5 Strategies for Surviving the Holidays
1. Don’t arrive at the holiday meal famished. Eat a small low-carb meal beforehand, or enjoy a filling snack to stabilize your blood sugar.
2. Avoid keeping dishes of candy around the house as a decorative touch. Instead, fill pretty bowls with potpourri, pinecones or colorful ornaments.
3. If you receive holiday food gifts such as chocolates or gift baskets filled with refined carbs, donate them to a shelter or take them to a holiday party so they don’t tempt you on a daily basis.
4. Set out bowls of whole nuts and a nutcracker rather than dishes filled with candy or sweetened nuts. Nuts in their shells are traditional at this time of year—plus, it takes time and effort to crack them, so you probably won’t eat too many.
5. Instead of unwinding after a day of shopping or seeking peace from holiday stress with high-carb drinks like hot chocolate and apple cider, enjoy a cup of soothing peppermint tea by the fire.
5 Time-Saving Holiday Tips
1. If you’re serving Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, or adding chestnuts to your low-carb stuffing, buy dried, peeled chestnuts in a jar to save time without sacrificing flavor.
2. Washed, bagged lettuce or baby spinach, chopped nuts, precooked chicken-breast strips, boiled, cleaned shrimp and sliced cheeses can all help make hosting easier.
3. Prepare vegetables earlier in the day, then cook them while the turkey rests. Take care not to do it too far in advance, though, as veggies can lose nutrients once they’re cut. Wrap in damp paper towels and store in plastic bags in the fridge.
4. Seek out make-ahead recipes to lighten your entertaining task load. Soups that can be frozen and reheated and low-carb cheesecakes are two holiday helpers.
5. When entertaining, bring a pot of water to a boil up to an hour before you need it. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. The water will come back to a boil much more quickly when you’re ready to use it.