Simple Healthy Strategies for Holiday Parties

julie boyer, holiday party, daily gratitude projectLast night I enjoyed my first holiday party of the season, the annual ornament exchange party hosted by our friends Andrea & Paul. It’s always the kick-off to our holiday and Christmas season. It’s been a while since I have blogged about wellness and nutrition, so this is the perfect opportunity to share a few tips with you to help you stay in your best health this season.

Gratitude Tip: Making healthy choices over the holidays is a good idea, it’s much harder to get back on track if you’ve let yourself go for 6- 8 weeks. Your body is the only place you have to live! Treat it will love, respect and kindness. Self-abuse never feels very good the next morning.

Simple Healthy Strategies for Holiday Parties:

1.Drink lots of water. The day of your event, make sure you are well hydrated before you leave the house. If you started the day with a coffee, drink two glasses of water to counteract the dehydrating effect of coffee. While you are out, aim for one glass water for every serving of alcohol.

2. Set your limit before you arrive. Decide how many drinks you’ll imbibe and stick to it. I encourage this for events where there is an open bar, as it can be tempting to go overboard when it’s free. Under no circumstances should you drink and drive. My recommendation is that if you are the designated driver for the evening, abstain completely from alcohol. Enjoy sparkling water, or cranberry and soda for example.

3. Eat before you head out. Don’t arrive at any party with an empty stomach or you are likely to overeat. If it’s a dinner event, have a healthy snack in the afternoon. A cocktail style event or buffet? Have a small dinner beforehand to avoid filling up on appetizers or snacks. If it’s a party where you can bring a dish, offer to bring something tasty but healthy. There are so many recipe options now for delicious and healthy holiday meals. I like this 3 course gluten-free and vegan Thanksgiving menu from Oh She Glows – she has created many amazing recipes that you would never know are vegan!

Digestive Enzyme_CA4. Take your digestive enzymes. This is my secret weapon. In general, we don’t have dairy at home. I do enjoy cheese however, so when there is a melted brie with red pepper jelly, I have to have a few bites! A pharmaceutical grade Digestive Enzyme, like the ones from USANA, can really help with digestion and help you to avoid the bloated feeling. I’ve been known to pass around a bottle at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Keep a bottle on hand during the holidays and if you do end up overeating, a few of these will help you feel better in no time!

5. Focus on friends and conversation not food. The reason we get together over the holiday season is to see people we might not spend time with during the year. Food is what defines the occasion but it doesn’t have to be the focus. Spend your time asking questions, reconnecting and sharing stories. Instead of refilling your plate, make time to connect with those relatives you haven’t seen in ages. At the company party? Make new friends! Especially if you’re the spouse (like me) and don’t really know anyone at the party!

6. Finally, enjoy yourself! It’s ok to enjoy foods that we don’t normally eat and to have a few more drinks than our usual as part of the celebration of the holidays. Simply being aware of a few strategies to keep us from feeling like crap the next day can be helpful, because chances are, you’ve got either work or family counting on you the morning after.

What are your strategies for staying healthy during the holiday season?

The Daily Gratitude Project will be continuing over the holidays, I will be writing daily and will even have a special message for everyone on Christmas morning. Thank you to all of you who are connecting and sharing your feedback with me. I truly appreciate whenever I hear from my readers.

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