The holidays are a time for family, good cheer, and for many, post-indulgence guilt. We are not going to contribute to the food shaming around the holidays, because we believe that a little holiday cheer is just fine this time of year! Instead of telling you what not to do, here are some tips to help you enjoy the season with a healthy balance of indulgence and moderation.
Lighten your Sides
When it comes to extra calories hidden in our holiday meals, the sides are usually the culprits. A typical serving of mashed homemade potatoes clocks in at around 300 calories. A simple way to lighten them up is to serve cauliflower mashed “potatoes” instead. They look, taste, and feel almost identical, but clock in with a much lower calorie count. As a bonus, it’s a great way to get the kids eating something they might normally skip. If you’re a potato purist, choose a different side dish to switch up. Anything goes!
Keep it Moving
Many holiday activities revolve around eating, drinking and sitting, which can all contribute to that bloated-Santa feeling. Getting away to the gym is no fun and often impractical in the midst of all the events. Why not mix it up and incorporate some light activity into your holiday traditions? Don your walking shoes and hit the mall for some gift shopping or just take in the holiday displays. Opt for the stairs and keep a brisk pace to maximize the burn. If weather permits, organize a family game of touch football or catch in the backyard after Christmas brunch. A ping pong tournament can be arranged indoors. Or, take advantage of a white Christmas by test-driving the kids’ new sleds or having a snowball fight.
Stress produces the hormone cortisol, which is associated with obesity and a host of other health problems. It’s easy to get caught up in all the demands of our time, money and schedules during the holiday season. Take time to relax, prioritize, and remember what you are grateful for this year. You don’t have to throw the best party or give the most lavish gifts, simply spending time and attention with your loved ones is what will be cherished in memories for years to come.
Augusta wishes everyone a joyful and healthy holiday!