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Tips for Healthy Fooding Through the Holidays

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Keeping a balanced diet through the holidays is hard (hi, captain obvious). We know we aren’t making things any easier at Fairway Market—our stores are stocked from floor to ceiling with indulgent treats, after all.

But our team of professional foodies is no stranger to the struggle: it’s our jobs to be surrounded by the most amazing food in the world every single day. Here, cookies, cakes and candy are always within arms’ reach (sigh, such a hard life).

When you’re surrounded by so much temptation, it helps to keep a positive but mindful attitude: there’s always room to celebrate as long as you do it purposefully and in moderation. Here’s our advice on how to keep it healthy(ish) all season long without sacrificing deliciousness.

 1. Embrace the best of the season

Although cookies and candy canes may spring to mind when you think of holiday foods, it’s the produce section that’s really at its peak right now. Citrus fruits, hardy greens like kale and collards, root veggies, apples and squashes are all abundant through the winter. And if you’re breaking out that nutcracker, nuts are a great source of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals too. Make these foods a part of your table to help fill your plate deliciously and balance out the decadence.

 2. Switch up your drinks

Ever hear the rule that you should have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink? Take it to heart: not only will it help you stay hydrated, it’ll help you pace your drinking too. For every alcoholic drink you have, follow it with one of H2O. You can even make it sparkling water and stick a lime in it so no one will catch on.

3. Focus on the foods that you actually enjoy

Mac ‘n’ cheese? Heck yeah! Aunt Bertha’s fruitcake? Not so much. And does anyone really like eggnog?

There’s no rule that you have to try everything at that holiday potluck. Stick to eating like you mean it rather than idly stuffing your mouth with whatever is in front of you. Pick out the items that you want to try the most during big meals and skip the fillers. If you’re faced with a pushy host who insists that you just have to try their boozy buttered sugar balls, there’s no harm in a polite “no” or stuffing treats in a Tupperware for later.Healthy_Holidays_blog-02

4. Find a buddy

It’s easier to stay on track when there’s someone else who shares the same goals. At parties, pair up with a fellow health-minded friend and agree on your mealtime plan together. Or saddle up to your fitness-obsessed cousin and talk crossfit over cruciferous veggies. Even just sitting next your slow-eating grandpa might just remind you to tame your pace and stop gorging. And one important thing to remember throughout it all: the food may be great, but it’ll be your memories with family and friends that last. So focus on the socializing and let the feasting take a backseat.

 5. Skip the guilt

Feeling guilty about what you eat is not only a downer, it can actually backfire: dietary research points to the existence of a “what the hell” effect when negative emotions are attached to food choices—the reasoning goes that people are more likely to binge when they already feel like they’re a lost cause.

Rather than wallow, remember that this is a time to celebrate. And it’s OK to indulge when the mood strikes. It’s more productive to think about the efforts you can make once the feasting is over. If you’re going all out today, plan a salad for tomorrow. Or better yet, organize a physical activity for later—a family game of tug of war, anyone?

And no matter how you celebrate the holidays, remember: there’s always the new year for rules and resolutions!

 

 

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