Healthy Holiday Dinner Ideas
It’s no surprise every year that around this time, we all get a little bit merrier and more relaxed with our goals. Naturally, the holidays are a time for celebrating with family and friends, and for centuries that has included social gatherings filled with drinks and feasts of delicious food! But after working hard all year, is it possible to still enjoy the festivities without damaging your progress? With weeks of celebrating, it can cause some serious damage, most definitely. But you don’t have to walk into the new year with the same goals as last year, follow these helpful holiday dinner hacks to get you through these merry times and keep your progress going strong!
I’ll start with the easy substitutions for dinner…
Butter can easily be replaced by Coconut Butter, Avocado Oil, Walnut Oil, etc.
Replace Charcuterie boards with Veggies and Greek Yogurt Dip or Hummus.
If you absolutely cannot pass on the crackers and bread, switch them out for low carb options such as Veggies or Rice Crackers or even lower carb Sweet Potato Chips.
Pass on the ham and stick with my personal favourite, turkey. Which you can still stuff by making your own healthy version of stuffing. Using a combination of sourdough and dark rye bread instead of white bread you can easily cut back on some calories out.
Opt for making your own cranberry sauce, and sweeten it yourself with honey, agave or natural sweetener of choice! The canned stuff may be easy peasy, but packed with refined sugars.
Then onto dessert…
This one’s a bit trickier, there aren’t a whole lot of healthy holiday options when it comes to store bought (or homemade) holiday treats. A lot of times I will just make it myself and incorporate small substitutions such as stevia for sugar, or coconut oil or coconut butter for butter or margarine.
My best suggestion would be to pick your favourite and enjoy a small piece. Its not necessary to go nuts over all of the holiday baking, but it is necessary to enjoy it while its here. Self control is like a muscle, the more you test it, the stronger it get. A little bit in moderation is the golden ticket! Also making sure that you are physically active either before or after you are enjoying anything unhealthy can help put those extra calories to good use. 😉
But then there’s all of the social drinking…
Luckily I wrote a blog on some healthy-ish holiday cocktail ideas, you can check that out HERE, but there’s also the clear liquor rule, where it’s recommended to stick to only clear alcohol and mix it with water and a lemon or lime wedges. Do I recommend this too? Sure, it can limit the sugar content you will end up consuming in the long run, but alcohol turns into sugar in your body… regardless what colour it is.
So with social drinking, a lot like eating your aunts famous dessert.. it should be done in moderation, and always remember the 1 drink to 1 glass of water ratio. This will keep hydrated and feeling fine into the night.
I know there seems to be a lot of “rules” listed here, but in retrospect, I’m not telling you to stop enjoying the holidays, but simply suggesting you do them a bit more mindfully. This time of year only comes around once, so it’s important to enjoy it to the fullest, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your hard earned progress, or healthy lifestyle to enjoy it.
Happy Healthy Holidays Fit Fam!