Dec 162015
 

Have I mentioned that in 10 days, I’ll be on the beach in Jamaica?

Yep, just like last year, Fabio and I will be joining my mom, stepdad, stepsister, and her boyfriend for a fun family vacation in Jamaica the day after Christmas. Bring on the sunshine! 🙂

Have I also mentioned that my life has been inundated with delicious holiday treats? I’m sure yours has too. The problem here is that a bikini + lots of holiday treats don’t really mix well. Sigh.

Luckily, I have what I think is a pretty good approach to balancing the two, so I wanted to share it with you today in case you are battling a similar situation.

Load up on the good stuff / Eat healthy when you can

Since I know I’ll be bombarded with lots of sugary, buttery treats this holiday season, I’m trying my best to load up on the healthy foods whenever I can. To start with, I made an extra delicious batch of fresh juice this week (I really missed not having it last week!) and have been once again starting my mornings off with plenty of nutrients.

IMG_7898

I just feel so much better when I drink a glass of fresh juice in the morning, especially if it’s after a particularly tough workout like you see here. (Psst…keeping up my workouts is another big part to staying balanced during the holidays, but I’m planning to spend today just talking about food.)

Another good thing about the fresh juice is that it keeps sickness away! Seriously, ever since I started drinking fresh juice back in January, I’ve noticed that the only times I got sick this year were when I wasn’t keeping up with the juicing. I don’t think that’s a coincidence!

Plus, even though I know this isn’t true, I feel like I could convince myself that drinking juice from all those veggies first thing in the morning basically cancels out any sugary treats I might consume later on. No? Ok. Either way, I’m still a huge fan of fresh juice!

I’ve also been loading up on healthy foods with my lunches, which have primarily featured gigantic salads.

I like to make my salads with lots and lots of veggies, that way I feel nice and full when I’m done eating (full stomach = less likely to binge on holiday treats). I don’t think there’s such a thing as a salad that’s too big; as long as you’re not loading it up with too much of the less healthy add-ins like cheese, dressing, etc. I say the bigger the better!

IMG_7883

Also, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you’ll know that I almost always include some type of grain – either brown rice or quinoa – in my salads for more texture/sustenance. This is actually something I’ve been cutting out this week in an effort to shave off a few extra calories. When I’m trying to watch my weight, I think of my calories like spending money while managing a budget: I only have so many to spend each day. While normally I don’t mind “spending” calories on a healthy grain, I know that when there are delicious holiday treats laying around I’d rather save them for that. Maybe that’s not the “healthiest” mindset to have, but it’s what’s working for me right now.

And, while I do really enjoy having a grain in my salads, I still find them to be pretty darn delicious even without it. Clearly. 😉

IMG_7886
I’ve also been making an effort to lighten up our dinners when meal planning lately. Of course I always try to keep our meal planning menu pretty healthy, but sometimes leftovers, cravings, lack of time, and other factors get in the way of that. This week is no exception – there are few days where we have fun holiday plans – but for the days when I will be home and cooking dinner I’ve tried to keep it light.

I even tried a new recipe that Catrina recommended: Spaghetti pie made with spaghetti squash and chicken sausage!

IMG_7891

It might not look like much, but it was seriously delicious and it was something I could feel good about eating while trying to watch my weight. Definitely try this one!

IMG_7892

Decide what to indulge on

In my opinion, the most important thing about practicing balanced eating during the holidays is to eat healthy when you can, and indulge when you decide it’s worth it. I am not one for skipping out on treats – hello, this blog is called Chelsea Eats Treats for a reason – but I do believe in picking and choosing the type of treats to indulge on.

For example, yesterday morning my office building held a free breakfast for tenants in the lobby. Knowing that there would be plenty of bagels, muffins, and pastries that – let’s face it – probably wouldn’t taste super amazing, I opted to eat a normal breakfast at home before coming in to work. Then, when my coworkers headed downstairs to get their free food, I joined them and made a simple plate of fruit and skipped the carby options. Perfect!

IMG_7899

On the other hand, one of our vendors sent us a giant box of Cheryl’s cookies, and I remembered from last year that the vanilla cookies with buttercream frosting were quite delicious. Obviously, I decided to indulge in one!

IMG_7906

Another example? My mom’s cinnamon rolls over the weekend.

IMG_7866

She doesn’t make these all that often, and I know they are always going to be incredibly delicious. Worth a splurge!

When I’m trying to decide what to eat and what to skip, I try to imagine how good it’s actually going to taste, and how I’m going to feel after eating it. I also try to think about how I’m going to feel in my bathing suit in 10 days, which is an added reminder to only splurge on what I really want (this could also work for certain jeans you’re trying to fit into, a New Years Eve dress, etc.).

Then again, this is the holiday season and the most important thing is to enjoy yourself! If it means eating a sugary, buttery treat, then by all means, do it!

Chances that I eat another cookie today? 100%. 😉

Question of the day: How do practice balanced eating during the holidays?

 Posted by on December 16, 2015