Our 6 Top Tips to Prepare for Holiday Temptations
Summer is filled with fresh food, outdoor activities, vacations and soaking up the sun but just like every year before, it must come to an end. School is back in session and the holidays are right around the corner. Halloween candy and pumpkin spice everything are knocking at our door followed by all things turkey and chocolate covered treats at holiday parties. So what is the trick to staying on the right path?!?
FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL
Say it with me . . . . . FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL
Here is your plan to prepare so this coming January your New Years resolution can be something adult like better money management or learning to dance instead of losing your excess holiday weight.
1 PRESERVE SUMMER
Well the produce anyway . . . . Right now is the peak time for famers markets and produce galore! Make friends with a local farmer, a lot of times they have baskets of “ugly” produce that is not pretty enough to make it onto the shelves but tastes exactly the same as the perfect stuff for sale plus its usually sold at a discount. Dedicate one day to preserving it! Canning and freezing are your best options just make sure to do it correctly. Ball has a great book; Blue Book guide to Preserving and for about $10 you can have all the information for canning or freezing anything you can think of. There is nothing better than having fresh tomato sauce or summer sweet corn in the middle of January! If your new to preserving have some friends over and share the work along with the rewards.
2 MAKE A MEAL PLAN
Before setting foot inside the grocery store, make a plan for the week. Know what packed lunches will consist of and have at least 4 dinners picked out for the week. Stick to your list and steer clear of the clearance Halloween candy. When you get home prep as much of your shopping haul as you can. If you have vegetables for snacking, wash them and cut them up. Rice or quinoa in a dish, cook it now so your meal later will come together in no time. You get the drift.
The crock pot and pressure cooker are your friends! If you know that Wednesday is going to be crazy and you will be home later than usual, prep now. Throw all the ingredients for your favorite crock pot meal in a bag so Wednesday morning all you have to do is dump the bag in the crockpot and when you come home serve it up.
Pick a day of the week to have a leftover contest with the family and see who can come up with the best dish using leftovers.
3 SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE
You have a work schedule, school schedule, and social schedule so let’s not leave out a health schedule. Most of us have to punch a clock for work and would never skip our job because we did not feel like it but chances are we will do that with gym time. Schedule your workout time and stick to it, think of it as clocking in for yourself instead of your boss.
Schedule some time to make your plan for the following week or try putting a meal calendar on the fridge and let family members choose meals for different days. Schedule a 2-hour window to complete your shopping for the week and meal prepping. Spending even just an hour prepping what you can will save you a ton of time throughout the week and shopping with a plan (and time constraint) will save you a lot of unwanted items in your cart.
4 HEALTHIFY YOUR SHARED DISH
Most of us have that staple dish we bring to parties that’s super easy to make and usually consists of very unhealthy ingredients. This year healthify an old recipe or try something totally new. You will be surprised how many people will compliment a plant based delicious dish even when it’s surrounded by cheese potatoes and dump cakes. Now before you go thinking this girl has lost her mind with plant based recipes at a holiday party hear me out . . . . There is a very good chance everyone else at that party is looking around the food table thinking the exact same things as you and worrying about the unhealthy temptations on every serving dish. Be brave and spread healthy cheer!
5 MODERATION NOT DEPRIVATION
Do not spend the next 4 months focusing on what you can’t have or leaving every party you attend starving. Do not tell yourself you’re going to pass up every chocolate covered goodie you come in contact with, this is deprivation and it WILL NOT work. If you love something deemed unhealthy cutting it out completely is guaranteed to lead to failure. Let’s insert MODERATION. If you absolutely love (insert favorite holiday treat here) then have 1! We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time clean whole foods and 20% of the time eat the darn cookie. Savor the cookie and enjoy it, instead of mindlessly eating candy from the jar every time you walk by. Following 80/20 for a week means you can eat clean unprocessed whole foods for 6 days and indulge for one day.
6 ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS
Do not completely deprive yourself of the things you love but be mindful of consuming them and always make time to keep yourself healthy. Surround yourself with the people you love and maybe even form some new healthy holiday traditions. Eat to fuel your body and pay attention to what it’s telling you.
Amber Haag is a Teacup Wellness Coach and holds a certificate of Holistic Nutrition Consulting from American College of Healthcare Science.