Holiday clean eating tips
During the holidays, we grant ourselves permission to treat ourselves and feast on foods that we know aren’t the best for us. We’ve all been there…surrendering to the scent of homemade cakes and pies. Or that one brownie that results in two more. And, of course, Christmas cookies – especially if they are homemade!
While it’s no crime to splurge on occasion, keep in mind that when your body is used to eating clean, processed and fast foods can easily throw your digestive system in a tailspin, causing stomach discomfort, heartburn, lethargy, and brain fog. Those next days after the holidays are typically rough-going as is, so feeling sluggish from a carb hangover is truly the last thing we need.
Here are some holiday clean eating tips on how to maintain eating clean in the midst of those holiday temptations!
Clean eating tips for your holiday dinner
- Plan ahead. Tackle your menu far ahead of time instead of scrambling at the last minute. Finalize your menu no later than mid-December. Planning ahead also allows you to grab the best deals on meats, produce and other items. It allows you to reserve foods such as organic meats ahead of time. This is often the case at one local organic turkey farm near me as they require orders for Thanksgiving turkeys to be made several weeks in advance.
- Look online. Look online for clean eating entrees, appetizers, salads, sides and desserts. Too many helpful blogs to mention, but ones that focus on clean eating such as Paleo, Keto, candida-friendly, and Whole30. Even Food Network works if you can weed out the less healthy recipes.
- Keep it super simple. Offer simple appetizers like fruit, veggies, cheese and even nitrate-free summer sausages. Stick with a simple plan…salad, main course, a few different veggies and a dessert. Make what you can ahead of time. Group together items you can make in the oven in relatively one shot. Shoot for clean foods, but also ones that are easy to execute given the busy day ahead of you.
- Choose seasonal foods. They are timely and appropriate for the holidays. Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and squash (here’s Paula’s favorite recipe) are plentiful in grocery stores or local farms. Out of season foods will drive up your costs and certainly do not taste as well as fresh seasonal produce.
- Choose whole pieces of meat. Go for the roasts. Think beef, pork, whole chicken, whole turkey, and lamb. Be careful with ham. Make sure you can get a ham that is free of nitrates and added salt. Pop it in the oven and check it when needed. Way less time- consuming as you’re juggling other tasks and focusing on hospitality.
- Incorporate as many veggies and greens in your recipes. Consider green beans, steamed kale, or sauteed swiss chard. Loaves stuffed with spinach and cheese. Baked cheesy cauliflower instead of macaroni and cheese. You need good food to offset the effects of bad foods.
- Use root vegetables in place of pasta or stuffing. Root vegetables are tasty when roasted, steamed, mashed, or baked in a casserole. Tis the season for vegetables such as squash, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and beets.
- Make a healthy dessert. As for dessert, you can throw together a winter fruit salad or search the clean eating blogs again for desserts made from ingredients such as various nut butters, maple syrup, raw honey, avocados, almond or coconut milk, almond flour, coconut palm sugar, greek yogurt, or pureed bananas. Paula’s ebook The Sweeter Side of Candida has over 70 sugar-free desserts and candies to try out.
Clean eating tips while dining out
If you’re eating out, here’s how to manage when you’re at the mercy of someone else’s dinner menu:
- Scout out fresh veggies and fruit.
- Enjoy the raw veggies and cut-up fruit but forgo the dips.
- Eye up the cheese slices, deviled eggs, and nut mixes for protein.
- Fill up your dinner plate with clean proteins, veggies, and salad greens. That way you’re investing in good food first, which will fill you up faster and help you minimize noshing on the treats.
- Offer to bring a clean eating recipe to the festivities so you know you’ll have something safe and reliable to resort to.
- Eat healthy beforehand, but not to the point where you’re stuffed. Going into a room full of goodies when you’re famished makes everything fair game. So if you know you could be in this potential bind, have something healthy at home to help you stave off those cravings.
Celebrate the season with clean eating
It’s a challenging time of year for eating healthy when our time is focused on holiday preparations. Using these holiday clean eating tips will help make your holiday run smoother. The best thing you can do for your dinner guests is making clean eating a priority. They will certainly appreciate the thoughtfulness in preparing them a hearty, healthy, satisfying meal that they will remember for years to come!