Stay Organized. Stay Consistent.
We are about halfway through the holiday season—having weathered Halloween and Thanksgiving, bobbed and weaved around Snickers and Kit Kats, stuffing and pies. For some, these next weeks are easy—slow-cooked winter food that is warm, hearty and rich with lots of veggies and depth of flavor.
For others, December is dicey, terrifyingly busy with more commitments and less routine, resulting in failing food routines we’ve been working on…. well, forever.
Celebration with Food is Encouraged
But, be careful and choose wisely.
- If you’re back to the office, the cookie and treat table is a thing. It’s always a little too easy, colorful and enticing.
- If you’re meeting friends for a holiday get-together, enjoy your favorites and leave the rest.
- If you’re seeing the Nutcracker, or any other annual tradition, YAY for being able to do that again. Make it about the experience AND the food, not just about the food.
- If you bake cookies and cakes during the holidays, I envy you (really, I’m not a baker). Taste and enjoy appropriately and give the rest away as gifts.
- You do you with holidays and food. Remember that treats are a part of the holidays, but NOT the entirety.
- Define December for yourself. This year, define for yourself how you want to celebrate. Maybe mix it up, maybe not.
The End of the Year Impacts the Beginning of Next Year
Set yourself up for success. As life gets busy, even our best-laid plans go awry. Focusing on easy tips and tricks will get you through the season. Most of us know if we eat whole nourishing food we will feel good. It’s not food rules or KNOWLEDGE for most. And in most cases, it’s not your WILLPOWER that is failing you.
If you had food prepped, you’d probably eat it. Actually, I think it’s our food ORGANIZATION that allows CONSISTENCY that we are all after this time of year (and all year).
If managing weekly food were easier and less stressful, we’d have more success with consistency and more choice with WHEN to actively celebrate with food. Food is something we HAVE to do. Might as well use this month to practice FUEL with consistency.
How? Use these tips and tricks:
- LOOK AHEAD: With short time and sometimes money, eating at home could be a relief, if there is something at home ready to be eaten. I like to look 1-2 days ahead and shop, prep, cook as needed to make tomorrow and or the next day EASY. That could mean a rotisserie chicken and a bagged salad. That counts. Busy, doesn’t mean crappy, and whole is whole (whether you make it or someone else does).
- FREEZER READY: Looking ahead to a busy week, it’s the perfect time to defrost and reheat something that you previously put in the freezer. When you find a recipe that freezes well (soups, stews, chili and meatballs are my favorites), double batch them and freeze some for those busy times. If you like a premade soup, pick it up ahead and freeze that. Most important is the thinking ahead.
- EASY PEASY: Sometimes you need QUICK, 5-minute or 10-minute food prep. This normally includes items you take from the pantry. One of my fast dinners is a White Bean Skillet: Sauté (literally a throw together of sautéed white beans (1 can), onions (1), garlic (3 cloves) and ANY other veg (sliced carrots (1), celery (1), pepper (1), big bunch of spinach, kale, etc.) Whatever I happen to have in the fridge, and cook until caramelized (~5 min.) Then, I add tomato paste and water (or broth), a couple of shakes of oregano and red pepper flakes, stir, and pop in the oven (350 bake) for about 20 minutes. Can add parm cheese or dot with ricotta and top with parm if you’re eating dairy, but it doesn’t really need it. The best part about this dish is it makes delicious leftovers.
Thinking ahead doesn’t mean perfect. It means think ahead and do what you need to be organized for tomorrow. Try it. It works. More organized meals, mean more whole food and more consistency. If we can do it, so can you!
Enjoy the holidays. Thanks so much for all of your kind words and support throughout the year.
Healthy Nest’s Natural Weight Loss Program
At Healthy Nest, we’ve identified that creating new habits is a cornerstone of forever diet changes. It’s one of the main reasons that the Natural Weight Loss Program’s expectation is low and slow weight loss and not a 30-day fast weight loss program.
Learn more: Schedule a free consult with a holistic nutritionist.
Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!