3 Menu Planning Tips For the Holiday Season

The holiday season can get chaotic. Between gift buying, holiday activities, and keeping the house running as usual, the life of a mom in the months of November and December can feel crazy.

Eating healthy is almost always on the top of my list, but it isn’t the easiest when I’m feeling spread so thin with so many things to do and such a little amount of time to get it done.

I’m always a fan of menu planning, but particularly so during the holiday season. These are my top 3 tips for menu planning during the busiest time of year:

1. Stick to your standards

The holiday season is not the time of year to reinvent the wheel with menu planning. With a busy schedule and lots to get done, being innovative is the last thing I think about. I want to get a good healthy meal to the table with as little amount of time spent in the kitchen.

That’s where my standby recipes come in. Choose meals and recipes that you know like the back of your hand and can easily get to the table quickly. The tip here is to turn any of your standard meals that you enjoy regularly into a little healthier versions if possible.

One of my go-to recipes is pasta with meat sauce. I make it healthier by using brown rice noodles instead of semolina ones, and adding pumpkin puree or chopped bell peppers, onions, and zucchini to my meat marinara sauce. [Read more…]

Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

Buying coffee drinks can get expensive. Between my husband and I, we can easily spend close to $10 on two drinks if we visit a Starbucks. But we both love the flavor of peppermint mochas in the winter. So what’s a girl to do?

I could easily head to the grocery store and buy a pre-made creamer from the dairy section, but unfortunately they are so jam-packed with chemicals and sugar that I won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.

What did I decide to do instead? I got a little creative in the kitchen and whipped up a much healthier alternative to the Starbucks peppermint mocha flavored drink. Plus – it’s going to save me some extra cash to spend on some even-better Christmas presents.

Peppermint Mocha Creamer Recipe | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

Here’s how it came together:

Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of sweetened vanilla coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup

[Read more…]

10 Tips To NOT Overindulge This Holiday Season

If you’re like me, you find the holidays to be one of the most stressful times of the year.

Between gift buying, entertaining, and traveling to be near family, it’s no wonder one major stressors of the holiday season is the one that most of us want to avoid at all costs until the New Year – overeating or overindulging all the yummy treats that come with the holiday season.

Stress is one of the most common reasons we turn to overindulging and overeating during the holidays. We overeat to help us cope with our emotions of dealing with family, money, and out of sheer comfort. We overindulge, because there’s a pressure of “it only comes but once a year” looming over our heads, so we must eat all the holiday goodies before they’re gone again for the year.

But it IS possible to have a holiday season where stress is kept to a minimum and your eating is still on track. Yes, even on track enough to keep you in your skinny jeans come the first of the year.

10 Tips To NOT Overindulge This Holiday Season | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

Not sure how? Check out these 10 tips for NOT overindulging this holiday season:

1. Make a plan

Going to a holiday party in the evening? Plan out what you will eat the rest of the day, so that you can balance out your choices throughout the day. You can plan to set aside one or two indulgences, but keep lunch as lighter fare.

2. Don’t skip meals

Don’t skip breakfast or lunch just because you plan to eat at an event in the evening. This concept of “saving calories” doesn’t work and you will end up feeling famished by the time you allow yourself to eat – and likely indulge a little more than you anticipated. It’s not worth it. Make healthy choices before the event and you’re far less likely to overdo it.

3. Breathe

This might sound silly, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by temptation, excuse yourself for five or ten minutes to breathe. Focus on your breath and recenter yourself to deal with the situation. Having a few moments to reconnect with yourself can help keep you in line with the plan you’ve set out for yourself.

4. Drink more water and less alcohol

Most of us don’t get enough water each day and with the added excitement of the holidays, drinking alcohol only makes us more dehydrated. You don’t have to cut out drinking alcohol entirely, just be sure to drink water between drinks and be mindful of the drinks you do take.

5. Make healthy swaps

When it comes to creating meals or treats for the holidays, oftentimes our healthy choices end once the stove or oven turns on. Make some healthy swaps with natural sweeteners instead of sugar in sweets and baked goods, swap out whipped cream for whipped coconut milk to go on your pie, and “sneak” in some healthier sweet potatoes or squash with your mashed potatoes. These are just a few ideas – get creative! [Read more…]