, and then stop. You’ll thank me later.

Decide what’s going to be worth it, and enjoy without guilt

I realize this feels like the opposite of what I just said, but hear me out. There will definitely be some foods that are special. My family’s pizzelle recipe that we only make around Christmas time, or the pecan pie that my best friend makes every year for Friendsgiving. If there’s something that you feel a strong connection to and look forward to every year, take a moment to think about if it’s worth enjoying. Think about the potential consequences (are you allergic? probably not worth it) and decide if enjoying that piece of nostalgia and delicious food is worth it. If it is, then go forth and enjoy without guilt because you made a responsible decision. If it’s not, politely decline and move on with your life because at the end of the day it’s just food.

Bring a dish when you can

This is especially helpful if you have dietary restrictions that you know your family/friends either can’t or won’t accommodate. Choose something that you know you’ll be able to enjoy and fill up on in case there’s not much else at the table that you can eat. Need some ideas? Check out my Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup.

Focus on the people, not the food

It’s so easy to zero in on the food at holidays and parties, but let’s not forget why you’re there in the first place! Instead of obsessing over what and how much you’re going to eat, enjoy the time you’re spending with your friends and family, and be present in that moment.

Add some movement to your day

If you work out regularly, don’t skip a day just because it’s a holiday – it’s important to make your health a priority, and for many that includes keeping up with a workout schedule. If you’re like me (ahem) and don’t currently have a consistent workout routine, take some time before or after your meal/party to fit in some movement. Even just going for a walk will help you feel more energized and help combat the turkey coma that’s coming your way 😉

Which tip will you be using this holiday season? Do you have any tips to add to this list?