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Mission To Wellness With Daryl Moss: Tips For Navigating The Holidays
By Daryl Moss, Founder, Mission To Wellness
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for those of us who are doing our best to stay healthy, this is also an important time to be mindful.
We can definitely enjoy the holidays and many of our traditional foods without falling off the rails. This takes a little planning, but our health is worth the extra effort.
Here are some of my favorite tips:
If you have not already, look at your calendar NOW and figure out which holidays and parties you are hosting and how many guests you are expecting.
Based on those details, plan your menu and figure out which dishes can be made ahead of time. The less you need to do on the day of the event, the less stressed you will be☺
Don’t be afraid to delegate and take some of the load off yourself. In my experience, people are happy to bring something. The dish might not be prepared exactly the way you would have done it, but consider the gift of time you had to do something else.
We all have family favorites, and some are laden with sugar, cream, and other ingredients that might not be on your, or some of your guests’, lists of healthy foods. With some forethought, you can make healthy substitutions.
Here are some strategies for substituting in healthier ingredients:
Instead of a creamy soup, you can serve a fabulous vegan butternut squash soup. The color is perfect for the season and will look beautiful on your table. If you insist on your recipe, then how about swapping the cream for some organic plain yogurt?
If anyone is gluten-free, you can make an apple crumble instead of a traditional apple pie. Just as good and much healthier. Tip: put it in the oven so that it will be done just before you are ready for dessert.
Potato pancakes are just as good made without flour. No one will know the difference. For variety, you can also make these with sweet potatoes or grated vegetables.
Make a tray of roasted potatoes with onions and garlic instead of cheesy potatoes. The leftovers are great warmed up for breakfast with a poached egg on top.
Are you a mashed potatoes lover? Try adding in some steamed cauliflower for additional nutrients.
Brussels sprouts roasted in olive oil with a touch of salt (you can even add some chopped bacon) and with a drizzle of pure maple syrup added just before they are done cooking, is a more nutritious option than creamed spinach.
Adding lots of vegetables to your buffet is healthier for you and your guests. Tip: Choose different colored veggies: carrots, beets, and eggplant, for example, in addition to the green ones.
Make your own cranberry sauce instead of purchasing store-bought, which is usually sweetened with too much sugar. You can use a little orange juice and honey or maple syrup instead.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. This is a very stressful time of the year. It is important to prioritize your sleep and exercise, as they both help to lower stress levels and boost your immunity. Covid is still here, as is the cold and flu season.
Whenever possible, try to get to sleep at about the same time each night.
Turn off your electronics an hour before going to bed.
Finish dinner at least three hours before bedtime.
Daily exercise matters, even if you only have time for a walk around the block on the day of your party.
Make time for meditation or deep breathing exercises. You will be glad that you did.
Drink plenty of water. It will help stop some of the stress eating and we all need to stay hydrated, even in the cold weather.
Most of all, enjoy the holidays and your time with friends and family 🙂
Daryl Moss is the Founder of Mission To Wellness, a Nutritional, Health, and Wellness Coaching Service located in New York. Through individual one-on-one counseling as well as group sessions (all available virtually), she works with clients to provide concrete support and guidance as they journey toward better health and wellness. Due to her own serious health issues, she slowly changed the way she ate and was eventually able to get off of prescribed drugs and return to a completely normal life. Realizing the incredibly powerful effect food had on her body (both positive and negative), she went back to school and set out on a new career. She specializes in dealing with digestive issues, gluten-free diets, and weight loss.