Handling the Holidays – At the Office

It's not the food that makes the holidays, it's the memories you make.

And those calories are coming from everywhere! But no where seems worse than the place we spend the majority of our day. The office.

There's clients, reps, patients, and business associates who send or bring in all sorts of goodies.

There's the staff office parties which typically means a catered lunch or... ten, depending on where you work.

And then there's your co-workers. The overachievers who want to show off all of their superb culinary skills by bringing everyone in the office high-calorie, delicious homemade goodness. And insist on watching you try "just one."

Add to all of that, the end of year work related stress that leaves you short-fused, and sleep deprived and you are primed for a sugar-laden calorie bomb before noon! Here's my top tips for handling this:

  1. Recognize that just because food is there, doesn't mean you have to eat it. Are you eating because you're hungry? Or because you're bored and you CAN? Before you indulge in anything at the office, take a moment and think about why you are eating. If it's a one of kind treat, offered only once a year, than maybe it's worth the calories. If it's something you could get again tomorrow, why bother?
  2. TAKE the time to prepare and bring your lunch every single day from now until the holiday craziness has passed. And not just any old lunch - think of some of your favorite, clean lunches and bring those, so you won't be tempted by the trays and trays of sub sandwiches in the break room. Pack snacks too. Things that are easy and portable are string cheese, raw nuts, fresh fruit. Always aim to eat some lean protein and fiber so you will stay full for a longer period of time.
  3. Handle the food-pushers assertively. When they offer you tempting goodies, look them directly in the eye and say "It looks wonderful and I'm sure it tastes fabulous, but I am (insert one of the following: full, limiting how many sweets I am eating this year, cutting back on in between meal snacks, etc). The key is to be appreciative, but also direct. If they persist, again, look them directly in the eye, and say, " Honestly, first name, I'm _______(repeat your rationale). Leave it at that.
  4. Lastly, the most simple and direct tip I can give you. Avoid the food. Don't hang out where food is stored or sitting out. You'll constantly have to tell yourself "no" and repeating "no" over and over doesn't actually increase your conviction, it weakens it. It's like exposure to a cold or illness. The greater (more frequent) the exposure, the greater the chance you will catch the bug and give in.

Do you need a make over to a Thanksgiving Favorite? 

Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, don’t drained

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square broiler-safe baking dish with coconut oil. Whisk whole eggs, cinnamon, oil, coconut milk, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sweet potato; whisk until smooth. Stir in pineapple and its juice. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake the casserole until heated through and the edges are bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside while you make the topping.


As the “biggest eating holiday” in the US, it’s an important time to maybe pull the reins back a bit.

Now, I’m not here to say live off celery and tofu for Thanksgiving.

But what about setting up a little challenge with yourself.

  • Skip the seconds on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Go to buffet line only once during the main course and once for the dessert line.
  • How about just one glass of that something something instead of a few?
  • Take a walk right after the meal instead of hitting the couch. 

Deal?

Most importantly, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

If you still need some help to Handle the Holidays at Home check this out. 

Coach Nancy

Nancy Carlson is a Certified Professional Fitness Trainer with the National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association, a Level 1 Youth Conditioning Specialist with the International Youth Conditioning Association, and is a Level 2 Certified Precision Nutrition Master coach. Nancy was recognized in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the “Best of the Best” Fitness Trainer in Southern NH by the Hippo Press.

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