I’m Dreaming of a Lite Christmas
Whatever holiday you are celebrating this month, there is one common thread among them all that can derail any bride. The food. This time of year, food is about family, traditions and celebrating. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to say no, especially if you are celebrating with new family – your future family. Can you really say no to Aunt Betty’s famous artichoke dip or Granny’s chocolate sauce or the pecan pie that is specially ordered every year? Traditions among families are meant to be honored, appreciated, and carried on, but that does not mean that you have to eat it ALL for the sake of family relations.
Planning ahead is the key to getting through the holidays without letting go of your vision of yourself on your wedding day – particularly if you have already bought the dress! Take a good look at your schedule for the upcoming holidays. You will likely have weekends or even days where you have multiple events and will need to juggle these logistically and nutritionally. When you have a holiday event and you are trying to stay on a diet or at least prevent weight gain, one of the best ways to do this is to eat a small, healthy meal before you go.
Choose foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in sugar to keep your blood sugar balanced. The last thing you want to do is down a bowl of sugary cereal or a bag of chips that will in no short time leave you low on energy and hungry again – this will make you more vulnerable to making the wrong choices. Instead, try a cup of cottage cheese with whole grain crackers or a half of a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. This will help ensure that you will not be famished when you arrive at the event.
You will then be able to choose what you eat and drink using your brain and not your stomach. A taste of that “to-die-for” pecan pie will go a long way towards satisfying yourself and your family, while eating a whole slice could contribute to making you feel and look weighed down.
Offering to bring a dish is another way that you can plan ahead in order to stay on track. Most holiday parties are overrun with heavy dips, fattening hors d’oeuvres, creamy spreads, and sugar-laden desserts. To ensure that you have a healthy option at your holiday party, offer to bring a veggie platter or fruit tray so that you can snack without worry.
Another important tip is to choose your beverages wisely. These can be excessive sources of calories and alcohol. A good general rule is to stagger your alcoholic and/or high calorie beverages with a glass of water. This will help to decrease the number of calories consumed and slow the impact of alcohol. We know that alcohol impairs decision-making ability and this is no exception when it comes to food. After a couple of glasses of grandpa’s eggnog, it may be much easier to throw caution to the wind and eat that whole piece of pecan pie … and take a sugar cookie for the road.
Also, remember that there are many ways to bond with family other than eating and drinking. Jumping in on the annual touch football game or caroling through the neighborhood are great ways to bond and stay active during the holidays. It’s a special holiday season when you are the bride and it’s important that you enjoy it. Part of doing this means planning ahead and knowing how you want to look and feel on New Year’s Day as you prepare for your big day!
Thank you again, Katie! What a perfect time of year to learn about how to head off food issues before they happen.