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9 Tips for Healthy Eating during the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, with it all its joys and demands. In order to stay grounded, healthy, and happy, we have a few tips to guide you through eating, drinking, and making merry!

by Thais Harris

Thais Harris is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, graduate of Bauman College in Berkeley, California, and an avid believer in whole foods and their power to heal. She is the Nutrition Education Program Manager for the Ceres Community Project.

1. Start with a healthy breakfast!

  • A protein shake, which can crush hunger and cravings for hours, can help you avoid those holiday sweets at work. Try a blend of a clean protein powder, ie. grass-fed whey, organic pea or sprouted rice - with avocado, kale, berries, flax or chia seeds, and unsweetened coconut or nut milk for a fast, easy, and filling breakfast.

  • Other options are Three Leaves Breakfast Burgers, eggs with greens, and oatmeal with flax oil, nuts and seeds

2. Don’t save-up calories

  • Letting yourself get hungry before going to a holiday party can off-set your blood sugar and could lead to extra eating;

  • The best plan is consistent eating. Start with breakfast within an hour of waking, eat lean protein, healthy fat, complex carbs like quinoa, and loads of non-starchy veggies every four to six hours.

3. Be picky!

  • Choose the best quality foods you can afford (i.e. Have Three Leaves Heritage Foods at the ready), and when at a party, only get the foods you LOVE rather than getting a little bit of everything.

  • When you can, serve yourself, and when you can’t, know that you can say, ‘No thank you’ and ‘Not now, thanks.’

4. Aid digestion:

  • Start meals with bitters, Or tryThree Leaves Sauerkraut or apple cider vinegar. A digestive tea after dinner like ginger or fennel seed can help alleviate the feeling of fullness.

5. Release the guilt:

  • Feeling guilty for treating yourself to a holiday meal might just unleash a series of unhealthful behaviors. So let go of the guilt and start your healthy practices right away after the ‘slip.’

6. State your gratitude before the meal (and encourage others to do it too).

  • Taking this moment slows you down, and sends a message to your body that all is well and ‘there is no problem,’ allowing it to digest your food more fully.

  • As you enjoy your meal, maintain gratitude through eating slowly.

7. Remember the best foods to add to your plate:

  • Non-starchy carbs: steamed or sautéed greens, green beans roasted lightly in olive oil, salads (sprinkled with fruits such as pomegranates and persimmons)

  • Starches: sweet potatoes, winter squash, whole grains, legumes

  • Proteins: lean poultry/meats, legumes

  • Fats: olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter (moderation!), nuts, seeds, avocado

  • Sweets: fruit-based (dates, dried fruits), maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey

8. Have fun!

  • Connect with family and friends rather than getting stuck in the ‘doing’ and then reserve some time for introspection and self-care.

9. Make Thanksgiving easier on yourself by ordering some of the specialty holiday sides from Three Leaves!

Happy holidays!

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