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The Daily Beet: Tips, Advice and Stories

Surviving the holiday! Part 3: Tips to stay healthy.

This week officially starts the holiday season! If you’ve started down a plant-strong road, you do not want to turn back now, but how do you keep healthy during the holidays?

1. MOVE! So often meals around the holidays mean that you eat a ton of food and then go watch the game or sit around for a few hours after. This season make a commitment to get up and move! Take a walk in the morning, go for a family walk after a meal. Go play a game of touch football with your friends, go sledding or ice skating!

2. Watch that snacking! You can easily eat a meals worth of calories just in snacking throughout the day. If you really need to snack between meals, make sure you have healthy options ready to go in the kitchen. Things like grapes, cut up carrots and celery are great things to snack on.

3. Watch your portions at main meals. Have a few bites of your favorite plant-strong dishes, but try not to go overboard when it comes to portions. You will feel a lot better later on (and so will your waist line).

4. Find other activities aside from eating. Why not go to a craft store and pick up a fun holiday craft to do with all the kids this year? Play board games, get the Wii out for some rounds of bowling. Finding other activities that do not involve eating can make the day a lot more fun, and keep you away from overeating.

5. Have a plan! Planning is key to the holiday season. Know what you are going to eat before you head to Aunt Mildred’s house. Maybe Aunt Mildred likes to deep fry her mashed potatoes and make 60 pies… Don’t let Aunt Mildred’s sweet smile fool you, stay away from the unhealthy food and bring your own, and remind yourself that Aunt Mildred is great for other reasons, aside from her 60 pies.

6. Eat before you go! Have a big healthy salad before you go to an event, that way your belly is filled with plant-strong goodness and you won’t be famished when you get to Aunt Mildred’s and her fried mashed potatoes will have less power over you.

7. Google! You can find some really great fat free plant-strong meals online, there are thousands of recipes to be found! Typing in: fat free vegan with the name of the dish you’d like to make works most of the time. So if you were looking for a healthy mashed potato just type into google: fat free vegan mashed potatoes. Show up Aunt Mildred and her fried mashed potatoes!

8. Dance! Put on some holiday music and take Aunt Mildred for a spin on the dance floor (kitchen floor) – she probably needs it after all of those pies! Having fun is important to staying healthy.

9. Skip the things that are most tempting for you. It’s okay to say no to some gatherings that you feel are going to be too much stress for you or too unhealthy for you. Everyone is busy this time of year, so it’s okay to say that you’d LOVE to attend the holiday cookie exchange, but you unfortunately have a prior commitment.

10. Celebrate your health! Celebrate that this year you will have a healthy holiday season, that you will get to the New Year with out having to make yet another resolution, but instead just continue the one you have already made to yourself. This season give yourself the gift of good health, that’s something that really does keep giving.

As always – remember we are here for you during the Holidays! We’ll even be around on Thanksgiving to help you out! Please like us on facebook on the Engine 2 diet page or Rip and teams wall or on twitter: @engine2diet

Looking for more holiday tips? Check out Part 1 and Part 2

About the author

NatalaE2
Natala is the director of communications for Engine 2 Diet, she is also one of our coaches on our support site, Engine 2 Extra. A few years ago, Natala was at the end of her rope. She was on almost 15 medications daily, had out of control Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, issues with nerve damage, and was morbidly obese. She was just over 30 years old. She decided to take her life back by becoming plant-strong. She has lost over 200 pounds, got off of all of her medications and now has great health numbers. Natala plays the violin and studied music therapy. She became passionate about plant-strong nutrition, received her Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University, a certificate in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and is currently pursuing a degree in nutritional sciences. Natala is also a featured speaker at our Engine 2 Retreats she talks about the reality of our nations obesity epidemic as well as providing practical steps to becoming a healthier person.
  • http://twitter.com Mary

    You guys ROCK! Another great post, I’m learning a lot, thank you!

  • Dana

    I agree, really like this post. I also want to meet Aunt Mildred LOL

  • http://facebook.com Jen

    Do people really make fried mashed potatoes?! Aunt Mildred sounds like a really funny character, I have a few in my family! Thanks team, I hope you get some time to yourself for the Holidays, we can take care of ourselves, I think!

  • http://www.favoritecook.com/ Katja

    Great tips! Will try to keep it in mind & bring it to life :)

  • Cathy

    With the help of this and other plant-strong websites/blogs; I’ve gone from being terrified of my first Vegan Thanksgiving to being really excited about it. Thanks!

  • Ruth

    You guys are funny and really helpful, thanks for being there when I need it the most.

  • http://aliciasjourneyof1000miles.blogspot.com/ Alicia

    I’m making my family a plant strong dinner for Thanksgiving and thankful for the lifestyle changes I’ve made over the last 4 years. I went from couch potato weighing nearly 300lbs to multiple marathoner and half ironman triathlete. Slowly trying to convert my friends and family to plant strong too. Keep up the awesome posts, love them!

  • Susan

    Great tips! Another thing to keep in mind is that the holidays are about seeing those you love and getting to together. It used to be stressful for me when I began my whole food, plant based life style. EVERY one had opinions: I would get sickly, I needed more protein, I needed more calcium, milk does a body good, and my favorite: Just one bite can not hurt. I have learned to listen and not feel the need to rebut or defend. My answer is always, “Thanks for your interest, this is just my choice.” Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Cori

    Wow, fried mashed potatoes, huh? Slowly starting my transformation to a plant based lifestyle although I probably picked the wrong time of year to do it…..

  • Denise

    Love the tips and all so true and easy to apply. It took me a while, now I can successfully disassociate an event and food…it’s about the people! (and the PLUS is saving the animals)

  • Lynnette

    Great tips for a wonderful holiday season!

  • Heidi Capozza

    Snacking – the bane of my existence sometimes – especially when I am cooking all day! Thanks for the reminder to have something healthy to nibble all ready to go — the other pillar that will see me through the holiday with plant style and plant grace will be planning. Great post, thanks!

  • Wes

    Along with celebrating our health, we plan on taking the opportunity to share our plant-based dishes with others at gatherings. It is a great way to open the door for others to realize how spectacular dishes centered around whole foods are and start conversations about healthier options on a day centered around food.

  • http://Www.cupadeecakes.com Jenniffer White

    My husband and I jumped in with both feet by taking all the bad food out of the house . I have bought some healthy snack foods, but realize that they are too calorie dense and must go back to the carrots and such. It’s easy to fall back into old/new habits if you don’t get reminders like this article. Thanks for the great info!

  • Pingback: Holiday Diet Tips: A Roundup of Ways to Avoid Weight Gain

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    The Engine 2 blog will feature tips, plant-strong success stories, how to make plant-strong work, answer your questions and feature special guest experts. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to help you become and stay plant-strong. Please be sure to jump in the conversation by leaving comments on each post!
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