Let's face it, we tend to associate the holiday season with eating, and that usually doesn't include "healthy foods". But we have the POWER to change this by shifting our mindset of how we view the holiday season. We can make it less about the food, and more about spending time with family, giving, and being thankful, instead of using this time as an excuse to stuff our faces, go back for seconds, and eat ingredients that we would normally avoid at all costs. So let's change our association with the holidays as being a time to lose all healthy eating morals by focusing on other things we LOVE about this time of year- Like the colder weather (and yes, 60 degrees constitutes as cold in Cali) , enjoying the warmth of a fireplace, scarfs, tea, ice skating, watching the Christmas classics like Home Alone, A Christmas Story, and Family Stone, feeding the homeless,and the hilarious white elephant game played with family or friends every year. By not making it ALL about eating, you'll be more inclined to keep your healthy habits through the holidays. Below are some tips I use around this time of year to stay FIT, while still very much being JOLLY, and not turning into a GRINCH, and by no means depriving myself.
FitBrittNutrition Go-To Holiday FIT Tips
1) Choose one thing to indulge in a week- Sometimes people use the holidays as an excuse to make poor eating choices for an entire week before Thanksgiving or Christmas, and if you do that, that's hard to come back from. You wind up feeling guilty, depressed, maybe even a little grossed out by yourself, and in turn, you keep eating bad because you feel so bad about eating bad- Ironic isn't it? So, limit your indulging and plan ahead. If pie is your thing, allow yourself to indulge in a piece of that pecan pie on Thanksgiving, enjoy it, and move on. Don't eat pie all week because it was at work, and then at your Friends-giving the day before Thanksgiving. Allow yourself ONE splurge per week- Whether it's your favorite holiday food or drink.
2) Practice Self control- Working in an office setting, or any place where there is an unlimited amount of unhealthy foods (which oddly quadruples around the holidays) can be challenging. My best advice here is to AVOID it all. It's too easy to eat badly at the office, that once you start allowing yourself something here and there, it becomes a full on habit, and a hard one, at that, to break. Stash some dark chocolate and tea in your desk to enjoy at work instead. That way you can save your splurge for something more worth it- Like your Grandma's famous homemade apple pie made with love. Which is WAY more worth it than the store bought sugar cookies staring you in the face all day at work, right?!
3) Start your day with B's Green Life Smoothie (and lemon water)- I find when I start my day with a cup of warm, lemon water followed by B's Green Life Smoothie (1 cup coconut water, 1 cup greens, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 apple, 1/2 pear, 5 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, juice from 1/2 a lemon and lime, ginger, mint, parsley, cilantro, turmeric, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, and a dash of black pepper) my body instantly feels cleansed, and I've set myself up to have a healthy day. Include this morning ritual in your own holiday plans, and you're guaranteed to feel less inclined to overindulge on Thanksgiving or at your annual work Christmas party.
4) Bring the HEALTHY to the PARTY- This applies to work potlucks, gatherings with friends and family, and on holidays themselves. When getting together to celebrate the holidays, bring a HEALTHY dish- Perhaps it is a colorful fall salad, roasted vegetable platter, or fresh vegetables with hummus for dipping. By bringing something healthy, you will have ONE guaranteed thing you can eat guilt-free. As far as the rest of the food, before loading it up on your plate ask yourself, "How is this going to nourish my body"? If you find you can't give yourself one good answer, it likely should not be going into your body!
And lastly, my FAVORITE...
5) Make healthier versions of your favorite holiday indulgences- That's right, get your Martha Stewart apron on, and get in the kitchen. There are so many healthier versions to unhealthy dishes that I don't understand why everyone doesn't ditch the unhealthy ones altogether. The healthy versions are MORE satisfying, because they come from whole foods (or mostly whole foods) and are actually GOOD for your body. Use cauliflower to make mashed potatoes, use coconut sugar in place of refined, white sugar, and MAKE THIS RAW PUMPKIN PIE in place of that Marie Calendar's pie loaded with trans fats, sugar, and more:
B's Raw Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
"Cook" time: 12 hours/overnight
This tastes like the REAL deal, maybe because it actually is the real deal?!...No fake ingredients, no refined ingredients, nothing but REAL, nourishing ingredients in this lively (I was going to say "killer", BUT this pie is full of LIVING foods) Raw Pumpkin Pie:
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
- 2 cups dates, pitted (and soaked in hot water for 5 minutes to soften)
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
- Add all listed ingredients, except the dates, to a food processor or Vitamix and pulse until crumbly
- Pour nut mixture into a bowl and set aside
- Next, add the softened dates to your processor or Vitamix and pulse until a gooey mixture forms
- Add in half of the nut mixture with the dates in your processor or Vitamix and pulse, add in the rest of the nut mixture as it starts to blend together with the date paste
- Add the crust to a greased (I used coconut oil) pie pan, pressing the "crust dough" onto the perimeter of the pie pan, so it is even and covers the entire inside of the pan, and then form a crust up the side of the pan, by pressing the dough upwards all around
- Cover, and let chill in the fridge, while you make the pie filling
PUMPKIN PIE FILLING
- 1 can organic pumpkin
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 3-4 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- Dash of black pepper (to better absorb the turmeric in the body)
- 1 stevia
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Few dashes of pink Himalayan sea salt
- Optional- Dash of cayenne (this brings out the spice flavors, in my opinion)
- Add all listed ingredients to a food processor or Vitamix and blend on low until well mixed (should be a medium-thick consistency)
- Take the pie tin with crust out of the fridge and evenly pour the filling into the tin on top of the crust, letting it fill the inside
- Cover, and leave in fridge overnight, and fall in love with this pie the next day!
You can even add your own coconut whipped cream to this by putting a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, open the can and, remove the liquid, and put the rest of the coconut cream in a bowl, add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 stevia and whip with a spoon to mix. This stores in the fridge for a week and tastes so creamy without any dairy! Easy as pie, but tastier ON pie;-)