Stay Healthy Over Christmas
with these 8 simple but powerful healthy eating habits
Time Of Indulgence
Christmas is a time of indulgence, guilty pleasure and food comas. We all know it. No one even tries to deny this. Besides, isn’t that why we love this time of the year so much? It’s one of these occasions we can just relax, surrender to the delicious food and spend quality time with our loved ones. Some of us wait a whole year for Christmas to be able to enjoy undisturbed overindulgence, overspending and of course overeating. And that’s OK.
However, if you want to feel good and stay healthy during the Christmas season you should stick to a healthy diet otherwise you will be suffering from multiples food comas that will definitely ruin your mood and Christmas vibe. But hey, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from your favorite Christmas dishes! What I’m trying to say is that you can choose healthier options and STILL indulge in your favorite food while avoiding stomach pain, gastritis, heartburn, bloating and other RATHER uncomfortable digestive issues that can easily ruin every festive season. It’s not fun to feel sick after every single meal. Besides, all these unhealthy foods most people consume daily can (and they usually do) cause anxiety, insomnia or even depression. So stay away from junk, highly processed, GMO and sugary food, for your own good. You can STILL indulge BUT in a healthy way! And this is how you can easily stick to a healthy diet at Christmas.
9 Powerful Hacks To Eat Healthy During Christmas
1. Plan Your Meals & Snacks In Advance
Whether you’re preparing for a significant life change or you’re just trying to avoid bad food choices during the Holiday season, having a good plan will make everything much easier and less overwhelming. First of all, planning and preparing your Holiday meals and snacks will make you feel powerful and in control of the whole Christmas situation. Secondly, you will avoid a food coma, serious digestive issues or alcohol hangover caused by uncontrollable festive indulgence. And finally, you will be able to celebrate this special time of the year feeling good, staying positive and being mindful. So as you can see, taking some time for Christmas meal planning and preparation will not only help you to eliminate unnecessary “food” decisions but also prevent you from making questionable food choices that you will most probably regret soon after the Christmas dinner party is over.
- GET INSPIRED – search for healthy Holiday recipes online (Pinterest, youtube, food blogs)
- GET ORGANIZED – Plan your Holidays meals and snacks in advance to avoid unhealthy food choices, digestive problems, and food comas
- GET PRODUCTIVE – Make clean eating grocery shopping list
- GET INVOLVED – Organize Holiday meal preparation and cook perfect Holiday meals
- GET CREATIVE – Bring out your inner chef and prepare some delicious Christmas meals
2. Do A Smart & Healthy Grocery Shopping
There’s no way you will be eating healthy if your fridge and pantry are filled with junk and highly processed food products. So maybe it’s time to toss them and stop buying new ones? Technically junk food it’s not even food so you’re not really wasting anything if you get rid of it. Of course, I’m not encouraging you to waste food but to make conscious food choices and fuel your body with nutrients instead of filling it with empty calories. You can eat for nutrition, not just for pleasure even during the Christmas season! Furthermore, Christmas is a perfect time to create healthy eating habits and inspire others to do so as well. So make a clean eating grocery shopping list, do healthy grocery shopping and stock your fridge, cupboards, and pantry with healthy, nutrient-dense delicious food. Trust me, it’s the best way to train your brain to crave healthy foods and resist the temptation of unhealthy food products.
So don’t wait to adopt healthy eating habits until after Christmas, create them right now! Mindful eating it’s the key to a successful Christmas season.
