Healthy Comfort Foods to Try this Holiday Season

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With the holiday season in full-swing, your patients are not only in the midst of celebrating with family, friends and their colleagues, but they're also busy filling up on holiday comfort food and indulging in holiday-inspiring cocktails. While the holiday's are notorious for being accompanied with temptations, your patients don't have to completely derail their goals and good habits to get their fill. 

Alleviate Holiday Temptations

The holiday's are a time for cheer, yet they are often one of the most stressful times of the year - encourage your patients to fight off emotional eating by thinking of the things that they enjoy most about the holidays and setting goals for the new year. Whether they want to lower their body-fat percentage or improve their diet; setting realistic goals can help your patients look towards the future and alleviate the stress they may feel during the holiday's. 

Another way to encourage your patients to stay on track during the holidays is through accountability. If your patient pairs up with a friend or family member, they can work together to help maintain a healthy balance during the holiday season between the two of them - while still indulging in the occasional cocktail or sweet treat.

Staying Motivated & On Track

Between holiday cocktail hour and events revolving around hearty foods, it's hard to stay motivated and on track during the evenings. If your patient feels inclined to skip more than two to three workouts in the evening, it may be beneficial for their waistline if they move their workouts to the morning or a time that works well for them. 

One of the most tempting places during the holiday season is going to be at the dinner table. If your patient is planning on attending an event, they can stay on track by bringing a healthy appetizer - that way there will be at least one healthy option they can stay satisfied with. If they are hosting, it's important to provide plenty of healthy options, such as vegetables, so that even if they are indulging in turkey and desserts, they can fill up on more nutrition-worthy dishes first. Don't forget to suggest alternating between cocktails with a tall glass of water so they slow their intake and, as an added bonus, avoid an unwanted morning after hangover.

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How to Indulge Without the Bulge: Healthy Comfort Foods Inspired by Holiday Favorites

Staying Healthy (and satisfied) During the Holiday Season

Rather than obsessing over the dessert table, offer suggestions that are healthy and hearty, yet highly satisfying and delicious. Here are a couple of our holiday favorites that you can share with your patients (but they're so good, you'll want to try them too!):

First Course: What better way to warm your soul during a chilly winter evening than with a delicious and hearty cup of soup (without the guilt!) Here is a recipe we can't wait to try: 

Second Course: We all know that greens are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants so what better way to transition from the first to second course than with a sautéed salad by Real Simple:

Want to sweeten up your salad? Add a few holiday-inspired toppings such as pecans and cranberries - pecans are a great source of vitamin E and magnesium, while cranberries are low in sugar and loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants that our bodies crave during the winter (and cold season). 

Main Course: Turkey (or another source of protein if you or your patient is a vegetarian) can provide a hearty source of your daily vitamins, such as vitamin B and potassium. The nutrients found in turkey "have been found to keep blood cholesterol down, protect against cancer and heart disease, and boost the immune system. A healthy portion size is usually 3 to 4 ounces. Here is a recipe we can't wait to try:

With these hearty (and delicious) recipes at the heart of your patients' dinner table, it will be easy-peasy to stay on track all season long! Don't forget to share your recipe pics on Twitter - enjoy, and happy holidays!

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