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Healthy Holiday Guide

8 Quick Tips for Staying on Track This Holiday Season

  1. Be prepared. Going to a holiday party? Don’t assume there will be healthy options to choose from. Ask the host/hostess ahead of time if it’s alright if you bring a dish you know you can eat (and will want to) so you’re not stuck choosing between things that take you farther from your goals. Have a light healthy snack before you head out so you’re not starving when you arrive.

  2. Maintain your health routine as much as possible. Although the holidays are a notoriously busy time, don’t skimp on the routines you’ve set in place. Prioritize your walk, don’t skip the gym, and take your supplements. Maintaining our healthy habits keeps us from falling so far off the wagon that we don’t know how to get back on.

  3. Indulge in your favorite treat…And skip the mediocre stuff (even if it has sprinkles). Store-bought cookies? Pass. Your mom’s special “secret family recipe” homemade fudge? Enjoy a piece. Be intentional with your choices.

  4. Communicate with family and friends. Ask for help sticking to your goals. Gently tell friends and family if you don’t want them bringing desserts around or pushing you to have seconds. We all need a support system.

  5. Remember your WHY. Remember why you want to be healthy. Remember how good you feel when you stay on track. Remember the feeling of empowerment that comes with making good choices for YOU.

  6. Come back to this feeling during moments of temptation. Remove temptations where you can. Send the Christmas cookies and leftovers home with family and friends. Maybe put them in an outside refrigerator or freezer so they aren’t looking at you every time you open the fridge.

  7. Don’t skimp on sleep. It keeps your immune system strong and your detoxifying organs primed to handle what comes their way. Prioritizing sleep is the best investment you can make in yourself during this season.

  8. Remember it’s a holiday, not a holimonth. Have fun! Eat the pie, drink the champagne. Make the day special, then get right back on your routine. Having back-to-back days of overindulgence leads to low energy, bloating, and feeling mentally down. Ward off a rut by savoring the day then getting right back into your flow.


Holiday Drink Swaps

Lose: Gin & Tonic

Per cup...220 calories 32 g sugar

Choose: Gin & Soda

Per cup...96 calories 0 g sugar

Lose: Sweet White Wine

Per 5 fluid oz...160 calories 9 g sugar

Choose: Champagne or Prosecco

Per 5 fluid oz...96 calories 1 g sugar

Lose: Classic Eggnog

Per cup...374 calories 38 g sugar

Choose: So Delicious Eggnog

Per cup...180 calories 30 g sugar

Lose: Starbucks Hot Chocolate with 2% Milk & Whipped Cream

Per Grande...400 calories 43 g sugar

Choose: Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate with Soy Milk

Per cup...140 calories 6 g sugar


How to Upgrade Your Holiday Plate

Swap low-quality ingredients for whole-food ingredients.

Instead of...


Butter or Margarine

Olive Oil

Heavy Cream

Coconut Cream


Fruits as Sweeteners (bananas, dates)

Loads of Salt

More Spices and Herbs

Fatty Meat

Lean Meat or Meat Substitutes

A Meat-Centered Plate

A Plant-Centered Plate (color is king!)


Choosing a Thanksgiving Turkey

The turkey is the first thing that comes to mind for many people around the holidays. When trying to transition to a more plant-based diet, this particular tradition can be difficult to let go. Remember that all lasting change happens in moderation!

Follow the tips below when choosing meat for your holiday meal.

  • Buy organic if possible.

  • White meat, such as the breast of the turkey, will be the leanest piece.

  • Remove the skin! The skin contributes to a large portion of the fat and calories.

  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked thoroughly (165 °F is recommended for poultry).

  • Avoid “enhanced” turkey, which is usually injected with saltwater and increases the sodium content greatly.

Alternatives to Turkey


How to Elevate Your Dishes

Mashed or Roasted Potatoes

The Good: potassium, vitamin C, easy digestion, super comforting

The Bad: loaded with butter, cream, and salt making them high in saturated fat and sodium


  • If you must use dairy to have the potatoes of your dreams, opt for low-fat dairy.

  • Steam cauliflower, puree, and add to mashed potatoes for a hidden nutrient boost.

  • Add herbs like rosemary and thyme to bring more flavor to your meal.

  • Roast garlic and add it to your potatoes.


The Good: awesome way to add in extra veggies, diverse and easy to cook

The Bad: added fat, sugar, salt, and lack of creative ingredients


  • Let the ingredients shine! Whether it’s a sweet potato or a green bean casserole, there are lots of ingredients that add flavor and make adding extra sugar or salt unnecessary.

  • If making a pasta casserole, try pasta sourced from whole foods like chickpea, brown rice, or red lentil pasta. These substitutes are tasty and have more fiber and nutrients.

Fruit Pies

The Good: introducing fruit into the diet, delicious and satisfies a sweet tooth

The Bad: can have tons of added sugars, refined grains, and hydrogenated oils


  • Much like casseroles, pies can be a great opportunity to let wholesome ingredients take center stage. Choose a pie crust made with wholesome grains, like this oat flour crust.

  • Use less sugar in the filling. You may be surprised by how a small amount of sugar can bring out the natural sweetness in the fruit.

  • Add more fresh fruits and cinnamon sticks to spruce up the flavors.

  • Top your slice of warm apple pie with a scoop of coconut milk ice cream rather than dairy-based ice cream.


Healthy Holiday Guide
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Tips for Staying on Track This Holiday Season

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