Indulge but Just Enough
What is your favorite holiday treat? Is it mashed potatoes? Stuffing? Eggnog? Pecan pie? Think about what you look forward to the most during the holiday season and indulge in that. Have a few bites and really enjoy them. Eat your treat slowly, appreciating whatever it is you love about it: creaminess, sweetness, comfort, memories.
Pick Your Poison
Not all drinks are created equal. Many specialty cocktails and holiday beverages are loaded with sugars and extra calories above what the alcohol already provides. Stick to the basics: wine, beer, vodka with seltzer water and a squeeze of (detoxing) lemon.
Make it festive by garnishing with whole cranberries or a twist of orange peel. Or use a LuliTonix blend or other fresh-pressed juice as a mixer and get the benefits of added nutrients while you sip.
Another favorite is good tequila with fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of seltzer. Be on the lookout for oversized glasses and heavy pours as well. A serving of wine is 4 ounces, just half a cup.
Picture Your Plate
Divide your plate into fourths. Fill half of the plate with vegetables: salad, Brussel’s sprouts, green beans, squash, and so on. Fill a fourth of your plate with protein: turkey, fish, chicken, grass-fed beef, nuts or seeds, and the like. Fill a fourth of your plate with more veggies or complex carbs: sweet potato, whole grains (quinoa, farro, buckwheat, kamut, wheat berries, and so on).
Hold a Drink or Clutch
If one hand is occupied with a drink or a bag, then it makes it harder to give in to all the temptations of a cocktail party. You are limited to what you can eat with your one free hand.
The drink or clutch can also serve as your reminder to ask yourself: Do you really need that fried dumpling? How will you feel in an hour or two (or tomorrow) if you have another wedge of cheese? Take that moment to enjoy your conversation instead and see how you feel the next time the waiter passes you by with the tray.
Never Arrive Hungry
Arriving hungry to a party filled with more naughty options than nice is your ticket to guilt-city. If you are famished, you will give in to whatever crosses your path first, overeating before you even realize the damage you have done.
Have a small but satisfying snack prior to departing. Take the first 10 minutes after you arrive to say hello to everyone and send holiday cheer rather than rushing to the chips and dip.
Nuts and fruit, greek yogurt with berries, a banana with almond butter, a hard boiled egg with avocado, turkey roll ups, hummus and carrots are all good options.
Be a Good Guest
Every host loves a guest who helps out. Offer to bring something to the party and then make or buy a healthy option that you enjoy. When you yearn for seconds, go back for the dish you brought, feeling good about the choices you’ve made.
Alcohol and salt are two staples of every holiday season. Avoid dry, flaky skin and a bloated belly by making sure you drink enough water. We like to alternate cocktails with water and make sure we have a pitcher and a full glass of water with us at the table. Add a lemon to your water for extra detoxing.
Wear Something That Fits
It is the holidays! Feel good in what you are wearing and make sure it fits you well. Your bulky sweater and leggings, though comfy, can stay at home. If your pants or skirt fit snugly around your waist, you’ll not only feel sexy, but you’ll get a reminder to slow down or stop when you’re satisfied, and before you burst.
Gather All the Information
Take a lap around the room before your first bite. Ask the host or waiter what the options are for the evening: the hors d’oeuvres and the main meal. Once you know the lay of the holiday-indulgent land, you can pick your treat and balance it out with the healthier options that fit your goals.
The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, cheer, love, family, and friends. Yet, somehow they are often stressful: torn between family obligations, too many nights out, the pressure of hosting at your own home, the inevitable drama. Take time out from the tumult.
Remember what this time of year is all about.
Breath deeply, give big hugs, and have a good time. Enjoy yourself, laugh out loud, and dance a lot (it burns calories!).
Christine Beal Dunst and Stephanie Rapp are the co-founders of Embody Wellness Company, your health and lifestyle concierge, specializing in creating customizable holistic wellness and nutrition programs targeted to accomplish your goals in a lasting way. For more information, visit EmbodyWellnessCompany.com