Courtney King’s Tips and Tricks for a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season
December 19, 2016
With the holidays right around the corner, we all know how irresistible the temptation to snack on delicious holiday goodies can be. It’s fine in moderation, but let’s be honest, usually one cookie turns into two cookies and before you know it you’ve eaten the whole box! We’ve all been there, which is why I think it’s important for me to share what I do over the holidays and how I stay on track while treating myself.
First things first: I don’t believe in the word “diet.” When people say, “I can’t have that, I’m dieting,” I think that actually makes a person crave certain foods more. Think “lifestyle change” not “short-term diet.”
I want to reiterate the idea of everything in “moderation.” Don’t think of what you’re eating as “diet food,” and as a result, your food will become more enjoyable. At the end of this blog I will provide some of my favorite things to snack on, as well as recipes that are healthy but delicious at the same time! I know you might be thinking, “How is healthy delicious?” but I promise I’ve found a way to make even healthy food tasty!
Make sure that your Christmas plate is filled with veggies! Not only do they have nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals, but they also make you feel less hungry. I love to bake my vegetables and overcook them just a tad to give them a smoky-like flavor. I add Himalayan sea salt and Mrs. Dash to spice things up! (Ha! See what I did there?)
Let’s talk about portion control. See your plate. Meaning, if you cannot see your plate, chances are you piled on too much food! During the holidays, it’s easy to overeat, so try to limit yourself to a normal serving size of anything you reach for. For reference, a normal serving size should be about a handful of almonds (23 or so). I like to have a scale handy to weigh out exactly what I’m eating. You may also want to download the FitnessPal app on your phone to track what you are eating.
Next big thing…Train your brain. Are you bored or are you truly hungry? I’ve been guilty of this before. Eating because you’re bored. Why? Because it’s fun and food tastes great! Duh! But at the end of the day, this leads to overeating and an unhappy you later on. I like to eat my meals slow to avoid this. I also chug a lot of water throughout the day. I would suggest drinking 1-1.5 gallons of water per day.
If you’ve just eaten a big meal and treats, but still find yourself hovering over the amazing dessert table at Aunt Suzie’s house, try going on a walk, playing a game, chit chatting with the fam, chewing gum, drinking water, or drinking a cup of tea/coffee with liquid stevia in there for a sweet delicious flavor (can be bought at Whole Foods, Farmers Market, or Sprouts). Remember, food is fuel!
VERY IMPORTANT! After you’ve indulged in a cheat meal, do not cut back on eating the day after. This usually leads to overeating later in the week. Instead, eat your meals (especially protein) as you would on a normal day and continue with your activity levels.
Be careful with beverages. Alcohol has a lot of empty calories and juices/soda has large amounts of sugar. Instead, go for tea sweetened with stevia, diet soda (limited to 1 per day), coffee, crystal light, etc.
Bring a healthy dish to the party! Below are some healthy, delicious recipes and snacks I enjoy eating and making:
- I love making big salads. I take Spring Mix and Kale, mix in cooked fish, lean ground turkey or lean beef, and add some green beans and walnuts. I like to make my own dressing as well, which includes:
- Balsamic vinegar mixed with spicy brown mustard and stevia. Mix all ingredients together.
- OR: Apple cider vinegar, stevia, liquid coconut aminos, and organic blue agave (check sugar and make sure it’s below 7g!). Mix all ingredients together and you have yourself a delicious dressing.
- I am obsessed with rice cakes, especially the caramel corn ones! I like to add BPI Whey HD protein powder mixed with minimal almond or cashew milk as a paste. Sometimes, I add sugar free jelly, almond butter or both! To really spice things up, I like add other toppings including granola or healthy cereals on top of the almond butter.
- I also like the plain rice cakes. On those I’ll either put the above ingredients OR I like to add chopped onion, honey mustard, and tomato slices. Sauté the onion in a pan with a little olive oil. Mix onion and tuna with honey mustard and sea salt to taste. Put it on the rice cakes and top with tomato slices. I know it sounds crazy but I promise it’s good.
- Apple and Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for dip.
- Sliced cucumber with sea salt and stevia.
- Baked veggie chips (much healthier choice to munch on than regular chips!)
- Frozen grapes or other frozen fruits dipped in fat free or sugar free whipped cream. You can buy it or make your own!
- You can never go wrong with veggies and hummus! Much better alternative than those pigs-in-a-blanket.
Making holiday treats can also be fun and tasty when you get creative in the kitchen!
Here is one of my favorite BPI Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Muffins! Fall time calls for pumpkin everything! Am I right? These pumpkin muffins are high in fiber, vitamin A and protein, and taste amazing!
- 10 dates cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 3 TBS pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 TBS Splenda brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1 scoop (30 grams) BPI WHEY HD™ in chocolate cookie (or other flavor of choice)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Place dates, apple sauce, pumpkin, almond milk and Splenda brown sugar in nutra bullet. Blend until all mixed together (doesn’t need long).
- Add in coconut flour, BPI protein powder, oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Blend until the batter is all mixed together in a “dough” form. If the batter is too wet, add more coconut flour. If too dry, add more almond milk.
- Optional! You can also stir in chocolate chips, sliced almonds or walnuts!
- Place the dough into a mini muffin tray (should make between 12-15 mini muffins) bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes and there you have it! BPI Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Muffins for a perfect, healthy, holiday treat!
Another easy tip to consider is standing up instead of sitting. It burns more calories! Help Aunt Suzie with the dishes, play hide and go seek with the kids, etc.
Get a good night’s rest. It is essential that your hormones are regulated properly and that your body recovers quickly.
MOST IMPORTANT! Don’t sweat the small things. Just keep swimming. Believe in yourself! It’s easy to get trapped into wanting to eat over the holidays, especially with the pressure of grandma telling you to eat the brownies she just made! You don’t want to disappoint or hurt any feelings, but at the end of the day it’s you and your body that will have to pay the price! Be smart and control yourself!
Courtney King is a member of Team BPI Sports.