Happy Halloween! Are you guys trick-or-treating with the kids tonight, partying it up, or maybe both? We’ve been invited to a party and group trick-or-treating in our new neighborhood and I’m excited to meet people as I’ve heard there were several families with small children that moved in this summer when we did.
One thing I’m not as excited about is trying to avoid the persistent sugar temptation that officially starts tonight and lasts pretty much through New Year’s Eve. Things are only worse this year because I’m preggers and the chocolate cravings are at an all-time high.
Yesterday we shared tips and recipes for stocking your pantry for holiday baking and we did make an effort to include ingredients and ideas for some healthier treats. But let’s be honest, if I’m going to make a real run at keeping the sugar in check this year – I’m going to need help.
I’ve asked the ladies at Prescribe Nutrition to share some of their favorite tips and recipes for surviving the holidays with our energy levels high and our waistlines intact. Here are their suggestions:
Step 1: Plan like it’s your job
This year we are all about lists. For example, make a running list of all the gatherings you are attending/hosting and what your responsibilities are for those (to bring an appetizer, a side, a main dish.)
Get those recipes in order well before the event so you are armed with a dish you feel great about AND to help you dodge having to fall back on that triple cheese dip (that you ended up eating half of before it even reached its final destination).
The idea is that you are still going to fill up with flavor but in a whole new way. Here is an example:
PUMPKIN SPICED COOKIES (Servings 10-12)
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup mashed pumpkin (canned is A-OK, just not ‘pumpkin pie’ filling)
- 1 small ripe banana, sliced or mashed
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons pure Grade B maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with a olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray, or lightly grease with coconut oil.
- Combine pumpkin, banana, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix on high with a hand mixer until it’s mostly smooth, about two minutes.
- Fold in the oats, almonds and flax using a large wooden spoon until the mixture is very well combined.
- Use your hands to form 10-12 large balls, then press down to slightly flatten. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until they are set. They should still be soft as they will firm up as they cool. Let cool 10 minutes before eating. We know it’s hard but you can do it.
- Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. You can make your own if you’d like! 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and clove.
Step 2: Full up
The tanks need to be full of fuel. How on earth are you going to have enough energy for all the craziness that comes with the next 8 weeks? Well, food. You need it and choosing the right kind of fuel sources is key
If you fill up you are far less likely to hover around the cheese and cracker platter all night. You’ve been there, WE’VE been there. “Tonight’s Jen’s party and so I’m going to eat really light today…” Well, you know how this story goes.
A coffee, some fruit and super small salad all day and then whoosh, you show up famished, grab a glass of champagne and the next thing you know, three hours have passed and you’ve saddled up real close to the cheese platter, the headache has set in, and you want nothing more then a pair of sweatpants and your couch.
Here’s our idea of a pre-party day:
Breakfast: A nice big cup of green tea with lemon, a bowl of overnight oats topped with fruit, chia seeds, a little scoop of almond butter and splash of coconut milk.
Lunch: A big delicious salad with a healthy, homemade dressing and sparkling mineral water with lemon.
Snacks: Your favorite nut mix and a juicy apple OR 1/2 avocado and sliced peppers.
Remember – going to a party hungry, we’ll that’s just silly. Have a pre-party mini meal.
In your head you think “Why would I eat before I’m going to eat?” But then history reminds you, “This will be far less food/calories/sugar then if I over indulge in Fritos and dip because I was starving.” Smart call.
Step 3: Have a post party plan
So your intentions are set, your plan is in play but the cookies and the cocktails still got ya. It happens, but that pesky stomach or headache can last two days or two hours depending on what you do with it.
What about the kiddos? Sugar overload has the ability to set off a three-day spree of endless amounts of more sugar and some crabby attitudes.
Let’s stop all that in it’s tracks. Here are some tried and true tactics when it comes to dealing with “what’s been done”:
- You guessed it… water. Chug a glass pre-bed.
- Get a good night’s sleep. If you know you’re going to be out and about, try not to have something planned early the next day. Hydration, food and sleep – that’s your holy grail.
- Choose electrolyte water and/or coconut water in the morning as you recharge and recover. Don’t forget your apple cider vinegar drink this morning – it will be of help.
- Breakfast – don’t even think about skipping it (not that you would). Protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates will absorb and eliminate toxins. Make a large egg scramble and pack it with veggies with a side of sweet potato hash. Eggs support detoxification. Scramble them up with lots of veggies for added antioxidant power!
- Upset stomach? Brew some ginger tea. Ginger is powerful against nausea.
- Lime and lemon juice help balance Ph. First thing in the morning add the juice of 1 lime or lemon to some warm water. Stir in some raw honey and sip.