Top 3 Nutrition Tips for a Healthy & Happy Holiday

By:- Kristen Sunstrum, RD

Tis’ the season to be jolly!

Tis’ also the season of a hectic social calendar and an endless array of your favourite foods and drinks. With the holidays just around the corner, don’t be alarmed if you feel overwhelmed with balancing both your social schedule and your health & wellbeing - because you’re not alone. 

In fact, a survey suggests that over 60% of Americans struggle with food stress & guilt during the holidays [1]. Food guilt can happen when someone feels regretful about the type of food or the amount of food they ate. This can lead to avoiding social gatherings or even experiencing feelings of anxiety around food. 

Stress, guilt, and anxieties can be enough to spoil a meal, a workout, or even a holiday. That’s why we came prepared with our top 5 tips to indulge this holiday season without guilt, all while balancing your health and nutrition.

Practice Mindful Eating & Enjoy Your Favourite Foods Fully

Mindful eating is the practice of being fully aware of the food you are consuming. It includes acknowledging and savouring the sight, smell, taste, and texture of a food or a beverage. It also means avoid eating while in front of the TV or while scrolling through Instagram. 

While it may seem counterintuitive to be less restrictive initially, studies show that people who practice mindful eating are likely to consume less calories and may experience a more pleasurable eating experience compared to non-mindful eaters [2]. This is true even when the participants are presented with an unlimited amount of food. 

So, next time you are faced with a buffet of sugar cookies and ginger snaps, don’t restrict. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy an unlimited amount mindfully. We think you will be surprised with how satisfied you will be without the stress of restriction. 

To get in the spirit, grab your favourite chocolate and try this mindful eating exercise!

Eat Smaller, But More Frequent Meals

During this season, we are almost always faced with an abundance of food - from cranberry sauce leftovers to holiday happy hours. This can lead to snacking or grazing all day, leaving us feeling tired and unsatisfied without proper nutrition. 

Instead, try eating protein-rich small, frequent meals throughout the day. Protein will help balance your blood sugars and keep you full and satisfied, while eating smaller meals will help you power through your social (a.k.a. eating) schedule without guilt. 

For example, at breakfast try having a balanced oatmeal with fruits before your holiday brunch party. At the holiday brunch party, create a snack plate with nuts, plant-based cheeses, fruits, veggies, and your favourite sweets. Before going out for dinner, try having a smoothie for an extra punch of greens and nutrients. 

Be Prepared & Treat Yourself First!

Stock up on ready-to-eat, delicious, plant-based meals to prepare when you are in a pinch. Having pre-prepared meals on hand can reduce stress, while meeting your nutrient goals during the holiday season. All you need to do is warm up the meal in your microwave, on the stovetop, or blitz in the blender (for smoothies) and voila -  a balanced meal or snack (don’t forget the hot apple cider!)

While you can prep these meals yourself, we recommend ordering from your favourite plant-based meal delivery service or restaurant. Treat yourself to the peace of mind knowing that at any time, a healthy meal is only a few minutes away. 

Here at FireRoad Foods, some of our favourite dishes to recharge with are:

  • The Tuscan
  • Creamy Thai Curry
  • Miso Turmeric Broth 
  • Pumpkin Spice Smoothie 

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