WRITTEN BY Lara Fuhrer | REVIEWED BY JEN CALO MS, RDN, CDN, CDE, CLT
It’s getting close to the holiday season, a time for heart-warming sweets and holiday parties. Shortly after this festive time comes New Year’s Resolutions of losing that holiday weight gain and eating healthier. Instead of feeling guilty, let’s talk about healthier recipes and how to mindfully indulge to enjoy yourself without missing out on pumpkin pie and other delicious treats.
When making a dessert, try replacing some of the higher calorie and less nutritious options for healthier and less processed options. For sugar, try natural sweeteners and unsweetened options like unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas, honey, maple syrup, frozen/fresh fruits, and natural peanut butter. Mashed bananas and avocado, prune purée, natural pumpkin purée, chia seeds, and flax seeds can be used as fat replacement. Let’s also try replacing white bleached flour for an unbleached flour, whole-wheat pastry flour or rolled oats as a gluten free option.
Here are some healthier recipe ideas you can try out!
Healthier apple pie: https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2015/10/11/clean-classic-apple-pie/
Healthier pumpkin pie: https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/healthy-pumpkin-pie-recipe/
Chocolate truffles: https://detoxinista.com/easy-dark-chocolate-avocado-truffles/
Here are some strategies to prevent overeating this holiday season!
- Don’t restrict yourself!
- Instead of restricting yourself at a party, try using the three-bite approach to be conscious of your indulgences. Taste the dish or dessert you want and after three bites you will be satisfied. (see http://www.compassnutrition.com/healthy-regards/2017/7/25/if-i-eat-healthy-majority-of-the-time-im-allowed-a-cheat-day-the-answer-is-false-cheat-meals-breed-guilt-can-turn-into-binges-try-to-indulge-mindfully)
- Make a colorful plate
- Fill up most your plate with vegetables, they will fill you up quickly and keep you full as they are packed with fiber and nutrients. Tip: try roasting your vegetables for a comforting feeling and to help keep you warm.
- Don’t restrict your calories for the day leading up to a party
- If you fast all day knowing that there will be a big feast you are more likely to overeat. Make sure to have a balanced breakfast as to not diminish your metabolism. Eating protein at meals will help keep you satiated to prevent overeating later in the day.
- Stay hydrated all day
- Drinking water all day will help boost your metabolism and help to keep you mindful of your indulgences.
- Survey the buffet before digging in
- Check out what’s being offered and gather an idea of what you really want to try before hopping on line.
- It’s okay to drink, but be mindful about what you are drinking and how much alcohol you are consuming
- Alcohol is sadly not free of calories and the cocktails served around the holiday season tend to be very high in calories (this includes eggnog). Try choosing an alternative drink like a glass of wine or have a cocktail with a glass of water and alternate sips. With eggnog and other similar drinks, try out the three bite rule but instead the three sip rule; have a taste and be mindful. Focus on who is surrounding you at these gatherings- friends and family, so let’s sip slowly and enjoy the company and holiday season.