3 Strategies to Make the Holidays Easier!
It is a busy time of year. There are holiday parties,
Christmas shopping to do, gifts to wrap, travel plans, guests staying at your
house, cold and rainy weather, and holiday treats everywhere you look! So how
do you stay on track following the Basic Principles? Here are 3 strategies that
- Write out
a menu plan every week. Check your calendar for holiday events and kids’
activities so that you can plan easier meals for busier days. Consider including
all 3 main meals and snacks on your menu plan.
double portions of entrees like soup or casseroles. Then freeze some of the
food in individual serving size glass containers. When you are too tired or
busy to cook, you can pop one of these meals into the microwave.
- Keep a
list of meals/recipes you and your family enjoy. Rotate through the list so
you don’t feel overwhelmed by needing to decide what to have for dinner.
- Buy some
foods that are extra easy to prepare. These can include lower fat premade
turkey burger patties, frozen vegetables, and precooked brown rice. Knowing you
have foods that only need to be microwaved will decrease the temptation to get
- Plan out
ahead of time what you will do for exercise. Plan it out for the week or if
your schedule is too unpredictable, plan for the next day only. Check your
weather app so you can plan indoor activities for when it is very cold and
rainy. Check out the group exercise classes at your gym or do exercise videos
on YouTube like Leslie Sansone Walking videos or “HAS Fit” strength/cardio
- Plan when
you will take your “free meals” for December and January. Look at your
calendar and the events you have been invited to.
- Eat your
normal meals and snacks before going to a holiday party or event. That way
you will not be overly hungry and it will be easier to make good choices.
- Look at
all the food at holiday events first before you decide what you will eat.
Focus on the foods that are very appealing to you and serve yourself small
portions. Take a break to chat with other people at the event before
considering getting more food. This will give your stomach a chance to
communicate with your brain that you have had enough to eat.
Go Grocery Shopping
- Write out
a shopping list either on paper or on your phone. Organize your list based
on the store layout (e.g. put all produce on one section of the list, put all
canned foods in another section, etc.)
during the week or early in the morning or later in the evening on the weekends. Grocery stores will be
less crowded, which will save you time.
- Make sure
you eat a meal or snack before going to the grocery store. This will help you
be less tempted to buy foods not on your list.
aisles with foods that are not on your shopping list. Not only will this
save you time, but you will be less tempted to buy foods that are not on your
- For more
tips, click here
to read the Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping for Success Blog.
Do Food Preparation Ahead of Time
fruits and vegetables and store in containers in your refrigerator. Consider
peeling citrus fruits and slicing apples so they are easier to eat.
out snack foods. Put foods like pretzel crisps, rice cakes, crackers, Chex
cereal, etc. into Ziploc bags or reusable containers so there is always a snack
your lunch and snacks the night before. The next morning you can grab your
food and head out the door.
- Do food
preparation for dinner ahead of time. This can include cutting vegetables,
cooking brown rice/quinoa, and assembling nonperishable ingredients on the
counter so making dinner will go faster.
- Put all
the ingredients for a Crock Pot recipe into the Crock Pot the night before and
put in refrigerator. The next morning put the Crock Pot into the base and
turn it on. Dinner will be ready when you come home!
meals on the weekends for the week. Store in the refrigerator or the
- Double check
your refrigerator every few days. Make sure you use up foods before they go
bad. It’s easy for items to get pushed to the back of the refrigerator and get
By planning ahead, it will be easier to stick with the plan.
It’s much easier to make good choices and eat healthy foods when you have them
in your house. It is even easier to make the good choices when the food is
already cut, portioned out and/or prepared. By doing these 3 things, you will
be setting yourself up for success, even during this very busy yet most
wonderful time of the year! And if you continue practicing these 3 strategies,
before long this will become your new routine year-round!