It’s A Food Thing: eating healthy during the holidays

Let’s face it – eating healthy during the holidays is hard. Like, really hard. Some people are epically awesome at being able to keep their diets intact during the holidays; I’m not one of them. In fact, I usually throw my diet out the window once December hits because I like to eat. A lot. And there are so many delicious things to eat (and drink!) that are December only treats.

That being said, I put on some pounds while in Cancun thanks to the frozen drinks that were on instant recall and I wanted to start early. So I decided that changes need to happen NOW. I stopped drinking soda, upped my water intake and cut back on my portion sizes like a good runner girl. It’s what you do!

And that promptly blew up in my face when I found myself ravenous in the middle of holiday shopping on Monday and I ended up getting nuggets from McDonald’s, even though I was near a Native Sun (think a smaller Whole Foods) and could have gotten healthier but the nuggets were quicker.

There’s that hanger talking. You know, hungry and angry? Hangry.

That got me thinking… what’s the easiest way to get through the rest of the holidays without completely trashing what little healthy eating I have left?

Fruits Vegetables Meat Fish FoodThe way to get through the holidays doing the least amount of damage to your waistline is to pick your battles. Making small swaps during the day can help cut calories, and can still allow you some of those treats later in the day at the office holiday dinner or ugly sweater party with your best friend. For example, I LOVE egg nog. Like LOVE egg nog. What I don’t love about it is the calorie count. So I make sure to drink water or green tea during the day when I know I want to have some at home, or at a party. Perfection.

And as for running around? The answer is a simple one, if  you can make it happen. Just pack healthy snacks to bring with you when you do your running around. I’m trying to get into the habit of this one. (also known as: the reason I got McDonald’s.) I love Clif Bars (although not all of them are gluten free) and they are the perfect snack to throw into my purse when I’m finishing up my holiday shopping, or running around with friends. Carrying a bottle of water around with you is a good idea too. I swear by Smart Water, and will buy that if I am out and about, but I just got a few new Polar Bottles that I love and look super adorable. They will become a staple with me as I run around doing errands or even grocery shopping.

The one part I have yet to be able to concur? Family gatherings! My family is celebrating Hanukkah on Sunday afternoon, and I know there will be the Rothman traditional meal there: potato latkes, brisket with gravy, steamed carrots and the like. But knowing my mother, there will also be tons of candy and cookies and sweet treats too! While I plan on getting some serious mileage in that morning (The Jax Bank half is Dec 28, and I haven’t really run much since my last half/injury) it’s still a lot of calories. So how do you choose? Of course I plan on filling up with brisket (because my Jewish mother makes THE BEST brisket) and veggies so the unhealthy stuff can be kept to a minimum, but still. That’s probably not the best answer.

I have big plans for 2015,

TELL ME: How do you deal with food during the holidays? Do you stick to your diet, or go off a little bit?

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4 thoughts on “It’s A Food Thing: eating healthy during the holidays

  1. kimjowers2k says:

    I started getting back on track in October. Some people thought it was crazy to do that right before the holidays. I started running again more and doing Zumba. I am using MyFitnessPal APP to track my calories and exercise. Not only am I watching the calories, I am also trying to eat more nutritious foods.

  2. littlemoreeachday says:

    We’re lucky in that we aren’t traveling for the holiday, so I keep some control of the food on the actual holidays (and can lighten things up in some places to make room for splurges in others!). We only have one big outing left but it’s a doozy – a three hour chocolate class! I’m running 10 miles that day, so it will offset a bit but I’ve already decided to forgive myself ahead of time for the tasting I’ll do. I get in more trouble when I beat myself up about a treat than from the treat itself.

  3. Sara says:

    Practically all fat people will remain fat or be fat again. You can learn to accept that you too will perpetually be fat, even if lbs drop for a time. Embrace your unhealthy food and stay fat girl. Look back 10 years from now and affirm the inevitable.

    • jljohnson says:

      That’s kind of a negative way to look at it, in my opinion. Not everyone falls to that kind of lifestyle, once they embrace it fully. I’ve seen plenty of success stories that show how it can be done.

      Maybe I’ll be one of them just so I can prove how wrong you are.

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