The holiday season is here and for most of us that means food, family and more food! The holiday season is typically very busy, which can create a tremendous amount of stress. Stress during this time of year can come from a variety of factors such as family and finances. During this time of year it is important to be thankful for what you have. One of the biggest blessings is your good health. Being healthy physically and emotionally is not something that can be bought. It is up to each of us to pay attention to our lifestyle choices and the food that we are eating.
When attending holiday parties, there is an abundance of food and many times alcohol. Please remember that now is just as important as any other time in the year to be proactive with your healthy lifestyle habits. Just because the table is full of food does not mean you need to eat all of it. This is also a time of year when a lot of people suffer from depression and anxiety, then turn to food or alcohol for comfort. Creative outlets such as journaling, exercising or listening to music are excellent ways to deal with any negative emotions associated with the holiday.
Here are some other healthy living tips to help you get through this holiday season:
- Don’t wait until the holidays are over to start an exercise routine. Exercise increases your endorphins which will elevate your mood. Exercise also promotes better sleep and will help you maintain a healthy weight while consuming the extra calories.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. It takes time for the stomach to send the brain signals that says ‘Stop eating, I’m full’. Eating dinner is not a race, take your time and enjoy your meal.
- Eat in moderation. Choose a smaller plate and eat smaller portions.
- Stay Hydrated. Adequate water consumption will help flush your system of added sodium and sugars. This will also help to give you a sense of fullness and reduce food cravings.
- Be grateful. Remember those who are less fortunate and donate your time, toys, clothes or food items to a local charity.
“Healthier” Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 cups multi-grain flour
1/3 cup light-brown sugar, packed
1/6 cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ cup ground flax seeds
2/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Grease twelve muffin cups.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, molasses, baking powder, flax seed, and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.
Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean. Remove muffin tin to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from tins to finish cooling. Serve warm or completely cool. These muffins freeze well.