Turn your “NO”vember to “YES” with a Healthier Holiday Mindset

November 25, 2023

The month of November means that the holiday rush is almost upon us and, with that, all the parties and meals with family and friends. But what about our health goals? We often think that we have to say “no” to everything at the holiday gatherings to stay on track with these goals. This is not the case; we can turn that “NO”vember into a “Yes” by just changing our mindset and making some simple healthy swaps. The best thing is that Hy-Vee dietitians can help you along the way. Follow these simple tips to help you enjoy your holiday season while staying true to your health and wellness goals.

Say “YES” to breakfast! Many people think that they should skip meals to save calories for the party or holiday meal. This is not the best way to stay on track with your goals. Saying “yes” to a balanced breakfast will keep you in a healthier pattern. Making sure you eat all of your regular meals and snacks throughout the day will also make it easier to control your portions at the festive meal.

NO dessert… yeah right! Have your cake and eat it too! Just make sure you eat a balanced meal first and mind your portion. Pick your favorite dessert and enjoy a piece of it. If you still want to keep your sugar intake to a minimum, try making your favorite dessert with a zero-calorie sweetener, like stevia leaf extract, monk fruit sweetener, or allulose.

NO gluten… no problem! Whether it is for yourself or a guest at your party, maybe you are having to say “no” to gluten. This does not mean that you have to miss out on all of your favorite holiday dishes. Try Good Graces gluten-free French-fried onions in a green bean casserole, or serve stuffing made from Good Graces gluten-free mix! It is also easy to find gluten-free baking mixes for all your sweet and savory favorites in your Hy-Vee HealthMarket.

Salty sides… step aside! Looking to manage your sodium intake? There are many great low-sodium and no-salt-added options for canned vegetables, cream of mushroom/chicken soup, stocks and more that you can use to whip up those fall and winter hot dishes. You can also add spices, herbs and citrus to your dishes to really pump up the flavor and eliminate the need for extra salt.

Done with dairy? Maybe you or a loved one are lactose intolerant or have to avoid dairy due to an allergy. Instead, you could say “yes” to dairy-free substitutes like nutritional yeast or dairy-free cheese. These products add a dairy-free cheesy flavor to your mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. Dairy-free yogurts are also great for adding that extra level of creaminess to some of your savory dishes.

Staying on track with your health and nutrition goals can be done, especially with the help of Hy-Vee dietitians. For a meal plan to help you through the holiday season, talk to your dietitian about our Healthy Habits program. If you are looking for even more individualized guidance, talk to your dietitian about signing up for our Healthy You Subscription program. No matter your health and nutrition needs, Hy-Vee dietitians are here to support you in meeting your health goals.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.