Kristi Whitley

Tips For Surviving the Holidays

Healthy Living

I know the holidays can be stressful especially if you have adopted a new eating plan and don't want to call attention to yourself or offend anyone by your choices. Unhealthy people who are less disciplined than you will feel badly when they see you looking healthy and making good food choices. That's just the way we are. Use humor and graceousness to get your way without making them feel worse.

I load my plate embarrassingly high with anything I can find that is healthy. If I know there won't be anything served that is healthy I ask the hostess if I can bring a salad to add to the buffet. I make sure it is a beautiful salad in a beautiful bowl. It is usually well recieved especially for the way it looks. Just load your plate so full of salad there is no room for anything else, but squeeze a tablespoonful of her signature dish on the plate as a complement to her, then eat it! When the pie comes around ask someone next to you if they would like to share a piece or, even better, ask if you can have a bite of theirs.

If anyone asks me to eat like they are eating and tells me it won't hurt to do it one day, I tell them I did it for 47 years and that's all my body could take! Humor goes a long way if it is not at the expense of anyone else. I just try to make it about me and not them or the food for at least that day. 

We have the pleasure of eating with friends on Thanksgiving day who live in a retirement village and will treat us to the community buffet. It is a very lavish buffet with many unhealthy choices but I can always choose what is best. I will eat only vegetables, maybe a tiny spoonful of stuffing, potatoes, salad, green beans, whatever I can fill my plate with that is the healthiest they have to offer. I cluster my food toward the middle of the plate so it looks full. Most importantly, I make sure I have some of my safe treats like trail mix, hummus and veggies, apples, bananas, etc. available to eat when I leave. I call it re-eating. I never feel cheated or dissatisfied because I know I won't go hungry. I can relax and enjoy the fellowship and not concentrate on the food. 

The bottom line is how you really feel about what we consider a traditional holiday meal. Those dishes are not what made us happy, it was the fellowship. The food just reminds us. Separate the two and see the food for what it is and concentrate on the fellowship. I hope you have an opportunity to add some healthy choices to your family's holiday meal and start some new healthy traditions. Here are just two of my favorite holiday recipes. The cranberry relish is great with a nut loaf or veggie loaf if you can get that on your holiday table!

I have a long list of things for which to give thanks this year including your support.

All the best,

Raw Cranberry Relish

2 bags fresh, organic cranberries
¼ sweet onion
4 dates
dash of cinnamon
1 inch piece of ginger
sea salt and black pepper to taste
agave nectar to taste
Optional: orange juice and/or rind, lime juice and/or rind, nuts.
Combine everything in a food processor and blend. Chill and serve.
This recipe is from a cooking class at Good Life Café in Columbia, SC. It makes about three cups of relish.

Waldorf Salad by K

2 large apples (honey crisp or fuji are my favorite)
2 stalks celery
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins, golden raisins, or organic dried cranberries
Juice of one lemon
½ cup vegenaise
stevia to taste
dash of salt

Dice the apples and celery and place in a medium sized bowl. Add walnuts and raisins. Toss with dressing and serve.