The holidays are probably when you put all healthy-eating intentions on hold and have your fill of traditional holiday foods like ham, lechon, bibingka, fruit salad, and the many sweets that you receive as Christmas gifts.

While you can—and should—allow yourself to enjoy the holidays, you can still practice mindfulness when it comes to your health. This will not only keep your from going too far off track your year-round healthy habits but will also help you power through all those late nights of merrymaking. Try these tips: 

1 Feast on favorites. Just because there’s a buffet, it doesn’t mean you have to try everything laid out in front of you. Pick a few items that you really want to eat and stick to those.

2 Load up on protein. Carbs aren’t necessarily the bad guy but protein can make you feel fuller for longer so you tend to eat less.

3 Go easy on the drinks. Liquid calories can really add up, so stick to water as much as you can. Drinking too much alcohol can also weaken your willpower and lead you to overindulge when it comes to food.

4 Step away from the buffet table. Having food right in front of you will increase the likelihood of you eating more.

5 Eat slowly. Savor every bite—and the conversation—instead of hurriedly scarfing down your meal. Give your body the chance to realize that it’s full before you go back for seconds.

6 Get moving. With a busy holiday calendar, you may not have enough time for a proper workout. Make a conscious effort to get more movement in throughout the day, whether it’s taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking more.

7 Get enough sleep. All those late nights can take a toll on your body. Try to get as much rest as you can. Being well-rested also gives you a clearer mind and more willpower to keep you from overeating.

Spreading the Healthy Holiday Cheer

You can likewise get your loved ones in on the healthy holiday feasting when you host a party at home. The key is to give them subtle cues and healthier options alongside more traditional dishes at the dinner table. Below are some tips to help you prep a healthy holiday feast:

1 Set out healthier munchies. Instead of setting out bowls of chips to graze on, try nuts mixed with dried fruit, vegetable sticks with hummus, or stuffed cocktail eggs for a protein-packed snack.

Some ready-made snack ideas from Healthy Options: From The Ground Up Pizza Cauliflower Stars, Absolutely Gluten Free Toasted Onion Flatbread, Setton Farms Gluten-Free Pistachios, Cranberries Chewy Bites, Popcorners Gluten-Free Flourish, Toasted Cauliflower Veggie Crisps, Ka-Pop Gluten-Free Rosemary & Garlic, Ancient Grain Popped Chips, Cachafaz Rolled Oats Cookies with Raisins, Iwon Organics Sea Salt Protein Chips, La Dolce Vita Limoncello Biscotti Bites, Sunny Fruit Organic Dried Plums.

2 Serve rice substitutes. White rice will always have a place at the Pinoy dinner table but why not serve healthier grains alongside it? Some alternative Christmas dinner ideas using other grains are quinoa paella and mushroom farro risotto.

Grains available at Healthy Options: Pereg Farro with Mushrooms, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Tropical Muesli Cup, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Granola, Bella Terra Organic Whole Wheat Rotini.

3 Offer a variety of healthy drinks. Aside from offering the usual wines, spirits, sodas, and juices, give your guests a low-calorie beverage selection of sparkling flavored water, coconut water, and tea.

Beverages available at Healthy Options: Healthy Options Sparkling Grape Juice, Eliya Pure Organic King Coconut Water, Pure Harvest Organic Activated Almond Milk, Limitless Lightly Caffeinated Lemon Lime Sparkling Water, Traditional Medicinals Cup Of Calm Tea.

4 Use healthier ingredients for old favorites. Low-sodium chicken broth, olive oil, and organic pasta sauce are healthier alternatives that can still give your family-favorite recipes loads of flavor.

Pantry favorites available at Healthy Options: Cadia Organic Low Sodium Free-Range Chicken Broth, Edward & Sons Roasted Garlic Organic Mashed Potato, Bella Terra Organic Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce, Crofter’s Organic Four Fruit Spread, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Simply Organic Oregano.

Visit Healthy Options for snacks, drinks, and ingredients that can help you prepare healthy and easy holiday meals. You can purchase products individually or as part of The Christmas Feast Hamper, an assortment of premium ingredients and healthy comfort food in a locally crafted wicker basket (P7,495). It makes a great gift idea, too!