Eating healthy and sticking to a diet can be tough during the holidays. Here are some tips to help you enjoy holiday festivities while maintaining a healthy, well balanced diet, from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (if you're reading this after the holidays, save it for next year):
- During meal planning and preparation, choose recipes that can be easily made in bulk. Leftovers from these dishes can be good options for weekday lunches or dinners, and offer some extra savings.
- When prepping your meals choose one or two simple recipes. Two examples are sheet pan fajitas or Greek chicken bowls.
- When grocery shopping, buy enough recipe ingredients (i.e. lean protein, whole grains, and vegetables) for five meals.
- Cook all the food at once (for example, a large batch of brown rice, a sheet pan full of chicken and vegetables); and portion the food into reusable containers and store in the refrigerator until needed.
Holiday events make grabbing a quick bite on the go or going out to dinner more likely at this time. The health department has tips for eating out during the holidays:
- Share an entrée with someone else. The portions are often large enough to easily split a meal.
- Choose an entrée with lots of vegetables, since they contain fiber and other nutrients to help you stay full longer without going overboard on calories. The more vegetables, the better!
- Ask the server to bring out a to-go box as soon as your meal comes. Pack half of it up before starting to eat. Save the rest for lunch the next day.
- Don't be afraid to ask what is in your food and request changes. Order the way you want it.
More tips on cooking can be seen in Cooking Healthy with Secretary Glisson, a video with Health Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson.