The holidays are nearly upon us and we all struggle with how to maintain a healthy eating and lifestyle pattern while enjoying the festivities of the season. Here are three of my holiday “survival” tips, along with a favorite recipe for a hearty vegetarian soup to have on hand for these early winter weekends.
For the holiday season, my number one tip is to try your very best to keep on track with your regular physical activity program. Whether it comes in the form of a short morning walk (even 10-15 minutes is better than no walk at all), a class at the gym, or even simply standing up at your desk every 15 minutes or so throughout the day to march in place and do a little stretching, physical activity is good for you unless you have a medical restriction which prevents it.
Tip number 2 – plan ahead for holiday parties. If you know you have a big party coming up in the evening, try to eat lighter during the day in anticipation of the event. Don’t go to parties starved – have a small snack before you go so that you will be less tempted to devour everything in sight when you get to the buffet.
Tip number 3 – drink plenty of water and pace yourself if you do drink alcohol. For example, try alternating your drink selections. Start your evening with a seltzer or plain ice water before you move on to a glass of wine. And then, when it’s time to refill for another round, switch back to the non-alcoholic choice. It will help you stay hydrated and stay more on track with your healthy lifestyle program.
Now, for the recipe…This Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Smoky Mushrooms is a great choice for holiday weekends because you can make it a few days in advance, it is hearty and full of fiber, and is easy to make for a crowd.