By Heather, Jayger’s Mom
Most, if not all of us have had one of those regretful mornings (or afternoons) on the first day of January. We wake up and think… “OMG, this was not the way I wanted to start the New Year”. We feel bloated and hung-over. We ate too much, drank too much, spent too much, and indulged WAY too much, and on top of that we barely exercised. Now it’s a brand New Year and I feel like $i%T!
One year in particular was so indulgent that I decided next year would be different; I would sabotage myself no more for the sake of “holiday cheer.” There is nothing wrong with having a good time, but when there are 27 “good time” nights, lunches, brunches, etc. in a row, the madness has to be managed. Now I follow some strategies that keep me feeling pretty good, mostly healthy, and as fit as possible throughout the season. With the Holiday parties in full swing, permit me to pass these tips on to you.
Heather’s trusty holiday party go-to tactics:
- BYOHD (Bring your own healthy dish). People go insane during the holidays and throw dietary caution to the wind. They serve rich dressings, heavy gravies, creamy sauces and sugar-laden desserts that can have dire consequences on your waistline. Whether it’s an office party, a family gathering or a friend’s dinner, play it safe by bringing your own healthy dish to share — and make it the cornerstone of your meal. Bring a hearty salad with balsamic vinaigrette or roasted vegetables? Sure you could nibble here and taste there, but fill up on the healthy stuff first.
- Stay out of harm’s way. Not a good idea to plant yourself next to the buffet table, cocktail bar or in the main path of the hors d’oeuvres servers. When the delivery of Christmas cookies and Holiday chocolates arrive at the office, bring it straight to the break room. Avoidance works wonders.
- Enjoy every morsel— the texture, the smell, the flavor. “Mindful eating” — or as my mom called it, chewing 20 times. It really does help you to consume less. It’s so simple, but if you take your time and savor every mouthful, chewing slowly and appreciating each bite, you eat less – because you ENJOY MORE.
- Don’t dress like a slouch (even when you’re off to the mall). I encourage you to wear your skinny jeans, form-fitting outfits, and feel-good attire. I’m talking about clothes that are absolutely unforgiving. You’ll be amazed at how much less trouble you get into than if you opt for the baggy sweaters and joggers.
- Do not go anywhere hungry! If ever there was a rule to live by…. You know what happens when you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day and you’ll have infinitely more discipline when you’re standing in front of an extravagant buffet table.
- Focus more on fun and less on food. Food is often the centerpiece of holiday gatherings, but it doesn’t have to be. Converse, laugh, strike up a game of charades, tell jokes and sing songs. There is so much else to enjoy about the get-together than that cheese plate, stuffed turkey, or Christmas cake.
- Drink more water— i.e. Tickle Water. The more water we drink, the fuller we feel and the less likely we are to over consume. If I have one cocktail, I’ll drink at least two glasses of Tickle Water to keep myself hydrated and feeling good. Since Tickle Water doesn’t have any added sugar or calories, it’s a great alternative to, say, egg nog.
None of these suggestions have ever gotten in my way of enjoying the love, wonder or festivities of the season, but all of them have led me to a happier New Year’s Day. What about you? I’d love to hear your strategies or stories of holidays past in the comment field.