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Recovering From Holiday Indulgences

Recovering From Holiday Indulgences

Over the holidays, it’s quite easy to indulge in too much of a good thing. Take my cousin Patty’s pecan pie, for example. I look forward to eating it the whole year — a moist, gooey yet crunchy, decadently-sweet recipe with a homemade flaky crust. This year, I planned carefully, leaving a little room in my tummy for a nice slice at the end of our meal. As we lingered over dessert and coffee, naturally, I went back for a second helping (or three?). Somehow I can’t remember… but I do remember relishing every last crumb!

That is, until I woke up the next morning feeling like a two-ton truck had driven over me.

Combating Overindulging

During the holidays, this scenario occurs often. So, what do you do if you have a few bites too many? First, breathe a sigh of relief. Your body is a highly sophisticated machine that strives for balance and homeostasis — meaning it will always seek to come back to its normal state. Overeat one day, and the next day, your body will crave much less food, and simple, natural fare.

If I overindulge, I try to follow my body’s lead, listening to my appetite (or lack thereof), and choosing whole, natural foods like greens and root veggies, quinoa or brown rice, and fruit, if I need something sweet. Most of the time, I find it easier to detox with plant foods, but if you feel good with a little lean protein like fish or chicken, that works too.

I also have a secret weapon, which becomes my sanity broth during the holidays. I make a big pot of homemade veggie soup on Sundays, and have it for dinner a few times during the week. It’s filling enough for a cleansing meal. After a few nibbles at a holiday party, coming home to a nice bowl of soup hits the spot.

If you’re really pressed for time, try cleansing with a green juice from your local health food store or on-line from Organic Avenue.

Learn to Stress-Less

But how do you prevent pie-eating accidents from happening in the first place?

During the holidays, I combat craziness by being extra-kind to myself. I’m not going to be able to do it all, so a few things have to slip — whether it’s the dance class I did not wake up for this morning or the errand that will have to wait until next year.

Paying attention to myself also means taking a few minutes of me time before showing up to a holiday party or family event. Even doing something simple like closing my eyes and feeling my toes, reading a blog I like, or walking a few blocks lets me relax and ease my mind. If I’m kind to myself, I’m going to be able to be extra-kind to others, including any family members who tend to ruffle feathers.

That’s the holiday spirit to me — calling in the Sunday-best version of myself, savoring a few special treats in good measure, and knowing that in a couple of weeks I’ll look back on the laughter, the stories and the pies with a big smile in my heart.

Looking for some healthy dishes? Try these easy recipes:

Tomato-Mint Soup


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”


6 Holiday Indulgences Nutritionists Can’t Live Without

They may know a lot more about healthy eating than the rest of us, but it turns out that even those who talk nutrition for a living are still human when it comes to holiday treats. We polled six nutritionists to find out what they’re craving this holiday season — and how they plan to work those indulgences into their otherwise healthy diets.

“For me, it’s my mother’s sweet potato casserole topped with loads of marshmallows. I do allow myself to indulge, but I make sure to follow the ‘two-tablespoon rule’ — I take two heaping tablespoons and then enjoy it guilt-free! (And yes, I do enjoy two more tablespoons the next day if there’s any left over.)”

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

“My family is all about the stuffing. And while the classic stuffing has to make a mandatory appearance, I also like to prepare a healthier version. So I’ll swap out the bread for a starchy vegetable, like sweet potato or kabocha squash, or a grain, like quinoa or farro. And no matter what, I like to pack it with vegetables to add more nutritional value and ease up on the carbohydrate content.”

Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., Healthy Eats contributor and author of First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers:

“Since every day isn’t Christmas and those holiday parties seem to go on forever, I’ve come up with some better-for-you alternatives to decadent sugary treats. One of my favorites is Chocolate-Dipped Clementines, because it satisfies chocolate cravings but makes fresh fruit the star.”

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, author of The Foodie Dietitian Blog:

“I’m strong believer that there’s a place for indulgences over the holidays, but I’m an even bigger believer that healthy food can — and should — be delicious. So I work to find creative ways to take classic holiday staples and make them healthier. For example, one of my favorite holiday desserts is pumpkin pie, but it usually contains lots of sugar and saturated fat. So I make a version that calls for maple syrup instead of white sugar and silken tofu instead of heavy cream. You won’t even know the difference!”