Kids running everywhere, family all around, and plenty of chocolate. That’s what Easter looks like in my household. Whether a religious celebration or a simple family gathering, Easter looks different to all of those who celebrate. There’s a feast of plenty followed by the usual food coma.
Don’t derail your health resolutions during celebrations! This week’s Minimal List will go over five ways you can get through the holiday like a champ.
1. Skip The Sauce
I’m not sure about anyone else’s celebrations, but when my family gets together, the wine flows and the stories pour out. While alcohol can make for a rousing time of “let’s see what grandpa says this year”, social drinking mixed with all the holiday goodies can lead to the mindless overeating of empty calories. (Not to mention the headache that comes with that extra pour Grandma slipped you when you weren’t looking) Instead, opt for some tea or water. It’ll help your boost energy levels and aid in the digestion of all the holiday yummies. If you absolutely must have a drink, stick to one glass of something satisfying that you can sip over time instead of in one big gulp.
2. Load Up On Veg
In my perfect world, we’d all be vegans and enjoy a bountiful spread of plant-based dishes during holidays. Since this is not my perfect world and everyone has their own opinions about food and diet, the best I can do is get you hyped about the veggies. I’m not talking about the green bean casserole, by the way. As tasty as casseroles are, they are usually filled with fat and sodium heavy sauces that will satisfy your taste buds but leave your tummy feeling like a mudslide heading for the wrong part of town. Load up on the pre-dinner veggie and fruit trays. They’re a fine distraction from Cadbury eggs, and will act as a nice base to fill your tummy before the feast.
3. Bring Your Own Dish
Afraid there won’t be options to suit your dietary needs? This is a super simple one to fix as well as a great opportunity to open your family up to healthier options. Simply call whomever is hosting ahead of time and ask what’s on the menu. If your gathering is anything like mine, people bring their own favorite dishes to contribute. This will give you ideas for complimentary dishes you can bring as well as prepare you for your options ahead of time. Putting a heart healthy quinoa dish next to the cheesy potatoes is never a bad idea!
4. Favor Spices Over Salt
When cooking for the holiday, salt seems to be an integral part of most traditional dishes. Salt the veggies, salt in the gravy, salt the mashed potatoes (why?). All of the salt. While salt most definitely has its place in the kitchen, I believe that too many people lean on it to flavor food as an easy way to change the way an otherwise boring dish might taste. Salt is meant to bring out natural flavors, tenderize, and act as a compliment to all the other zestiness happening with the food. Instead of reaching for a dash of salt in your mashed potatoes, why not go for some dill with a little bit of lemon and pepper? It takes minimal effort to take a boring, traditional holiday dish to the next level.
5. Take A Walk During Pie Time
Before you go crazy on me, hear me out on this one. By the time dessert rolls around, how many people are already in a food coma with their belts loosened and pants undone? At this point, eating that slice of pumpkin pie, no matter how good it is, is nothing more than going through the motions. Take a few minutes during dessert to get outside and take in a bit of fresh air. A nice stroll will also aid in digestion and stave off the sleepies. Take a slice of pie for the road, and enjoy it at home when your palette is cleansed from the abundance of other food flavors.
If you made it to the end of this list, you might think I’m crazy. You’re probably right. If you are looking for ways to create a happier, healthier you, the holiday times can be rough. Maybe at least one of these tips can help you get through your holiday meal. No matter how good the chocolate bunny tastes, nothing can change the fact that it’s filled with a ton of refined sugars and empty calories that you don’t need.
Along with everything else I say on this blog, what I write comes with the understanding that we are all on different life paths. You might find this helpful, and you might not. That’s ok!
I hope everyone celebrating during the holidays has a wonderful time, and all of those that do not celebrate takes the time to appreciate and treat themselves to a fantastic weekend.