It seems like indulgent temptations are everywhere you look during the holiday season. Vani Hari, a New York Times bestselling author and creator of FoodBabe.com knows just the feeling. She’s built her career teaching people how to make nutritious purchasing decisions in the grocery store, how to spot “real food” and live an organic lifestyle, and has even influenced some major food chains to develop healthier options.
Below, Vani shares some tips to on how to keep your health a priority during this busy time of year.
This time of year used to be a real struggle for me… the candy, cookies, feasts, pies, parties, casseroles, decorating, shopping, stress… all added up. And let’s not even talk about how I felt mentally – tired all the time and not self-confident at all. I hate those feelings!
After I started learning about what was really in my food, I made a conscious decision not to eat toxic chemicals in processed food regardless the time of year.. This really forced me to learn how to navigate the holiday season without getting off my game.
But, don’t get me wrong… I still enjoy yummy pies and goodies, but I learned to find a balance when temptations are all around me. . Here are a few of the things I do (that YOU can do, too) that have really helped me stay on track during the holiday season…
- Make healthier versions of your favorite holiday dishes: This will give you the option of eating at least one healthy item while you’re at a party. It will also give you the opportunity to share a real food holiday dish with friends and family, showing them healthy food can be delicious!
- Drink a green drink every day: This will give you an energy boost and will remind you that your health comes first. Follow this up with a nutritious meal too, so that you keep your hunger in check!
- Keep moving and stay active: Jumpstart your metabolism each day by going to the gym or enjoying a long walk with a family member you haven’t seen in awhile. I always love attending fitness classes on holidays because it can be hard to motivate myself, so it helps to have an instructor or trainer cheering me on. Sweating it out will improve your mood, boost your metabolism and keep you from snacking on goodies all day.
- Eat a little something before you go to a party: You don’t want to show up ravenous because then you’ll eat everything in sight! Eat a good source of organic, healthy protein and fat (such as avocado or raw nuts) to help sustain you for a few hours. This way you can still enjoy your favorite foods at the party, but won’t be so hungry that you go overboard. (This strategy also saves me when the food that’s served isn’t something that interests my appetite.)
- Focus on your friends and family: Remember what’s really important and enjoy spending time with your loved ones. I love socializing at parties, rather than eating.
- Chill out. If you’re feeling super stressed out, your cortisol levels can skyrocket, causing your body to hold onto weight (particularly in the waist). Fat accumulates near the stomach because the cells in the stomach are more sensitive to cortisol, and very effective at storing energy. Do some yoga, meditation, or take a long walk either before or after a meal.
To get you inspired and excited to stay on a healthy track the next few months, Vani is sharing her Eating Guides, which emphasize whole real food that doesn’t contain chemicals or GMOs. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, her guides take the planning and guesswork out of what to cook. Also check out her blog for more recipes and real food news. Food Babe is also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.