We partnered with Liz Moody, for this “Holiday Feel Good” Guide to give you tips and help keep you going strong, all winter long.
The holidays are unabashedly a time for decadence. There are Christmas cookies at every office meeting, parties on many evenings and plenty of occasions to indulge with friends and family, taking in the cheer of the season. The idea of trying to stick to a healthy diet during the season can feel like a killjoy, and even contrary to the community-building that’s at the core of the festivities.
The good news? It’s the perfect time to lean into the notion of balance—a wellness philosophy that’s far more sustainable, effective, and enjoyable to boot. Balance is appreciating every part of the food spectrum, from the nutritious to the indulgent (and sometimes both). It's waking up excited about the food you’re going to eat on any given day—whether it's excitement about feeling good from the nutrients you’re imbibing or feeling excited about the flavor combinations that you’re going to enjoy, or the people with whom you get to enjoy them. Here are a few easy ways to bring balance into your life this time of year:
Make swaps that elevate your food
Is there a healthier version of your favorite baked holiday treat that doesn’t sacrifice flavor? Can you swap the crackers on your cheeseboard for a grain-free variety with better-for-you ingredients? Easy swaps that lean away from deprivation and into the realm of actually elevating your end product will make your body feel good while nourishing your soul at the same time.
Enjoy decadent food in a group environment
The holidays are all about coming together, and sticking to that philosophy when it comes to eating more decadent fare is an easy way to bring more balance into your life. Use food as an opportunity to cultivate community by having friends over to decorate gingerbread cookies, or hosting a popcorn garland-stringing party. Food eaten in a communal environment is the ultimate treat for the soul.
Start every day with a green smoothie
Starting every day with a green smoothie ensures that, by noon, you will have eaten more vegetables than most people eat in a week. That way, no matter what else you end up consuming on any given day, you’ve started on a nutritious note, with a happy gut and a ton of energy. Start with a base of washed salad greens (spinach has the most neutral flavor), then add a banana, some frozen fruit, a healthy fat (avocados and nut butter work great), and some protein (collagen and hemp seeds are good choices, as is a pea protein-based powder). From there, you can play around with seasonal flavors—raw cacao and orange juice and zest make a chocolate orange that tastes just like the stocking stuffers of your childhood!
Keep a one-to-one ratio of alcohol and water (at least)
Alcohol is often part of holiday celebrations, and drinking too much can turn anyone into a grinch. Rather than trying to forgo booze altogether, try to consciously sip one glass of water after every glass of wine or spirits. You’ll end up drinking less overall, since half the time you’ll be sipping simple agua, and your body (not to mention your now-hydrated skin!) will thank you. Of course, you don’t need to stop at a one-to-one ratio—the more water, the better!
Get to know Liz:
Liz Moody is the author of two healthy cookbooks: the best-selling Healthier Together and Glow Pops. A longtime writer, editor, and healthy recipe developer, she formerly served as the food director of leading wellness website mindbodygreen, and her work has been featured in goop, Vogue, Women's Health, and many more. She hosts the acclaimed podcast Healthier Together, where she explores the secrets of living extraordinary lives with some of the country's most notable personalities. You can follow her daily musings on Instagram @lizmoody and on lizmoody.com.