- Make a clean eating grocery list and stick to it
- Plan your healthy Holidays meals in advance to prevent wasting food
- Go to a grocery store well-rested and well-fed to avoid buying unhealthy food products
- Buy nutrient-dense food
- Read Nutritional Facts Labels before putting food products into your shopping cart
- Stay away from Frankenstein and sugary foods (Avoid GMO’s, highly processed and “ready to eat” food products that can drastically increase the risk of a wide variety of health problems)
- Buy local and seasonal food to support the local economy
3. Indulge But In A Healthy Way
Did you know that severe digestive problems and alcohol hangover are one of the most common hospital presentations over Christmas time? That’s crazy, right? And I’ve always thought that at this time of the year the emergency room at every big hospital gets full because of the traumatic hospitalizations due to car accidents or various incidents relating to recreational activities such as skiing or snowboarding. Imagine my surprise when I found that most people get to the hospital during the Holiday season because they’ve eaten or drank too much… That’s insane, isn’t it? I mean, especially because in comparison to random accidents, our eating and drinking habits depend entirely on us even during the Holiday season. I know that Christmas is the time of indulgence and festivity but it does not have to end with severe food coma or even worse – with gastric lavage. You can enjoy an unapologetically naughty and delicious Christmas food in moderation. You can STILL indulge but in a healthy way so that you avoid severe digestive problems that could easily ruin the Christmas vibe. So go ahead eat and drink your way through Christmas BUT do it mindfully. Stick to healthy or healthier food options and enjoy the time of indulgence without excess.
- Practice Mindful Eating here
- Prepare delicious Keto desserts and keep them on hand (go for low carb and high-fat goodies!)
- Drink cinnamon dark hot Chocolate without marshmallows BUT with delicious healthy heavy cream to warm yourself up in cold Christmas evening (unless you’re spending your Christmas In Australia)
- If you drink Alcohol, drink it in moderation to avoid a hangover and embarrassment at Christmas party
- Control your Sugar intake (Avoid sugary holiday drinks that provide only empty calories)
- Avoid Empty calories
- Incorporate Superfoods into your Christmas diet! (did you know that dark chocolate is a superfood?!!!!)
- If you eat out just try to stick to Healthy options
4. Socialize Away From The Party Buffet
Oh, holy buffet… No, I mean oh Holy Night! But seriously, while delicious food is an important part of the celebration, so is spending quality time with your family and friends. So don’t get confused about the real nature of Christmas. Focus on socializing not food and do it away from the buffet. Control the temptation to have a little taste of everything that is in your sight. My tactic is to choose two or three favorite Christmas meals, sit at the table distant from the buffet and socialize with people.
- Visit people not food
- Avoid the environments that will throw you off
- Practice Mindful eating
- Control the risk of temptation to taste everything in your sight
- Drink alcohol in moderation
Best Posts About Christmas:
- How to Manage Christmas When You Suffer from Anxiety Disorder HERE
- Unique and Inexpensive Gifts for Christmas 2019 HERE
- Christmas on a Budget: 7 Powerful Hacks to Budget, Plan & Organize Debt-Free Christmas HERE
- How to Eat Mindfully HERE
- 7 Steps to Detox Your Mental Wellbeing. – Cleanse Your Mind for a More Positive Life HERE
- 8 Simple Ways to Live a More Active Lifestyle HERE
- 6 Simple Ways To Live A Healthier Lifestyle HERE
5. Eat Mindfully
Food is not only a necessity but also a great source of pleasure, especially during the Holiday season. That’s why we all wait for this time of the year to give ourselves unconditional permission to excessive indulgence in eating or drinking. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as the pleasure is not taken to an extreme. Gluttony is a sin. No, but seriously, gluttony is extremely unhealthy and really unacceptable. Do you remember the infamous restaurant scene of Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” where the wafer-thin mint was all that was needed to make Mr. Creosote explode? Let’s avoid that fate by making mindful food choices during the Christmas season, and not just then. So adopt a mindful approach to food, celebrating your meals and indulging in the uniqueness of the Christmas eating experience.
- Get rid of distractions while eating your meal (Single-tasking is key!)
- Don’t snack mindlessly
- Don’t starve yourself leading up to a meal
- Eat with all five senses (being fully aware of an eating experience)
- Listen to your body (physical or emotional hunger?)
