Learn How to Eat Clean During the Holidays with 4 Simple Choices

Make easy choices to eat clean and feel better during the holiday season.

Let’s face it we’ve all been gluttons once, twice or many more times at this time of year. It tasted good but you are left sapped of energy and find it difficult to finish off this busy season with that festive spirit. Many of the traditional dishes are not the healthiest options. Take that sweet potato dish my mom used to make with brown sugar and tons of marshmallows on top. It is one of the only ways I love marshmallows though. When I was 10 I didn’t notice how it made me feel, but now that I’m a year or two older this kind of eating really hits you. Add on top of that the friend and work parties that happen around this time of year, and well, I can feel my blood sugar rising and my gluten free diet getting kicked to the curb all too easily.

This happens easily when there are so many poor health choices surrounding us at a time of year when we are out more frequently. You can eat clean during the holidays and I found many health conscious recipes that will help. For me though, I am not a great cook and I don’t follow recipes particularly well. There are also many helpful posts out there that have smart tips to follow like watching alcohol consumption and choosing foods with different colors (so you have greens, oranges, and reds for instance) which will help you eat a square meal. Tips like this are helpful but take it one step further. You can still indulge some in naughty goodness but it’s all about making choices. Making more health conscious decisions is not too hard if you have a place to start, so here are a few actionable ideas.  

So this post is all about making decisions to stay healthier. These are not difficult decisions or hard to ponder, just a matter of thoughtfulness and staying alert.

4 easy clean eating choices 

  • Choice 1: Don’t skip meals. Whether it’s a work party or Christmas dinner you are tempted to fast for, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch before the big meal. Healthier choices made earlier in the day allow you to splurge a bit more later. After recently discovering how yummy quinoa hot cereal can be, it would be a great example of a breakfast item to have on the day of a feast or party.
  • Choice 2: Be conscious of your choices during the feast. Yes, it is a great idea to scan over the table and choose the selections you really want – maybe you don’t really want everything. Take this a step further by looking over what you are choosing. Is there a mound of stuffing, equally large mound of mashed potatoes and a couple baked goods? I love (adore) all of these items, but none of them is good for my blood sugar level. Since stuffing isn’t seen for much of the year, I typically choose more of that and less potatoes and baked goods which leaves me able to eat that yummy pie and some whipped cream!
  • Choice 3: Remember this one? Keep It Simple (and) Super. This is a great thought process to have when choosing, bringing or picking up food for holiday feasts. Think fewer ingredients per dish and instead focus on really great quality ones and let their own wonder shine through. The taste will be amazing! Choose a healthier milk choice, reduce or halve the amount of sugar in your pie, and have salt on the side. Keep those veggies on your plate! Green beans with toasted almonds or seared onions? Yes, please!
  • Choice 4: Know what you are eating. Speaking of baked goods, many of the gluten free options frequently use white rice flour, which is fine, but this too can raise your blood sugar level. Be aware of this and know what you are eating. Does your whipped cream have just a touch of sugar or a lot?

We all want to enjoy the holidays and seek out ways to do so with less regret later. I hope these simple choices help you eat clean and enjoy the holiday festivities more.

For ideas on staying mindful during the holidays check out my post, Holiday Mindfulness Thoughts Collection. If you like what you read, please like, comment and add your thoughts, and share with your friends who can also benefit.