Stay Healthy as You Indulge Your Holiday Appetite
Without a doubt, the holidays are perhaps the most anticipated days of the year as we celebrate the end of the year and welcome the new one (and boy are we READY to end 2020!).
And naturally, the holidays are especially the time when we all start to let loose. We tend to give ourselves a much-deserved break, and one of them is a break from eating healthy. Because let’s face it: Going on a diet during the holidays is a terrible and stressful idea.
However, you shouldn’t be all too ready to “let go” of the hard work you built up until now. Does that mean you have to avoid all the good food and drinks this season? NO! But we do have to consider our options nonetheless, and to help you we made a list of some of the healthiest foods and drinks you can indulge yourselves in without feeling the guilt.
1. Find an alternative to eggnog
A cup of eggnog can easily be 350 calories. Yes, you read that right. If 100 grams of a typical chocolate bar is 200+ calories, one cup of eggnog is almost easily twice that. To say that you should avoid eggnogs is a no-brainer, but if you’re really craving, we suggest going for a healthier alternative like eggnog made with almond milk. It’s still sugary, but it’s nutritionally way better!
2. Get a good fill of lentils
Instead of meat for the typical meatballs and meat lasagna, use lentils. Avoiding meat will help cut back on fat and calories, while using lentils as a substitute also helps give you a healthy dose of fiber and protein.
3. Add cinnamon your tea
Many consider cinnamon a super sweetener because of the health benefits it can provide for those with blood sugar management needs, so why not spice up your tea with a dash of this Christmas-y ingredient? If you’re craving for the sweet stuff, adding cinnamon to tea could be MUCH better alternative, especially because it’s nowhere as bad as sugar when it comes to empty calories.
4. Go for grapes over candy
Candy canes are nice and all, but they’re just hardened sugar and milk. If you find yourself reaching for something small and sweet, go for frozen grapes instead. Alternatively, frozen strawberries could be great too.
5. Yes, pumpkin pie is still good for you
It has been a while since Halloween, but that doesn’t make pumpkin pie any less relevant. You can also choose pecan pie, but pumpkin pies are better for the calorie conscious.
6. Avocados over heavy cream
Avocados are heart healthy and they offer one of the healthiest fats ever. So, instead of using heavy cream for your chocolate pudding, use avocados. It may require a bit of extra work, but at least you’re free to eat a lot without feeling bad for yourself.
7. Use Greek Yogurt as a dip
Sour cream dips are tasty, but they’re not exactly healthy when it comes to calories and added fat. It would be best to keep an eye out for Greek-yogurt based dips instead. Not only is it better for your calorie-wise, it’s also packed with protein, probiotics, and calcium.
8. Munch of walnuts
Any sort of nuts are better for you than the typical choco-coated pretzel, but walnuts just taste better overall especially when mixed in with cinnamon. Plus, walnuts are really, really good for your brain thanks to its DHA content.
9. Heard of hummus?
If you’re not a fan of Greek Yogurt-based dips, we suggest hummus. Hummus is kinda like cream cheese-based dips, but with lower calories per serving.
10. Red wine
It goes without saying that a fancy dinner is not fancy enough without red wine. On top of being a good way to cap the night off, red wine contains resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant with quite several studies saying how good it is for the heart. Red wine also happens to be quite low in calories relative to other alcoholic beverages, but do not drink too much to savor the caloric benefits. Looking for an extra source of Resveratrol? Try adding Quality of Life’s Resveratrol-SR to your wellness plan!
We all deserve a break after all that happened this year, and the holidays are perhaps the best way to just sit back and let loose even for a few days. But, you don’t have to come out of the holidays more than a few pounds overweight or feeling like you didn’t do anything healthy this year. You can always choose for your health, and the list we made should be a pretty good way to get started.