Healthy Eating, Vibrant Living!

Veg4Health Newsletter

Tips for Successfully Navigating Holiday


  1. Plan -  Take the time to plan your meals and menus.  During the rush of the holiday season if you don't have a plan when it comes time to eat - highly processed junk foods will be the first thing you reach for.  Time is often of the essence during this busy time of year and quick and easy to prepare foods are what most of us need.  Healthy foods are often very quick and easy if you have the right foods in your pantry and a plan of action.
  2. Stock up on high fiber foods - Foods which are high in fiber help keep our blood sugar in check and our cravings to a minimum.  Plan your meals to include a good selection of beans and vegetables and you will probably find that foods which may have tempted you in the past have no hold on  you now.
  3. Eat before you go -  One way to avoid the temptation to over indulge in poor food choices is to fill up before you attend that holiday gathering.  Oftentimes I will eat a full healthy meal before we leave for the party.  A full tummy keeps me from eating those dishes I really don't want and wouldn't eat any other time of the year.
  4. Stock your pantry with fresh and dried fruits and nuts and seeds.- When I am in a hurry trying to meet all of our holiday obligations I am often tempted to grab a quick snack on the go. If I have Cheetos in the house, that is what I will reach for.  If I only have fruits, nuts and seeds then that is what I will reach for when I need a quick energy pick-up.
  5. Skip the sugary and alcoholic drinks - An exceptionally easy way to avoid extra calories is to drink water rather than sodas, punches and alcoholic beverages.  A nice glass of bottled water will keep your energy high and your waistline small.
  6. Freeze ahead - I love having a fully stocked freezer for super quick meals.  Those nights when I have the time to make a meal, I make a double batch and freeze half.  That's my idea of "fast food"!
  7. Keep meals easy - This is not the time of year to spend a lot of time experimenting with exotic and new dishes.  This is the time of year when simple menus are the best.  Think lots of "side"dishes rather than main dishes and you will find that kitchen time is kept to a minimum.
  8. Use your crockpot - There is nothing like walking into your kitchen at the end of the day and having dinner already ready and waiting for you.  Find some good soup and stew recipes that you can prepare in your slow cooker.  It's much easier to avoid fast food when you already have some waiting for you - healthy and hot at home.
Holiday Recipes
Feel free to drop
Do You Have Plans for the Holidays?

My inbox is suddenly flooded with reminders that the holidays are rapidly approaching. Thanksgiving and Christmas are our family's favorite time of year.  We love to spend time together planning, preparing and simply enjoying the holiday season.  Along with the holidays come the traditional increase in eating and weight that most people face between October and December.  We often feel helpless to stop over-indulging and splurging on all of those traditional holiday sweets and dishes.  It doesn't have to be that way though.  Studies show that the vast majority of people will gain an average of 1.5 pounds in these last 3 months of the year and only be able to lose about 0.2 pounds the following year - leaving us with an overall weight gain which adds up from year to year.  However, studies have also shown that those individuals who continue to consume a low fat, high fiber diet through the holidays will NOT face the temptations and weight gain.  Now, to most people a low fat, high fiber diet may sound dreadful and depressing, I am here to help you see that it's not.  There are so many good and healthy recipes and substitutions for "traditional" dishes that there is no reason to feel deprived during the holidays.  There are very few recipes that can't be modified to include whole, plant-based foods instead of highly processed, animal-based ingredients.  A little creativity and willingness to experiment are crucial - as well as a little help.  While preparing your Thanksgiving menus you may find the recipes listed here to be helpful.  Remember that there is often room to "indulge" a little if you simply build in a little margin in your eating.