Thanksgiving is coming up next week. After that the rest of “the holidays” will follow. It’s a treacherous time to be following a healthy lifestyle, since the norm is to stuff yourself silly for the next two months and then commit to fully changing your ways come January 1.
There is nothing new I can write about surviving the holidays. It’s all been written already. But what I can do is create a resource for all of us by rounding up that information and putting it in one pretty place for us all to reference. (Really, it’s for everyone. Link to it. Share it. Help each other get through the season in a healthy way!!)
Welcome to the ultimate holiday survival guide roundup.
Healthier Holiday Eating
Eating during the holidays has a reputation for rich, indulgent foods… and over-abundance. The average Thanksgiving meal is over 3,000 calories and that’s just for one meal. Paying attention to how you eat on that day and beyond can help you survive the season without packing on the pounds.
- Smart holiday party snacking: Holiday parties can be a food trap, but this guide shows you the best cocktail hour options for snacks at parties. Find more ways to party proof your diet and check out the 10 healthiest party foods. If you still need more help preparing for parties, check out these diet friendly tips for party food.
- Healthy Holiday Super Foods: Focus on eating the food that is good for you so you can worry less about the bites that aren’t quite so healthy. Even better, check out holiday desserts that are good for you.
- 9 Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies: The best idea for surviving the holidays is to have a plan and stick with it. These 9 strategies will help you plan for any situation you might face during the holiday season. More strategies to cope with holiday eating.
- Hanukkah Survival Guide: If you are celebrating the Festival of Lights check out this guide for tips on eating well and recipe adaptations.
- Luscious Holiday Leftovers: Tips for using holiday leftovers and making the best of what you’ve got left to work with after the feasting is over.
Healthier Holiday Recipes
If you are in charge of the menus then you are in charge of whether or not the food is healthy. Even if the family screams for traditional fare you can sneak at least one healthy option in there and if you have a daring bunch you can try even more. Here’s a list of some great healthy holiday recipes.
- Thanksgiving 2010 Recipes (Food Network… I couldn’t resist and it’s all healthy in moderation)
- Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes, Menus, and Cooking Tips (Eating Well…awesome resource!)
- The Great Thanksgiving Recipe Swap (Eat Live Run group project)
- Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes (All Recipes)
- Healthy Recipes for the Holidays (Fitness)
- 12 Healthy, Low-Calorie Holiday Recipes (Fitness)
- Low Carb Thanksgiving Recipes (Marks Daily Apple)
- Low Fat Holiday and Seasonal Recipes (About.com)
- Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes (The Veggie Table)
- Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes (101 Cookbooks)
- Fat Free Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes (Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)
- Mostly Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Menu (Choosing Raw)
- Raw Christmas Menu (Choosing Raw)
- Healthier Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas (A Merry Life)
Healthier Exercise Holiday Habits
It can be hard to find time to exercise during the holidays with all the extra obligations that inevitable pop up. Most of us allow gym time to be sacrificed first. But exercising during the holidays is important to keep you feeling your best and keeping stress at bay. Make sure that even if you can’t stick with your normal workout routine you still find ways to be active.
- Staying Fit During The Holidays: Useful tips for staying fit and active during the holiday season. More tips for your holiday fitness program.
- 7 Ways to Sneak in a Holiday Workout: Sometimes you have to sneakily make time during your day for a workout. Here’s a few tips on how to do it.
- Burn Off Holiday Calories!: You don’t have to spend hours in the gym during the holidays. Here’s over 30 ways to burn calories without hitting the gym.
- Winter Workout Tips: Cold got ya down? Keeping you inside? Winterize your workouts with these ideas.
Healthy Holidays Survival Tips
Add a cold or other ailment to the food, the stress, the planning and you’ve got a recipe for disaster during the holidays. Make sure you take care of your general wellness during the season.
- Food Safety 101 for The Holiday Season: Remember that all the meals being prepared need to be prepared properly. Food safety is important – you don’t want to get sick or worse, make others ill. Here’s some really useful information from the USDA about Seasonal Food Safety and more from the FDA on Holiday Food Safety.
- Cold and Flu Survival Guide: Be prepared and taking tips to prevent colds and the flu is the best solution. Read this handy guide for all the best information about surviving the cold season.
- Stress, Depression and the Holidays: Helpful tips from the Mayo clinic to recognize and ward off potential stress and depression associated with the holidays.
- Loneliness and The Holidays: Sometimes the holidays can be a lonely time. This additional stress can be hard to deal with in a season thought of mostly as full of joy and love, but these tips can help you lessen the stress of holiday loneliness.
Destressing During The Holidays
The worst part about the holidays is how stressful they can be. With many extra obligations, family time, and financial stress it’s easy to become overwhelmed and completely stressed out.
- Easy Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress: Real Simple’s guide to making it through the holidays without combusting is full of great tips.
- Top Ten Stress Relievers: Great ideas from Mayo Clinic on how to keep stress to a minimum. For more ideas, check out Seven Ways To De-stress Instantly.
- How To De-stress At Your Desk Instantly: If your feeling stressed at work during the season (hello office parties and gift giving), destress with these options.
- Fight Holiday Perfectionism: One of the worst causes of stress is holiday perfectionism, or the belief that you need to do everything and make sure it’s perfect. Recognize the signs and change them so you can relax and actually enjoy the holidays!
Holiday Gift Giving
Gift giving can be stressful if you worry too much about it. Here are some cute and mostly inexpensive ideas for fun holiday gifts.
- Healthy Gift Ideas
- Christmas Gift Ideas for Weight Loss
- Choosing Raw Holiday Gift Guide
- Reasons To Make or Give Handmade Gifts
- Peppermint Walnut Crunch Blondies
Best Holiday Tips From Other Bloggers
Some helpful tips and tidbits about the holidays from some of my favorite healthy bloggers.
- Healthy Tipping Point: Exercising Through The Holidays, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes
- Marks Daily Apple: Holiday Survival Guide Part I and Part II, Active Ways To Celebrate The Holidays
- MizFit Online: Thanksgiving Survival Tips, Jewish MizFit Guide To Making It Through Christmas
- Oh She Glows: How To Reduce Stress and Increase Well Being
Happy Holidays Everyone!
ps – This list will continue to be updated and grow as I find more awesome links. The internet is a big place so obviously things were overlooked. If you have any favorite resources leave them in the comments!