By Cathy Wilson
The trifecta of holidays is upon us: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Three days, but, in reality we need to add on the entire Thanksgiving weekend because of the leftovers, plus, Christmas party upon Christmas party throughout December, and then New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day …
Don’t let it happen. You can enjoy the holidays without going completely off the healthy eating rails.
Eating for health starts as a mindset, day … after day … after day. Declare your plan, write it down and work on it every single day. If it helps you to write down what you eat each day, then do that. As you know, results happen over time — not overnight.
Eating a holiday meal with friends and family is good for your soul and you can make it good for your heart too by making it one meal, not meal after meal until all the pies are gone. If you say, “No, I shouldn’t,” then leave it there, don’t put that “but” after it. “No, I shouldn’t” is a complete sentence and it can keep you on your path.
Here are some tips from past columns that may be of help to you:
- Go one day a week without an ingredient list. That means whole foods only; nothing prepared from a box or a frozen dinner.
- Reduce or stop eating cheese. Cheese is addictive and it’s 70% fat.
- At the most, eat meat at only one meal per day.
- Eat a pound of cooked vegetables per day.
- Eat a pound of raw cruciferous and greens per day.
- Eat more fruit, especially berries.
- If you dine out, choose wisely — salad, vegetable wrap, soup or vegetables and brown rice.
- Make healthy soup and always keep it on hand.
- Meal prep or at a minimum make sure when you open the refrigerator there are vegetables, fruit, salad fixings and healthy leftovers.
- If you dine out — be the first one to order so you don’t change your mind. You know it happens.
- Watch the labels for added sugar. Females should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar and males 36 grams.
- If you bake for the holiday, take it all with you to wherever you go, or if you are hosting, make sure you put it all out and package it up for your guests to take with them. You will be so glad you did.
However you spend your holidays, keep your health goals in mind. It’s really about the holiday and sharing it with friends and family. Cheers!
Cat Wilson lives in South Bend and transitioned from a vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based diet over two years ago. She may be contacted at [email protected].