Maybe you have eluded the curse of the flu so far and have avoided the common cold or “going-around-the-office-bug”, but you feel “sick and tired.” Sick and tired of the promises you make, break, and then feel guilty about? Are you tired of feeling deprived, participating in drastic measures in order to fit into that holiday outfit by New Year’s Eve, or just feeling like you want to avoid the holiday season altogether so you won’t be tempted? Take a deep breath in, now exhale slowly and understand that the holiday season is meant for peace, good cheer, love, kindness, generosity, and enjoyment. Food is a large part of this celebratory season, but nutrition and health can be incorporated during this festive time of year all while enjoyment is savored. Who knows, it may even carry over into your next busy 365 days!
Ringing in 2013 may start off with the best intentions, but going overboard at midnight on December 31, 2012 may naturally derail those intentions. Don’t fret, you can absolutely have your cake and eat it too- just not the whole thing. One must simply be equipped with knowing a few tips and tricks to experience satisfaction, pleasure, and enjoyment sans the guilt. Do you have a cocktail party, holiday party, secret Santa gathering, work or family party, or several of the aforementioned to attend? Prepare your palate and keep these 5 Healthy Tips for the New Year’s Party in mind:
- Just say “Yes, thank you.” Research has consistently shown that depriving oneself of a sought after treat or “craving” almost always backfires. Give up the deprivation and negatively-laced actions and enjoy your favorite piece of pie, sliver of fudge, chocolate candy, or holiday cookie in an appropriate portion. Just remember to mindfully savor the delicacy you long for and be thankful for its dreaminess, an annual gift in itself.
- Stave off ‘desperately-hungry’ grabbing. Snack on a small mixture of vitamin and mineral (magnesium, iron, fiber, B vitamins) packed nuts before the party to impede overeating.
- Let it sparkle. Turn your glass of wine into a spritzer by mixing equal parts wine, with sparkling flavored water or bubbly apple juice and ice. It will feel like you have more to drink, but the alcohol will be diluted, avoiding the likelihood of dehydration and impaired judgment when it comes to the cheese ball and pastry trays.
- Keep it simple. It’s easy to overeat with such an enticing spread before you. Try small pieces (think size of your thumb) and hone in on what you have been looking forward to all year, whether it be a spring roll, peppermint bark, or caramel cheesecake inspired trifle. Pile your plate with carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes from the vegetable platter and try mustard, hummus, and yogurt based dips to avoid too much unnecessary saturated fat that accompanies dressing and sauces. Reach for the shrimp cocktail to take in some protein, zinc, and a minimal amount of calories each. Just keep the count down as the cholesterol can add up easily.
- Go mingle. The joy of sharing good food is accompanying it with better company. Take the time to have meaningful conversations with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances and you’re likely to leave more fulfilled than if you succumbed to the second round of rum-soaked fruit cake.