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Friday, November 14, 2014

Tips for Fixing Holiday Meals

The holidays are a wonderful time of food and fellowship, but they can definitely be overwhelming!  If you are on any kind of health journey and want to stay true to the journey, you may need some tips for fixing holiday meals to ensure that you are creating meals that everyone will love and not spending hours in the kitchen. Here are our top five tips for fixing holiday meals that are healthy and tasty!

Tip #1: Be prepared.
You have to have a game plan and this game plan needs to be created longer than 24 hours prior to your meal!  Even if you are not a planner, this is crucial to preserve your sanity and to keep you organized and focused. List all categories or types of recipes you are searching for; soups, dips, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, turkey, desserts etc. If you need some simple and healthy ideas for traditional holiday meals in these categories, check out this economical cookbook.  Print out or copy every recipe that you will be preparing and from those recipes, create your grocery list, putting down only the items you will need to purchase from the store. 

Tip #2: Create a timeline.
What recipes are you able to make one, two or even three days before your holiday gathering? Fixing holiday meals does NOT need to happen all in one day (or by one person, see next tip)!  Many dips and desserts can be made well ahead of time. What meals have to be prepared the day of? Put your recipes in order of most time to least amount of time they will take to prepare and cook or chill. Set the time you want dinner served and work backwards to create a timeline of when each recipe needs to begin in order to be put in the oven and/or refrigerator and ready by dinner.

Tip #3: Ask for support.
This is my favorite tip for fixing holiday meals! Are you a “do it all” type of person? I bet that shows up in your life a lot! Many times your friends and family will ask if there is anything they can bring to the feast. How often do you say “yes” and also offer them a recipe to prepare? If you have a “vision” of what the feast will look like and people are eager to contribute, let them bring recipes that are already on your menu for the meal! If you are also focusing on creating a healthy holiday meal, this will ensure that your theme stays true.  Asking for support is also useful when it comes to finding recipes that fit into your healthy criteria! What have other people done? (Be sure to ask people that are actually on a health journey or you may be disappointed with the recipes they suggest.)

Tip #4: The cook doesn’t do the dishes!
I had to throw this tip in! This is a simple rule that works if you use it. After fixing a holiday meal for hours (or possibly days), the LAST thing on your “fun list” is doing the dishes. We have a rule in our house that you either cook or clean. If the women are cooking, then the men are cleaning! It’s only fair! After all, lowering your stress and relaxing is a healthy way to end a healthy meal!

Tip #5: Record what worked.
For some of you these tips for preparing holiday meals are something you search for EVERY year! Jot down what worked well, what recipes people loved and what would have made your life easier. There is a ton of insight during and immediately following these types of events, to take advantage of the lessons learned!
These tips for fixing holiday meals are only useful if they are applied! Make this the holiday season that you do something different to avoid feeling overwhelmed 

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