It’s the Crazy Season, aka the Holiday Season! There are so many distractions and interruptions that I feel like I’m having trouble moving in a straight line. I need to finish a deadline at work but I see these constant emails for “deals” and then my mind goes to how I haven’t finished my gift shopping so maybe I should look at that latest email. Wow, I see a really nice sweater to wear to the company holiday party… and didn’t my daughter say she wants a pair of silver earrings? I could also wear the sweater to the potluck party next week…but what am I going to bring to the potluck?… Did I remember to RSVP to that party? Should I bring a hostess gift?… I’ll bring them a jar of my Famous Chocolate Sauce. Check that off my list!
I thrive under pressure, but the holidays can really push me to my limits. Sure the holiday season is fun, but it’s also exhausting. With late night parties, too many indulgences and the stress of making everything perfect, I can easily become rundown. I do my best to get everything on my list done, enjoy time with friends and family and stay healthy.
The one thing I feel like I have under control is what’s for dinner. I have found that if I don’t plan out our meals, then we tend to eat really poorly. Take out and delivery tend to be much higher in carbs, sodium and calories which makes me more sluggish, not energized. Frankly, I don’t want to spend money on takeout when I have gifts to buy! Plus, if I’ve planned out a whole week of meals, then I don’t have to decide daily what to eat. It’s already checked off on my list.
Check out our tips below to help you stay healthy during the “Crazy Season.” I’m off to do some shopping now!
9 Tips For A Healthy Holiday Season:
- Plan. It sounds obvious, but if you haven’t planned your meals in advance then you will spend extra time and money running to the store. Five minutes to plan and edit my DinnerTime Meal Plan means I have freed up countless hours, better spent on my other to-do items on my list.
- Shop with a grocery list. Using my DinnerTime Grocery List is the greatest gift of time and money to myself. I don’t wander through the store picking up impulse items I don’t need. I get everything I need in one trip. Save money, save time…time is money, you get the picture.
- Make more servings. I cook every other night and re-heat the following night. I love to make hearty soups and stews or grill a big steak with enough servings to know I can enjoy it again another night. This allows me to plan my evenings to wrap gifts, bake cookies or even just collapse! Increase the number of servings for your recipes and the correct amount of ingredients will be on your DinnerTime Grocery List. Bonus, cleanup is easier every other night!
- Pick “clean” recipes. With all the rich holiday food, I try to keep our choices at home on the leaner side to compensate for party fare and all the goodies delivered to the office.
- Choose easy recipes. Slow cooker, stir-fry and sheet pan are my go-to’s . Search in your DinnerTime Recipe Box for quick and easy recipes that appeal to you.
- Load up on salad materials. Choose salad as a side for most dinners. I prep our salads in the beginning of the week, and then toss with the dressing right before we sit down to dinner. Dark leafy greens, bright peppers and crunchy cucumbers keep my body loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. Sometimes I’ll add leftover protein like, shrimp or steak for a yummy all-in-one dinner salad.
- Stock up on healthy snacks. I’m a big believer in “if I put it out, they will come.” A big bowl of fruit, snack bags of nuts and a tray of cut veggies, ready to put on the counter, keep us all from indulging in less healthy snacks. Plus, they give me natural energy, and I certainly need all the energy I can get!
- Eat together. Sure, everyone is busy, but just eating dinner together keeps us all grounded and feeling connected. This is helpful for every age and studies show the more often we share dinner together, the less likely teens will engage in risky behaviors.
- Take a walk. Clear your head when things become overwhelming. Your family will feel your stress and react in not so great ways, so it’s important to set the tone of the home. Sometimes I take a quick walk around the block, other times I corral the whole family to join me. Exercise is great, but a quick walk is about getting oxygen to my brain. Even 10 minutes can help me reset with more energy and a smile on my face.
Recipes to support a healthy holiday season!
Search for more quick and easy recipes in your DinnerTime Recipe Box.