- Eat to nourish and energize
- Honor the food
- Be aware of the nutrient value of the food
- Be aware of how particular ingredients affect your health and wellbeing
- Discover the joy of cooking and preparing the food you eat
- Feel comfortable with your food choices
Mindful Eating Apps
- In The Moment (Android/iOS)
- Mindful Eating Tracker (Android/iOS)
- Am I Hungry? (Android/iOS)
- Mindful Meal Timer (Android/iOS)
- Mindful Eating (Android/iOS)
- Eat, Chew Rest (Android/iOS)
- Eat Drink and Be Mindful (Android/iOS)
- Time Your Bites! (Android)
- Mindful Eating Hypnosis – Eat What You Need (Android)
- Mindful Eating Coach (iOS)
Apps Designed For People Who Struggle With Eating Disorders
6. If You Eat Out...
Going out for a Christmas dinner party and worrying about the food options you will have? Relax! Just because you’re not the host it does not mean that you have no control over your food choices! Of course, you do!
Most restaurants have healthy food options in their menu for conscious eaters. And I am assuming that you’re not planning to have your Christmas dinner party at one of the biggest fast-food chains… I hope you’re not because that would be… strange. However, even in major fast-food chain restaurants, there are still some healthful options on the menu. So if you want to spend this magical time of the year there, you can still eat something decent.
Anyways, if you’re going for a Christmas party to a restaurant just read the menu before you go and choose your food before you arrive. And if you’re going to your family’s or friend’s house cook and bring a healthy dish, but not just only for yourself but for others! Spread the awareness and knowledge about healthy eating habits during this Christmas time! People you spend your Holidays with will avoid food comas and severe digestive issues, thanks to you!
- Read the menu before you go
- Ask how food is cooked and prepared
- Stick to healthy or healthier food options
- Avoid environment that throws you off such as fast-food restaurants chains
- Be assertive and say “no” politely to those who offer you unhealthy food
- Bring out your inner chef and cook something delicious and healthy
7. Listen To Your Gut... Literally...
Your intuition whispers and if you ignore this whisper sooner or later it will start screaming. Why? Well, because your intuition or as I like to call it a “gut feeling” it’s nothing other than your internal guidance system, a precognitive knowledge that is being activated every time when you have to make a decision, even the smallest one. The funny thing is, most of the time, we’re not even aware of this decision-making process because this precognitive quality comes first before we get access to our critical and logical thinking. We just have this feeling in our gut that something is right for us or not. That’s why if your gut instinct tells you to run, you should run without thinking twice. Well, it’s not a secret that fighting against the instinct of self-preservation which by the way is the strongest in all of us, won’t do any good. So trust your intuition and always honor this first “gut feeling”. Because with complete acceptance and honoring intuition something incredibly valuable will surely come. Whether it is your new relationship, a new job, moving to another city or taking a second portion of food you always know what feels right and what doesn’t. Regardless of the circumstances, if it feels like a no, it’s a no. If your intuition tells you that it’s not a good idea to eat that dessert or have another drink you should probably listen to it. So listen to your intuition, enjoy the Christmas season and know your limits. Rember that, preventing food coma is much easier and healthier than recovering from it!
- Bring all your senses to the meal.
- Downsize your portions
- Listen to your body (Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed)
- Listen to your gut (Don’t push yourself over your limits)
8. Hydrate Like A Boss But Not Only With Water...
Hydration is key to a healthy diet, active lifestyle and delicious Christmas! So don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the Holiday season. It will help you to avoid overeating, food comas, hangovers, and DEHYDRATION!
If you’re tired of water here are some healthy options:
- Incorporate Matcha green tea into your Christmas diet (contains antioxidants)
- Try Yerba mate (is full of nutrients: iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, Vit B1, B2, B3, B5 ecc.)
- Try Kombucha tea (contains probiotics and beneficial acids)
- Drink Lemon Water in the morning (boost metabolism, boost energy levels, detoxify, alkalizes your body,)
- Treat yourself to Coconut water between Christmas meals (contains bioactive enzymes)
- Try Guarana (contains 300%more caffeine than coffee beans and it’s sweet and tasty!)
