The holiday season brings joy, peace, and happiness, or so they say. When you need to shop for 30 people, decorate your house, inside and out, clean, cook, bake, all while keeping up with your daily schedule.oh yes, and flu season is here! So chances are everyone around you is sick. Also, don’t forget to water the Christmas tree; you don’t want to kill it before Santa comes.
Balancing work, family, and a household is hard enough, and piling all this holiday “cheer” on top of it can make anyone feel anything less than joyful. I personally don’t quite feel the holiday spirit if I’m in an overcrowded store and battling for parking spaces. All this hustling and bustling can easily make any normal person stressed, and one of the most commons results is snacking. I certainly don’t mean grabbing an apple and running out the door, I mean eating half the batter of cookie dough you should be baking in the oven. So how does one avoid the stress of the holidays and more importantly, how can you maintain your weight and not snack yourself to January?
The key to avoiding the stress is to organize yourself. Invest in a calendar, and create a “to do” list. Write down one or two tasks, depending on how much you need to get done, over the course of a few weeks. It also doesn’t hurt to start early; getting things done and out of the way and avoiding the last minute crowds and frenzies can sometimes make or break your stress level. If your tasks are spread out on your calendar, you will also have time to pencil in some down time for yourself. Don’t skip the gym, try a yoga or meditation class that helps teach you relaxing breathing techniques, and go get your nails done. When you do feel your heart and head start to race, ask yourself: Is the world going to end if you buy a cake for dessert rather than bake your grandma’s recipe? Nope, it won’t.
Choosing Healthy Snacks:
It’s very easy to start craving certain foods when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Before you dig into the chips or cookies, remind yourself of all the hard work and effort you put into your body. Addicts have a technique when they feel like relapsing, they don’t tell themselves “I’m never touching THAT again”...because NEVER is a scary long time. Instead, they postpone their craving. They might say “I will have some tonight, or at 4pm, or in an hour.” They fool themselves into their own thinking. By putting off the behavior, they can actually diminish and eventually dismiss the craving they are having. Food works this way too, and for many, it can be an addiction. You may be thinking right now, “I’m not ADDICTED to food”, which may be true, but if you’re indulging in a certain type of food when you need comfort, then this technique can very well help. Rather than turning to Haagen Dazs, simply save it for later. Go to the gym for a half an hour and work up a sweat on the treadmill. Take a hot shower and slide on your skinny jeans. Drink some lemon water. Feel good? Now maybe check some items off your “to do” list; save the ice cream for just a little longer. Before you know it, the day will be over and tomorrow is a fresh start. Your cravings and stress may have completely vanished by now, because exercise helps release chemicals in your brain that fight stress, and postponing your snacking paid off. You can also choose healthier versions of your favorite junk food and indulge in a healthy portion. Below is a list of tasty snacks that are nutritious, easy to make, and super tasty so that you can trick your brain and taste buds into thinking you technically “treated” yourself.
My Personal Healthy Snack List:
1 handful of raw almonds
1 orange or 2 small clementines
1 Green apple with 1 tbsp. Peanut Butter
1 nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 tsp. of raw honey and ¼ cup of fresh berries
½ avocado with salt and pepper
½ cup of cooked lentils and 2tsp. red wine vinegar
1 can of boneless/skinless salmon with fresh lemon juice
1 tomato sliced with ½ tsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
2 hardboiled eggs
1 cup Baby spinach with 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa and homemade dressing (mix 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar with 1 tsp. olive oil and ½ spoonful of mustard)
1 can of solid white tuna in water with fresh lemon juice and chopped red onion, red, and green peppers. Top with a touch of salt and pepper.
1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tsp. Almond or peanut butter
1 cup black beans with ½ cup of chopped kale, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of blue cheese.
1 cup of fresh fruit salad (chop/prep any mixture of fresh fruit and store in your fridge.)
½ sweet potato or baked sweet potato chips (slice and bake with a drizzle of olive oil)
1 cup of chopped fresh broccoli (raw/uncooked) with 2 tbsps. of hummus
½ a banana blended with ice, 1 cup of almond milk, and 2 tbsps. of whole grain oats or 1 scoop of unsweetened cocoa powder
½ a cucumber, ½ a green apple, and ½ cup of pineapple blended with water and ice
For more healthy snack ideas, ask your Personal Trainers and Nutritionists at Personal 1 Fitness. Also, remember to check out our Facebook cooking videos Fit Food Made Fun for more recipes. Happy cooking, snacking, and Happy Holidays.