I am thrilled that my good friend Christina from Juggling Real Food and Real Life is sharing with us today. Her blog always encourages me – she shares great information and practical tips every week that help me prepare and serve real food to my family. She also inspires me with her energy level and commitment. Her post is full of great information and it gave me a couple of good laughs – which I really need this week.
5 Tips to Keep Your Holiday Food Real
I would like to thank Gaye for asking me to guest post for her today. She is such a wonderful friend and an inspiration to me. I read every word of her blog and she is often the topic of conversation at our dinner table. Gaye says this and Gaye says that. Even some of my extended family know about Gaye from CalmHealthySexy.
One of the things that she and I have in common is real food. We believe that eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients and without harmful additives is the key to good health. Many of us discover very early in December that eating real food during the month of December is very difficult. Everywhere you turn there is someone bringing sweets and treats loaded with artificial ingredients. There are parties, gatherings, and special events in greater numbers than any other time of year.
I’ve gathered some advice here to help. You can also check out Juggling Real Food and Real life on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more great food, advice, and motivation.
1. Don’t give up on real food. This is the best advice I can give. Gaye talked about avoiding an all or nothing attitude. Sure, there will be plenty of times people want to push food-like substances into your face, but there are probably more meals in the month that you can control completely. Start each day off with a good breakfast. Eggs and bacon or a big bowl of oats are fantastic options. If you need some ideas, you can check here. Think of every meal as an opportunity to nourish your body with what it needs to get through this busy holiday season. Stay determined!
2. Think of a polite way to say “No thanks” to the unhealthy food that is offered to you. We certainly don’t want to be rude to our friends. I like to say, “No thank you” and if they push, I say, ” It’s a health issue.” My health issue is that my body feels horrible when I eat junk food. You don’t have to have allergies or any other health issue to use this line. Not everyone eats or even understands real food. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable by telling them about all of the cancer-causing ingredients in the dish they just asked me to try. That would be awkward!
3. Going to a party? Take a real food dish to share. Who is going to turn down an additional dish to share at a party? If you get stuck not knowing what to eat at a party, you can eat the dish you brought until you get home. I will usually eat what I bring and look for some party staples like veggie trays, fruit, and salads. Umm, not the whipped cream and marshmallow salads.
4. Hosting a party? That is fantastic! Now you have complete control over the foods that you put out for you and your guests. You will want to pay close attention to the ingredients you use and maybe even remake some of your favorite recipes. We enjoy taking old family favorites and remaking them with clean ingredients. You should taste my husband’s homemade meatballs. You will find them at all of our parties. We make our own dips and put out garlic lemon hummus which is a new favorite of ours. This is a great opportunity to get the kids to help you in the kitchen. Teach them a few basic skills and they can be that extra set of hands you really need. They will take away with them a lifelong love of food and cooking. And – memories of mom to last a lifetime.
5. Give away the candy. My kids come home from school, scouts and birthday parties with so much candy. It really is just too much! The problem is that I am a guilt eater. I hate to throw away something that somebody paid for. I take it to work and set it out for my clients. My clients take one piece as a treat instead of my kids eating it all. Think about places you could donate it to if you are a guilt eater. If you are not a guilt eater, toss it! The sooner the better.
We are talking about lifelong health and wellness here. Focus on all of the things you will be able to do if you are not tired and sick all of the time. With practice, eating real food gets easier. Keep plugging away. You can do this!
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