As we head into another busy holiday season, college students are faced with the dilemma of whether to stay loyal to their usual active, healthy lifestyle or slip into a couch potato state when they return home for the holidays. We here at Spoon can sympathize. We know the holiday season is filled with good food, beginning with Thanksgiving and slowly (or not so slowly) transitioning into the high calorie, chocolate-filled Christmas season. Many classic holiday traditions involve hearty meals and close family, so eating healthily can be quite the challenge. Here are some tips to help.

Avoid appetizers.


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It might seem impossible to stay away from those mini quiches; however, appetizers contribute to the mindless eating that occurs during conversation with friends or relatives at a party. Instead, sip a cold drink and save your appetite for dinner. Stay true to your priorities; you’ve been looking forward to dinner all day, so enjoy it. This homemade creamy spinach mushroom risotto is better than a pre-dinner snack from Bear Market any day of the year.

Get picky.


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This will come as good news for all the picky eaters out there. Embrace your inner food snob and only eat the things you truly want to eat. You’ll leave the party feeling full and satisfied that every bite was worth it.

Be wary of holiday drinks.


Photo Courtesy of Megan Scott via Food52

Classic holiday drinks, such as eggnog and hot chocolate, seem too embedded in tradition to skip out on, but they contain high amounts of sugar. Try replacing them with a steaming mug of tea. Flavors such as cinnamon, apple and chai are perfect for the holiday season. Hot apple cider, especially made with fresh apples as found in Berkeley’s Saturday Farmer’s Market can make spending time with family even sweeter.

Now, that you know more about eating healthily over the holidays, you can curl up by the fire with a book or head outside with the family to put up Christmas lights, instead of succumbing to the post-dinner food coma.