Holidays and unhealthy eating sometimes go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can maintain your health goals throughout the silly season just by being wiser about the foods you eat. Here are some healthy food ideas that don’t put tastiness on the backburner.
Dip are great for snacks and they’re the perfect appetisers. The downside? They’re usually full of calories. You don’t want to waste all your calories on dips before tucking into the main meal, so nip them in the bud by ensuring your dips are made from healthy ingredients. This tomato dip has only 162 calories per serving and makes use of light cream cheese and lemon juice for extra taste.
Healthy Treats for Your Sweet Tooth
Sneak a bit of sweet indulgence into your meals. An idea is to sprinkle nuts over your salads or even your veggies. Add even more flavour and spice to nuts with this recipe that roasts them with thyme, rosemary, pepper and olive oil.
Another idea for healthy sweet treats is to use fresh fruits in your desserts as much as possible so that you gain nutritional benefit and deliciousness without craving the cookie jar after dinner.
Give Unhealthy Foods a Nutritional Kick
By substituting some unhealthy ingredients for more nutritious ones, you make your meals so much better for you. Here are some examples:
- Use comforting vegetables instead of cheese in pasta dishes – creamy butternut and sweet potatoes are great ideas.
- Instead of using vegetable oils in your cooking, use coconut oil instead as a large amount of its fat content is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that help your body lose weight (read the latest groundbreaking research).
- When using bread crumbs in recipes, such as when making meatballs, replace them with healthy chia seeds instead. They’ve got so much more fibre and protein than bread.
Bring on the Veggies
Whether you’re cooking Christmas dinner or attending it at someone’s house, reach for the vegetables before any other foods on display. This is a great way to ease your hunger while giving your body a boost of nutrients. After filling up on tasty veggies, you might not even feel tempted to eat any of the sinful, fattening foods that are also present.
You can make veggies so much more interesting and comforting by baking them or adding them to other meals, such as by making muffins or meat loaf with grated veggies in them.
While you’re enjoying your vegetable dishes during the holidays, use the time to burn extra calories, such as by strapping on a waist trainer. Make the combination of your healthy eating and waist workout more powerful by adding spices to your veggies: they boost your metabolism, increasing your body’s calorie-burning power.
Choose Dark Chocolate!
Sometimes you just can’t help but want to indulge a little – it is the festive season, after all. If you’re going to have dessert, be smart about it by choosing dark chocolate. It contains minerals such as magnesium and iron, while helping to keep your blood vessels and heart healthy. This is because it is rich in flavanols that stimulate the arteries to produce a gas which makes them relax, reducing your blood pressure. So, when you’re faced with a dessert menu, opt for the darker variety of chocolate to reap its health benefits.
There are many easy ways in which you can make your festive season food a lot healthier this year. By tweaking your meals with some smart tips, you can enjoy nutritious and delicious foods while slashing unnecessary calories.
Gwen Lewis is a writer and makeup artist based in Southern California. Because of her passion for beauty and health, she hopes to help others not just look great but feel great, whether through makeup or her writing. In her free time, she enjoy shopping and pick-up soccer games with her friends.