What Do I Eat During the Holidays?

Thanksgiving is SO close (um, how did that happen?) and as I plan my menu (not much planning because I am really, REALLY traditional with my holiday meals) I think about those new to healthy eating, or new(er) to FMD. It is very easy to either freak out because you feel like you cannot eat anything at all and you will miss out on the festivities (HOW do you tell Aunt Sue you cannot eat her Famous Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers and REAL Whipped Cream?) or, you simply say, "I don't give a flying $%^* about this diet" and you eat what you want, which leads to even more of the poor food decisions and before you know it, it's January and you have gained 25lbs. *whew!*
Is there middle ground? YES!
  • If you follow FMD, adjust your week to make Turkey Day a P3 day.
  • Convert your standard recipes to FMD friendly recipes
  • Mentally prepare- allow yourself to enjoy treats and goodies, but tell yourself, convince yourself, you only need a little.
  • Don't stress over eating those treats- enjoy them in moderation
  • The harder you work to follow the FMD plan all the other times around those treats, the easier it is not gorge yourself on them. If you are full of high quality, nutritious food, it is easier to just have taste and not the whole cheesecake (I have been there, don't judge) You never know when that treat will sneak up on you or your coworker will bring in homemade caramels, and if you are already eating crap because you are not on plan, you will feel even worse about yourself when you eat those caramels.
  • Try to make your menu as compliant as possible. (You can get my recipes here) My sweet potato soufflĂ©, gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing have only minor adjustments and they taste just like the original! Adding herb roasted veggies is easy to do. My rolls are compliant to the plan. I do have real mashed potatoes with cream and butter, because, butter. I only eat these on Thanksgiving and Christmas and I enjoy every creamy bite more than a normal person should. And for breakfast, we have cinnamon rolls. While I can make them 90% compliant, I usually make them as written. Because, holidays.
  • Take note of how the cookies, and cakes and pies make you feel- I know that processed white flour baked goods make me super sleepy. And bloated. Sugar in large quantities makes my stomach upset. Pay attention, and use these warnings to help decide what treats you will eat. Do I want that crappy store bought cookie that someone brought to work, or am I saving myself for the homemade pie that will be coming in soon?
  • Get your head straight. I know I mentioned this above but it is so true. KNOW you will have some treats this holiday season. Give yourself permission to have them. ENJOY them in moderation and NEVER feel guilty about it.
  • Plan to do a little extra workouts on the holidays. Take the kids for a walk before you eat, or get outside and play football. Walk around the neighborhood to see the decorations, or to go visit neighbors. Simple movements will help with digestion and metabolism. Involve the family. Make it a tradition.
  • Drink lots of water and eat lots of veggies with everything.

Here is what we have at Thanksgiving- Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Soufflé, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Macaroni and Cheese, Homemade Rolls, Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream, Cinnamon Rolls, Cheese ball, Crackers, Pumpkin Bread or Cookies, and sometimes, coffee with Bailey's (gasp! lol)

I have a potluck at work, and the endless trail of cookies, breads, candies, chocolates that come to work on a daily basis. I also make most of those treats, so I know they are good. Do I enjoy some of them? Yes, I do, but I more enjoy making others happy with them.

Finally, you aren't failing if you enjoy treats, you are living. Holidays and food traditions are part of life. Enjoy it, embrace it. Eat healthy as much as you can. THAT is what life is all about.

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