It’s no wonder the stress surrounding holiday time leads to holiday overeating. Studies have shown that when cortisol levels are high, we crave hyper-palatable unhealthy foods. So how are we to navigate this time of the year and still maintain a healthy, plant-based diet? I’ve got five tips for you to employ to give yourself the best chance of survival.
Tip #1: Breakfast
Eat a hearty breakfast the day of your Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah meal. You should be doing this all the time anyway, but eating a filling, nutrient-dense breakfast full of fiber will help you deal with temptation later on in the day. Something like a big bowl of oatmeal with chia seeds and berries will cut hunger, control your blood sugar, and give you a good chance of making good decisions come dinner time. If you happen to be traveling, you could bring a small Tupperware container with some overnight soaked oatmeal along with you on the plane. Just prep oatmeal the night before in the container and leave it in the fridge overnight to grab and go.
Tip #2: Host the Holidays at Your House
If you’re hosting omnivores and you don’t have a moral objection to having meat in your house, let them know they’re welcome to bring their own meat dish but that you’ll be preparing exclusively plant-based dishes. Most holiday dishes can be made healthfully anyways, so being at home and in control of the food, although stressful in it’s own right, is really your best option. Two of my favorite resources for plant-based holiday recipes are Happy Herbivore and Fat Free Vegan. If you don’t want animal products in your house at all, just go nuts with the recipes in the links above and you’ll be covered. Those who demand turkey will just have to find it elsewhere.