9. Move Your Christmas Butt
It’s not a secret that a sedentary lifestyle is literally killing us. Physical inactivity has been scientifically proven to be a leading cause of many chronic or even terminal diseases. So why risk so much? We’re not designed to sit down all day long and eat multiple meals with lightning speed and Christmas season it’s not an exception. Physical inactivity makes us anxious, depressed, obese and just sick. While physical activity improves happiness, wellbeing and overall health. Why? Well, because during exercise our body releases endorphins and increases dopamine and serotonin levels. This magic trio made up of your natural happy chemicals is all you need to activate your happiness mode. Furthermore, regular workouts boost your energy levels, reduces stress, increases self-esteem and keep you fit (not to be confused with “being skinny). Need I say more? So instead of looking for an excuse to skip your workouts during the Holiday season think how great you will feel afterward and hit the gym, go for a walk or do a full-body workout at home. Avoid a sedentary Christmas. Optimize your schedule, improve your festive routine and make space for more physical activity at this time of the year!
- Exercise at least 30 minutes daily (Yes, even at Christmas time!)
- Take long Christmas walks (take at least 10 000 steps per day)
- Practice yoga, pilates or do some stretches as a part of your Christmas morning routine (simple stretch will improve your posture, keep you grounded, boost your happy hormones and set your mood for the whole day)
Download Your Free Printable Self-care Workbook by clicking on the photo below!
and Eat Your Way Through Christmas MINDFULLY!
4 thoughts on “9 Smart Ways To Eat Healthy During The Holidays. – Let’s Indulge In A Healthy Way!”
Another great post, thank you Kate. I didn’t know there were mindful eating apps, might have to check them out. I’m a christmas chocolate binge eater, but hope that this year with being vegan I can kick that habit!
Have a great festive season!
Hi Karen!! I hope you’re doing well. I’ve just read your comment and forgive me but I wanted to tell you something. I know it’s none of my business but I just feel the need to tell you this. I respect the choices of others and I really don’t think that there is one diet that fits all. But, I know a lot of ex-vegans that return to omnivore or carnivore diets because they had serious health problems caused by various nutritional deficiencies (not only Vit B12). I understand why people want to go vegan. I wanted to go vegan myself a couple of years ago. The mass exploitation, factory farming, and animal abuse it’s a serious problem that we should not ignore. And the fact that people are becoming more and more aware of how conventional farming and agriculture really look like gives me hope that some necessary changes will be made.
Anyways, I just wanted to tell you that I hope you’re doing well and the vegan diet works for you. Take care and have a wonderful week. AGAIN: I hope I didn’t offend you. I just felt the need to tell you that. 😉
No offence at all. As with any diet there’s a risk of nutritional deficiencies. B12 is the headline one because it isn’t naturally present in vegan foods. I take B12 along with various other supplements, but in theory a vegan diet can be nutritionally balanced as with an omnivore diet the key is to have a varied menu. And to minimise the junk food!
Have a great day Kate x
You are so right. With any diet, there’s a risk of nutritional deficiencies especially considering the way most people eat these days. I see a lot of people buying junk food when I do my grocery shopping. Usually, I don’t say anything because everyone can eat what they want but when I see kids eating fried fast food, insanely sugary desserts and drinking sugary carbonated beverages instead of having some decent meal, I do say something to their parents because I just can’t ignore it. Diabetes is a real problem in Italy and for some reason, people seem not to care much about it. Maybe I am a little sensitive about it but Diabetes killed my Grandpa and I just cannot look at kids eating this highly processed and packed with additives food… How is this even legal to make and sell such processed foods?!! Anyways, I didn’t want my response to be that pessimistic! I’m sorry, Karen! I hope you’re doing well. Have a beautiful Sunday and a wonderful week ahead! 😀