Snacks for holiday shoppers that won’t add extra baggage

The holiday shopping season can be a complete nightmare for those who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.    Rushing around to take care of the holiday to-do list often leads to skipping meals.  Before you know it you are feeling those all-to-familiar hunger pangs along with some uninvited fatigue.  You look around for something you can rapidly consume hoping it will eliminate the growling in your stomach and give you a power surge.  At that moment you are not concerned so much about healthy choices.  You just want something to fill your needs – and soon!

There are an abundance of fast food restaurants and coffee shops in and around most shopping centers.  The only thing they hope for is that you fill your needs with one of their special holiday-themed beverages or promotional menu items.  There you are extremely tempted; after all, you have been searching for that much needed pick-me-up and they can provide it for you … now.

When you look over the selection of seasonal flavors like peppermint and eggnog, they are truly tempting.  And those menu item promotions, some of which are great deals for the strained pocketbook, would certainly fill the void in your empty stomach.  What do you do?

Stop.  Think before you purchase.  Realize that those rich & thick holiday beverages have enough calories to replace an entire lunch.  One popular eggnog shake contains 680 calories just for the medium size!  And those bargain priced promotions may be tempting but understand that most have an abundance of unhealthy ingredients, ones that certainly will cause you to feel even worse later.

The best plan would be to avoid getting sucked into a shopping frenzy.  Allow for breaks and have some plain water, coffee or tea.  Carry some simple snacks with you, such as low fat granola bars or a baggie with a mixture of dried fruit, nuts or granola.  Basically a type of trail mix, but we’ll call it:  “shopping mix.”   Keep an eye on the time and eat close to your normal mealtime.  Order a simple salad or broiled chicken sandwich on wheat bread to keep you going.

If you do find yourself giving in to that holiday-themed item, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Treat it as a meal and simply move on.  Before we know it, January will be here and all those seasonal specials will be gone.  Healthier eating will be much easier once again!

Here are some great “shopping mix” ideas, or prepare one of Grace Derocha’s healthy recipes:  no-bake “shopping mix” cookies ahead of time.  These cookies fill an empty stomach and provide a boost of energy as well.  These delicious cookies are also wonderful for the annual cookie-exchange so you can indulge a little with your co-workers without all of the guilt!

How do you beat the urge to fill up on the high-calorie holiday treats when you’re shopping?

Photo credit: amanky

 

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