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Healthy holiday eating on a budget

This is the time of year that we are indulging more than ever.  Your favorite aunt arrives with the best cookies you've ever had.  Your mom makes your favorite cake and brings it over for all to enjoy.  Co-workers bring all of their best holiday creations to work daily.  It is wonderful until we start to make our holiday resolutions.  Our number one resolution will be to lose weight. 

There is nothing wrong with eating your favorite things in moderation.  In the mean time you should eat healthy.  The odd thing about buying healthy foods is that they are more expensive.  You would think if it has less sugar, fat and preservatives, it would be cheaper.  Not true!  You can still eat healthy and stay in your budget.  Just follow a few tricks.  Watch sales closely.  You can keep frozen fruits and vegetables in your freezer all the time. Buy bag salads when they are on sale.  Buy fruit in bags or bulk.  Stay away from cans as much as possible because they have additives and not as much nutrients as fresh or frozen.

Another great idea is to visit you local farmer's market and stock up.  This is the time of year for collards, turnips and winter squash.  Apples are also in abundance at the market now.  You will be surprised at all the things available.  A great place to check out in our area is Pee Dee Farmers market in Florence or McCleod Farms in McBee.  You can even order online baskets.  They have the best peaches!

After a day of eating cookies, cake, chocolate and whatever other delicious treats are offered that day, coming home to a healthy meal may be just the ticket to keep you feeling good and not run down.  Make a big salad of whatever raw vegetables you have on hand.  Some great ideas are lettuce or baby spinach leaves, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers and carrots.  Top with grilled chicken strips and a light dressing such as an oil and vinegar based dressing. 

Another idea would be to use your crock pot.  Before you leave for work, put a whole chicken in a lightly oiled crock pot.  Sprinkle salt an pepper over the meat and add about a cup of either water or low sodium chicken broth to the pot.  Cook on low all day and you will have a perfectly cooked chicken to bone and use in a variety of healthy dishes.  Chicken salad can be made with fat free mayonnaise, and pickle relish (celery if desired).  Eat on whole wheat bread and you have a very healthy meal.  You can also shred the chicken and add a little salsa to it.  Wrap in a tortilla with shredded lettuce ant tomatoes.  This is a very tasty and nutritious meal.

Enjoy the holiday season and all of the extra goodies but most importantly don't overdue.  Take care of yourself and your family.  Being healthy and fit is the best gift we can give to ourselves and our family.  Accomplishing this without killing our budget is icing on the cake!


  • Missy 5 years ago

    Interesting suggestions for leftovers! I see in your bio that your husband and you cook together. Wow - most husbands think that doing anything in the kitchen is "women's work."

  • Julie 5 years ago

    I am very lucky! My husband and I have created quite a few dishes together and look at that as our special time.