Marco Biscarini, Vibrant Meals
Friendsgiving, Christmas music and holiday meals – staples of this festive season. Every year, we set ambitious health goals. Many of us make positive progress, just to lose it all once Thanksgiving rolls around. We’ve dubbed this the ‘slippery slope’. Essentially, the ‘slippery slope’ is the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas when most people give up their new habits in favor of heavy holiday meals and endless leftovers. It is almost more important to focus on eating right during the ‘slippery slope’ time frame than it is the rest of the year, at least for the sake of not losing forward momentum.
Now, don’t get us wrong, we love holiday meals, but we also know, just like with anything else, there is a balance. In our opinion, balance is best had in the form of food substitution and portion control. Substituting foods that are less nutritious is a great way to increase the nutritional value of your meals. You would be surprised how good, or even better, some dishes taste with alternative ingredients. Here are a few examples of substitutions that we make at Vibrant Meals, particularly in our holiday family meals:
- substituting heavy cream with coconut milk
- substituting refined sugar with applesauce
- substituting butter with olive oil or avocado
These simple substitutions help maintain texture and flavor while significantly contributing to the overall health benefits of your food.
From a nutritional perspective, substitution is great. When it comes to weight gain, that's a portion control issue. Be mindful that what isn’t on the plate won’t be eaten, but what is, will. As often as possible your plate should be composed of mostly vegetables (½), and roughly equal parts of protein and carbs (¼ each). It is also smart to subsidize the weeks between holiday eating with nutrient dense, wholesome meals that are made from scratch; maybe you take a stab at meal prepping, or let us do the work for you. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the start of the new year. We also offer healthy holiday classics for Thanksgiving and Christmas – yup, that news will add a lot of convenience to your life.
Here are seven bonus tips on eating healthily during the holidays:
- Don’t show up to gatherings starving; eat as you usually would throughout the day
- Portion Control Tip 1: use a smaller plate or smaller cutlery, if available
- Portion Control Tip 2: use the hand rule – a palm-sized serving of meat, a cupped hand of carbs, a fist full of veggies and a thumb’s worth of fats (½ veggies, ¼ carbs and ¼ meat)
- Going back for seconds? Wait 10 minutes to allow your body time to register what you've already consumed
- Pie, do you really need the second slice? Think twice
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Did you know it's recommended to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water per pound. Staying hydrated actually affects appetite
- Stay active and moving
In the end, if nothing else, we hope that you don’t give up. Don’t let a few bad choices lead you down a path full of extra slices of pie.
At Vibrant Meals, we're dedicated to one thing. That's making you feel your best self by serving you all-natural, nutritious and delicious meals. We pay attention to every ingredient that goes into each meal, we don't add any more or any less than what is necessary for optimal nutrition. Real food is our jam.
With experience prepping meals for UFC and other professional athletes and celebrities, the Vibrant Meals team works hard, together, to create new and exciting recipes that fit our vision of making healthy eating enjoyable, accessible and convenient. The recipes are created and inspired by our team of chefs and then tweaked to fit our standards of 'clean eating,'
Learn more about how Vibrant Meals can help you here.