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How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays without Sacrificing Taste, Flavor and Nutrition

“I try to come at fitness and nutrition from a perspective of gentleness and what will make me feel good afterwards. I try to stay out of the mindset of needing to fix myself. I do whatever seems fun to me.” – Taylor Schilling, Actress

To all my Ascend Experience clients: YOU HAVE BEEN KILLING IT THIS YEAR!!!!! And that is not an easy thing to do based on how crazy weird this year has been. Look how far you’ve come and let me just say how proud and thankful I am that you chose Ascend Experience, LLC to help you and champion you and live this way of life with you.

Here comes the hard part…….

Holiday eating can wreak havoc on a body and a positive mindset whether you are in shape or not and I for one do not want to see you back slide or lose momentum just from one big meal or a weekend binge of family, friends and foods. So, to help you navigate the treacherous path of holiday eating here are some healthy eating tips to keep you in the “I’ve got this” mode:

1- Come to the table hungry but not starving. Showing up to the holiday meal like you have not eaten in a month pretty much cancels any kind of willpower or purpose for healthy eating. Partake of appetizers or come to the table already having eaten a healthy snack like raw veggies plain or with some hummus, nuts, yogurt, or a complete salad. Keeping the appetizers on the lighter side includes foods like veggies and salsa or even a vegetable soup like butternut squash, tomato basil or zucchini soup.

2- Traditional recipes tend to go overboard on butter, oil, and sugar. Make or request some of those recipes to be made on the lighter side of the ingredients. Honey is a better substitute for sugar and so is apple sauce. Stuffing is fine, just make it with more vegetables rather than bread. Offer to bring a healthier side dish if you do not know what the table will include.

3- Try to stay away from the heavier, more calorie loaded drinks. Just because it is not a food does not mean it does not have calories. It is the sugar that gets you. Sparkling water, plain water, seltzer, or flavored waters are great and just so you know, one glass of wine will not ruin your year.

4- Stick with desserts that have little to no crust. Fruit salads plain or topped with a dash of pumpkin filling or pudding, apple cobbler with oats, not pie crust or just the apple filling.

5- If there is enough daylight and time in your day, go for a walk after the meal or consider a good walk before the meal. The idea is to keep your body moving.

Here are some meal suggestions that keep things simple and healthy:


Other ideas:

Appetizers: Kale Chips, Raw Vegetable Platter, Turkey or Chicken Sausage skewers, Hummus, Tapenade, Spicy or plain assortment of nuts.

Main Course: Herb Roasted Turkey, Roasted Assortment of Vegetables or Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon, Apple Cider Gravy, Wild Rice stuffed butternut squash or spaghetti squash, Herb and Apple Stuffing using sourdough bread, Butternut squash soup, Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce.

Desserts: Chocolate dipped fruit, Chutney, Oatmeal crisps, Cranberry cookies, Cinnamon Pecan Twists, Roasted Grapes, using puff pastry instead of pie crust for fruit filled turnovers.


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