It’s weird seeing people eat salads during the winter. It even feels weird. When you think of the winter, you think of eating hot foods, not cold foods. And with that being said, dieting during the holidays can be a struggle and rightly so, but this is only because cultures have been conditioned to celebrating a feast high in protein and dairy for centuries of holiday tradition. I’d like to think that the holiday season: from Thanksgiving onto early January excuses one to consume the heavier foods they love the most; however, keep in mind that this annual behavior does not in any way give the excuse to overindulge in a truck load of junk food.
Why not eat turkey smothered in gravy, homemade mac and cheese, or that delicious pumpkin pie? What’s great about the holiday season is that this is perhaps the ONE time of the year (besides Independence Day and other summer barbecues) where we are encouraged to make our own food. You’d have to admit, going to any restaurant on Thanksgiving is a little embarrassing. Even if you’re not a skilled apple pie maker, or great at making yams, at least we are encouraged to get into the kitchen again. And even when we’re not making it, it’s enjoyable to see food come to life in the kitchen. The holidays can do that to you!
On a healthier note though, what’s wrong with incorporating a little vegetable into the holiday diet? After all, both red and green are the celebratory colors of the season. Pure “dieting” during the holidays is silly. You shouldn’t be scaling back entirely during a long season of eating. If you’re looking to maintain those health-conscious related goals even during the cold season then yes, always eat right. Maybe you shouldn’t be having too much of that honey baked ham, or overindulging on macaroni and cheese all season long per say, but balance is key. The great thing about having a vegetarian influence on any feast-y meal is having both the nutritional compounds and of course, a delicious aspect. When it comes to eating, it is possible to kill two birds with one stone. No pun intended.
With respect to vegans, eating completely conscious during the most wonderful time of the year can be trickier especially if one plans to eat solely on a vegetable diet. And if you’re going gluten free, semi forget about it! But for those who plan to eat balanced this season, invite the inner vegetarian to your holiday dinner. The whole point to the art of cooking, or the culinary artistry is to experiment with making food and what to make. There are a variety of ways to eat and make vegetables. Not everything at the dinner table should have to clog your arteries or give you a heart attack. Take away some of that damn meat for crying out loud; no one should be eating that many meats during any dinner, pork being the first (with the exception to honey glazed ham of course).