Healthy Holiday Eating Save Your Waistline & the Planet

Health + Fitness

Kim Barnouin, Author

By Kim Barnouin

The mistletoe is hung; chestnuts are roasting by an open fire, and the dreidel is a’ spinnin’. The holidays are here, and ‘tis the season to stuff your face and overdose on candy cane martinis and desserts. But the question remains: How do you stay healthy with prime ribs, stuffing and banana bread crossing your every path?

Follow these steps to ensure you maintain your health quotient, while staying social:

1.  BE PREPARED. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy, ready-to-eat snacks, salads and dips.  You will be less likely to stuff your face with crap if you have the good stuff on hand. This also means carrying healthy goodies like trail mix, granola bars, whole grain crackers, popcorn, pretzels and rice cakes in your purse and car.

2.  BALANCE YOUR SOCIAL SCHEDULE AND DIET. Know that you are headed for a food marathon with all the parties, social gatherings and events for the next few weeks. Plan accordingly, allowing those occasions to be your splurge time (while still keeping it under control) and make the other days your healthy foundation so you can enjoy party food without much guilt.

It’s winter, so now is the time to get out your cookware and crock pots (yes, I said crock pots) and make a hearty lentil and veggie stew, or some three bean chili to fill you up and keep your blood sugar levels stable.  Also, consider eating a healthy snack before a party. You will be cozy and full so when the fried, crappy foods come your way, you’ll be able to pass them by or minimize your consumption.

3. MEATLESS MONDAYS. If you aren’t a veggie, then make a choice to go meatless a few days a week. Doing so not only benefits your arteries and your waistline, but also helps the environment. Despite popular belief, factory farming is the number one contributor to global warming – greater than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change. Deck the halls by being greener to our planet.

4.  EAT IN SEASON. Eat the foods that are in season. Mother Nature is a smart cookie − she knows what our bodies need and when.  Eat what the climate around you produces.  Most of us live in colder climates in the winter, and we need foods that will provide heat energy for our bodies. Specific fall/winter vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes provide a boost of beta-carotene that will help boost your immune system to defend against the dreaded cold and flu season!  And in consuming these foods, you’ll be cutting down on the energy and fuel it takes to import fruits and veggies from other countries that are not in season where you live.  So get out there and find some local farmers markets.

For daily tips on eating and living a healthier lifestyle, visit

For more by Kim Barnouin on how to eat healthily, read You Are What You Eat: Not So Pretty, Eh?

Kim Barnouin is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling books Skinny Bitch, and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.  Kim also co-authored Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven, Skinny Bitchin’, and the most recent release, Skinny Bastard, the Skinny Bitch version for men.  Kim’s most recent project is the launch of a healthy lifestyle website for women,

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  • I love your tips! Just like your books, honest, helpful and funny.... :-)

    Posted by T. Trevino, 11 December 2009.