To the Kitchen

5 Tips for Healthy Eating and Cooking During the Holidays

bowl of squash soup with bread

Now that we’ve made it past Halloween the holiday season has officially begun in earnest! This week I saw the first artificial tree for sale at my local hardware store, I opened my mailbox to find a Christmas catalog, and we confirmed our Thanksgiving plans (Minneapolis to my sister’s and then Iowa to my in-law’s) and even booked a ski-in cabin for Christmas.

Yikes! This is a busy time of year.

And I know it’s also the time of year when some of you start to feel stressed about eating healthy amidst all of the holiday craziness. I heard someone say on the radio, “This is the least amount I’ll weigh until sometime in January.” 

I understand. Health is one of my major life priorities and I’m pretty dedicated to it, but even I see things slip during November and December. So, I thought this would be the perfect time to chat about how we can all eat healthier on a regular basis, not just during the holiday season.

Recommitting to Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Lunch on Day 2: Butternut squash and kale with roasted pumpkin seeds and lentil salad with fresh herbs.

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I lead a very healthy lifestyle. My sister lived with us this summer for the month of August and she said at the end, “I don’t think you realize that most people don’t live and eat like you do!” And she’s right, I forget sometimes. Especially since I live in the bubble that is Madison, WI – where in fact I do know a lot of people who live like I do.

What I consider my “normal” life may be to many people something that’s a far cry from the typical American lifestyle. My health is a top priority. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years and many days I eat vegan meals. I wake up at 5am 2-3 times a week to attend classes at my neighborhood Y with crazy names like Insanity and P90X. I walk, bike, practice yoga, cook from scratch most nights of the week, and eat boatloads of vegetables.

Yet, when you read this blog post on Sunday morning I’ll be on day 5 of the yearly cleanse I do with my husband. (5 years and counting!) I won’t be sitting and reading with a cup of decaf coffee or cooking up a delicious Sunday brunch. I’ll be nursing my smoothie and a cup of mint tea instead while I cuddle up with my current pile of books.

How to Take the Guesswork Out of Meal Planning

Easy Meal Planning

One of the natural byproducts of having a garden is that you tend to cook at home more often. For one, there’s always food in the fridge that needs to be used up. And secondly, why go to a restaurant and eat out of season food from Sysco when you can have fresh, organic produce at home?

It’s very important to me to have healthy food available at home at all times. I feel best when I’m sticking to eating mostly fruit, vegetables, grains, and some protein. This means that we tend to cook dinner at home Sundays-Thursdays. Although eating healthy food is a priority for me, I actually don’t love the act of cooking that much. But, I do it because I want to eat high quality food.

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