Start your 2023 resolutions now
Last week, I shared tips for enjoying the holidays guilt-free.
Just to be clear: That wasn’t an absolution to down syrupy holiday cocktails and Christmas cookies all month! In fact, I personally think that December -- right now, in fact -- is a perfect time to start your New Year’s resolutions. That way, you won’t be starting 2023 with an even bigger hole to dig out of.
Whatever your healthy food goals are for next year, we all know the holiday season presents extra challenges in sticking to even the best laid plans. So consider these tips (and a couple of tricks) for success as a pre-holiday gift from me:
- Make small, smart choices. Success at healthy eating involves a series of daily decisions that may seem inconsequential but add up over time. Look at what happens when you replace those Pumpkin Spice Lattes with Step One Foods. But effective decisions require awareness, forethought, and planning. This means anticipating what decisions you might need to make during the next 12 to 24 hours and being proactive at how you will handle them. Is there a potluck office party in the mix? During the holiday season, that could mean bringing a veggie or fruit platter with healthy dips instead of a cookie tray. Don’t let the ugly sweaters fool you – others are typically grateful for having access to healthier options too. Even if they don’t partake themselves.
- Reduce alcohol intake by alternating every serving of alcohol with a glass of water. Alcoholic beverages contain a lot of empty calories – not to mention the next day headaches they can induce. Mixing water in between servings will cut your calorie intake, keep you hydrated, and reduce the risk of a hangover.
- Pre-load. I’m mindful of what I eat before a big holiday meal. Holiday meals tend to be calorie dense and (at least in my experience) less likely to be brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables. Which is why my go-to pre-load before heading out to a holiday function is either a piece of fruit or a few fresh veggies. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, these choices are nutrient dense and calorie poor, but help keep me full due to their relatively high fiber content. This means I'm helping to balance the calories and the nutritional impact of what I'm consuming even before I get to the party.
- Spice it up. Rich meals generate free radicals inside our bodies, inducing inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, can thicken our blood, make cholesterol more toxic, and reduce the ability of our arteries to dilate. Another good reason to preload with antioxidant rich fruits and veggies! But spices can also serve as powerful antioxidants that blunt the generation of free radicals and all their downstream consequences. Especially effective and seasonal? Cloves, ginger, rosemary, sage, cumin, turmeric and paprika.
- Replenish. Use your breakfasts and snacks as additional opportunities to replenish antioxidants. Step One’s Strawberry Banana Smoothie has the most antioxidants of all our products – and is my choice for breakfast or a snack on days when rich meals are inevitable.
Make consistent choices such as these, and I promise you’ll be the merriest one at the New Year’s Eve party!
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