It's that time of the year when we let ourselves go and dive into the deep end of over indulgence and over eating. We start by piling our plates with everything delicious, ladeling gravy across our mountain of tasty selections, returning to the buffet table for thirds and then finally un-zipping the tops of our skinny jeans just so we can stuff our mouths with that last piece of sweet potato cheesecake. Boy do I love and loath the holidays all at the same time because I'm a glutton for good food but I just hate paying for it at the beginning of the year.
Trying to practice what I've been preaching all year long with "healthy" eating can be testing especially when I'm staring at a table full of decadent desserts and holding a hand written list of house hopping pit stops I have to visit before I go home with another to go plate. So to keep my sanity I've given myself 4 rules of engagement for not going off the deep end during the holidays.
So whether you're visiting with friends and family or you're the host whose cooking the feast, I hope these tips give you a little self-control.
Eat Smaller Portions - With so many delicious foods and so many fabulous cooks, it can become overwhelming and we tend to go off the deep end by piling our plates. This is a definite no-no! Be conscious about your portions. A scoop or sampling of items offered will suffice and you will find that you fill up faster leaving a feeling of satisfaction instead of a feeling of being stuffed.
Load Your Plate with Plenty of Veggies - There are a bounty of delicious seasonal vegetables offered during the holiday seasons such as, yams, leafy greens, brussel sprouts, green beans and salads, and all are prepared in a variety of traditional and exotic ways. My philosophy is try them all! You will be surprised just how interesting and satisfying a vegetarian holiday feast may be.
Limit the Carbohydrates - They only fill you up and leave no room for all the yummy seasonal table offerings for you to sample. Bread, mashed potatoes, stuffing, dressing, etc... are great traditional favorites, but choose one out of the three and only have a scoop.
Trim the Fat - Replace the cream in your eggnog with a soy or almond milk flavored creamer. You can enhance the sweetness and flavors by adding cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. When making mashed potatoes, replace the milk with a fat-free/low-sodium broth. The flavor is delightful. Use the broth when making gravies with the drippings (fat removed) and replace the white flour with whole wheat flour. Add fresh herbs and you've got yourself a savory good gravy to enjoy.