Monday, September 21, 2020

10 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips + Time to Make a Diet Change?


I really hate that the holiday season has gone hand in hand with “Eat junk food, don’t work out and feel guilty” but no more! The Holiday’s don’t have to be about bad health. Because, really do you want an extra 15 pounds to have to lose again, or worse yet do you want to add to your chances of some preventable disease? This year make the Holiday’s healthy… here are a few tips:

  1. Plan your meals! Know what you will be eating and when.
  2. Fill your plate once and don’t put anymore on it than you would a normal Thursday!
  3. Skip the desserts, or at the very least bring a healthier dessert. Why not have some fruit? Or even a baked apple? If you end up with dessert just have a sliver, no need to fill up on the sweets.
  4. Have water with you at all times! If you are tempted to eat – drink some water first. Also remember to stay hydrated!
  5. Have healthy snacks with you. If everyone is busy eating junk – be sure to have some mixed nuts, fruit, cut up veggies close at hand to keep you occupied.
  6. If you have to, leave. If it’s just too much for you to be around all the junk – get yourself out of the situation. You can go take a walk, play with kids, or just go home earlier than you expected, there is nothing wrong with removing yourself from tempting situations.
  7. Be sure there is plenty of tasty healthy food! If you are not hosting, be sure you bring a few dishes that you know are safe for you to eat.
  8. Work out! YAY! You have time off! So get your butt off the sofa and get it on a treadmill. Use the time off to have a work out and health holiday – see how much you can accomplish in one week!
  9. Start the day off right! So many people will skip breakfast and even lunch because they are going to eat tons of food for dinner. Don’t do that! Eat normal portions that day for each of your meals (including the Holiday one)
  10. Follow the Cleanse Plan blog to get more tips about how to stay healthy over the holidays and in everyday of your life!

The Holiday Season can be a Great Time to Make a Diet Change

I’m amazed over the amount of work that goes into the Holiday season. It seems that everyone is putting up lights, baking something, going to another event and buying gifts. It’s definitely stress in a lot of forms  but for a good reward (mostly). The Holidays bring together families, friends and loved ones and all that work, hopefully is worth it in the end.

I often am baffled by how quickly people will dismiss changing their diets, when at the same time they are subjecting themselves to tons of Holiday stress. They can manage school plays, cookie parties, baking for 40 but tell them to walk for 20 minutes or to eat something healthy and the whining party begins.

People go through tons of stress – a flu, a breakup, a new job, shopping at Target on Black Friday. And yet, they seem to forget that they are completely able to handle stress when it comes to changing their diet and lifestyle.

This Holiday season I want to encourage you – if you really feel like it’s just so hard to change your diet and lifestyle (especially around the Holidays), give up every thing else. That’s right – no parties, no gifts, no events. Because if you can’t put your own health above one holiday season, I would seriously question if you seriously cared at all about your health. Your family? They really don’t need that Nintendo game if it means you are going to get your health in order, so you can be around for your family? I am pretty sure they will take that (even if your kids don’t understand right now).

So many people ignore their own health and don’t understand how much it impacts the lives of their loved ones. If you have a disease like T2  diabetes, it’s not just about you – it’s about everyone that has to take care of you and everyone who has to worry about you. Your kids having to give you insulin shots or call 911 because you just crashed, is not exactly holiday cheer. Getting heart disease and dying young and leaving your family because you just couldn’t give up bacon? It’s selfish and let’s face it, doesn’t really promote the holiday spirit when you have to start worrying if this Holiday is your last – if not for good, your last one where you could play with the kids/grandkids.

I’m not trying to be morbid about it all – it just baffles me that people will go through great lengths to get the perfect gift for their 4-year-old, but when it comes to being around a long time for that same 4-year-old, and being able to keep up with them, play with them, love them for a long time – all common sense goes out the window. Your family won’t remember what you bought them this year for the Holidays, but I promise, your family will remember the years that you are healthy and able to spend with them. In the end, it’s the best gift you can give them, and no lifestyle addiction is worth getting a preventable disease over. This Holiday Season, give your family a gift that will really last – the gift of health. Not just for you, but do it for your family, make new traditions, start moving as a family, start learning about new foods as a family. Pick up a few new cook books and decide that this year you are going change things, you are going to start caring enough about yourself and your family to really change things.

Everyone has it in them, getting up early to walk 30 minutes is far less stressful than getting up at 3:30 AM on Black Friday, and cooking something healthy and tasty takes no more time than cooking that traditional Holiday pie.  So, if you have to, give up on the Holidays so you stop giving up on yourself and your family.


  1. Christine

    Sooooo tweeting and FBing you. It’s so unbelievably true. And some will absolutely cringe at the thought of “giving up everything else.”

    Why not? Would you encourage someone to give up smoking, even though it’s hard? Sure you would. But we do not view our unhealthy eating habits in the same way.

    And I speak from experience. It took me YEARS to get to where I am.

    Whoo! Hooo! Great post.

  2. Adrienna

    Wow! I love this post so much! As I was reading my sisters picture came into my mind. She has a 10 month old son. She lives on hamburgers and chicken….no lie. It’s pretty much in every meal she has. I try to talk to her about it but she says “I love meat and I am still gonna eat it” I invite her to do some walking with me everyday and she says she has no time but like you said she got up for black friday at 2 am and shopped all day. She knows the benifits of substaining from meat and dairy but says she enjoys it. Very sad. I really enjoyed this part too. “Your family won’t remember what you bought them this year for the Holidays, but I promise, your family will remember the years that you are healthy and able to spend with them. In the end, it’s the best gift you can give them, and no lifestyle addiction is worth getting a preventable disease over.” really amazing amazing post!

    Sorry that was so long

  3. Samantha

    You have a great point here! Junk food seems to be an addiction that no one wants to give up. And we’re advertised to eat more and more junk all the time, so no one sees it as something they really should quit.

  4. Amy

    This is SO true!! You said it so well.

    I have a very young daughter, and she has never had any toy that held her devoted interest for more than a few months…no matter how passionate she was about it when she first received it. What matters to her is that Mommy and Daddy are with her and know her and take care of her.

    Well…and our beagle. She has never gotten tired of our dog.

    I find it sad that so many ostensibly grown-up people cannot mature enough to look around at the world and see life for what it is. We only get one ride. Doing it well should be the goal. Too many people mire down in what’s comfortable and expedient and never realize what it truly means to be grounded, loving, and aware.

    You are such a breath of fresh air, Natala, and I’m so glad I bumped into you online. It sounds silly, but because of this medium, it feels like you’re here just to help me through the beginning stages of this life change. Your genuine belief and joy in this way of living helps more than you know to someone like me. Very well done.

  5. Erin

    Thank you for the list! Sometimes it is easier to think about a concrete plan when there are steps.

I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on

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