In our previous post, Roper St. Francis Dietician Amy Mendez offered some sane reasoning to counter some of the all-or-nothing thinking we tend to slip into when our regular routines go holiday haywire. We hope that was helpful. And now that you’re armed with a couple of good strategies for maintaining some semblance of healthy habits over the next month, here are a couple of other tips from Amy Mendez – pitfalls to beware of, and strategies for avoiding them. Read them and let us know what you think, or tell us what other strategies have worked well for you. Leave us a comment. And give a healthy “gift” to your friends and share these ideas on your social media channels.
Pitfall #3: Impulsive eating
You can’t quit eating the holiday cookies! You may usually keep tempting foods out of sight in the cabinets or fridge, but at holiday time the cookies, fudge and gift baskets are left on the counter in plain sight— more so in the workplace when vendors, clients and friends bring in treats to share.
Strategy: Make a pact with your co-workers to keep treats in the kitchen or away from your workspace. Allow yourself a small serving, but perhaps with your lunch instead of as snacks throughout the day. Sweets have a way of giving you an initial rush of energy, then leaving you hungry and craving more a short time later.
Pitfall #4: Fridge is full, but there’s nothing to eat
You spend time planning the perfect holiday meal, but neglect to buy groceries for all the healthy meals in between. Whether you end up eating out, ordering pizza, or buying fast food on the way home, you end up spending more money and eat more calories, fat and sodium than you need.
Strategy: By all means, keep your meal planning simple when you’ve got a long to-do list! Take advantage of the quick-prepare items in the grocery store, like pre-marinated chicken and steam-in-bag vegetables. Take a minute to jot out a quick menu for the week before you head to the grocery store so you don’t stress over the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question at the last minute! A recipe of turkey chili or vegetable soup paired with pre-washed salad greens could hold you for more than one night. It’s also a great time of year for slow-cooker meals that are easy to make and are satisfying.
Part 2 of our RSF Guide to a Healthier Holiday Season. Missed Part 1? Read it now.
Amy is a registered dietitian at Mount Pleasant Cardiology specializing in nutrition counseling for cardiovascular disease risk factors. Her favorite holiday indulgence is a few homemade butter cookies made from her grandmother’s recipe.