Sometimes holidays are filled with just a bit too much of a good thing. Treats that we eat only once a year can become too much. We’re still recovering from the dancer’s reaction to something she ate last week. She broke out in hives similar to those on the builder that I wrote about last week.
I look forward to the extra time with loved ones, parties, and special gatherings. Though I used to really get nervous about what I was going to eat. Here are a few things that we do to make sure everyone is eating healthy during the holidays:
- eat before you go – even when I think there will be something I can eat, I go ahead and at least eat a snack first. Even with the kiddos, we feed them a little before we go anywhere…sometimes they are so excited to be with friends/cousins, that they don’t want to eat.
- pack a snack– for the wheat-free/gluten-free, packing your special bread/crackers/chips/muffins will avoid an empty stomach. When we go anywhere, we now throw in the cooler with juice, water, sandwich fix-ins, fruit, veggies, whatever. Back when I was single and living in Vegas, I would frequent the Caesar’s pool a few times a week. The food was very expensive there, so I would always bring something. I could make fancy quesadillas with pesto, cheese, lunch meat, cilantro…then I would wrap them in foil and take them with me. They would stay warm for a while (not too mention the added Vegas heat).
- eat afterwards – know what restaurants are near the party you’re attending, and stop by afterwards. A quick run in to the grocery store is always an option if one is near by. I remember thinking that it was foolish to not eat what was provided. That it was rude, or that I would be wasting money to not eat at the party or gathering. Now I know better. Health is now my priority. Friends and family have made an effort to make sure my family and I have something we can eat, and they won’t be offended if I don’t eat something. If I would eat something I shouldn’t, I would feel terrible and not have a good time during or after the party. Its just not worth it.
- eat simply– one hard part about eating somewhere else is that you don’t know what you’re eating and all the ingredients. If you’re like me, you don’t always feel comfortable asking what is in it. So choose foods that are simple and look as if they have fewer ingredients. Go for the salads, raw veggies, and anything else you recognize. And don’t beat yourself up about it. I used to eat because I felt guilty if I didn’t, now I’m ok about going to something and only drinking the water…crazy, I know.
So do a little preparation and plan before you go. Yes, it’s hard not to eat everything you did before. You might feel like you’re missing out on the holiday cheer, but you’ll enjoy the holidays more and your stomach and family members will be happy about that!