15 Ways to Avoid Feeling Miserable After Holiday Meals

With the holidays quickly approaching, we wanted to share tips for eating well during this time!  Finding a balanced approach to holiday eating is a must!  The goal is to have a happy, healthy celebration with loved ones, sharing in delicious meals, while avoiding that sluggish post-meal burnout that can lead to belly aches, headaches, and even weight gain!


  1. Eat a healthy breakfast, and lunch, before the holiday dinner - ensuring adequate intake of vegetables!
  2. Don’t show up hungry! Eat a snack before you go so that you aren’t tempted by unwanted food. 
  3. Bring a dish you would eat to the holiday party! A guaranteed way to have a healthy and delicious option. 
  4. Learn how to be comfortable saying “No, thanks!”.  
  5. Prior to happy hour, make sure to hydrate! Drink plenty of water (1/2 of your body weight in ounces). 
  6. Choose liquor instead of wine or beer. The clearer the liquid the better! (vodka, tequila, gin). 
  7. Choose cocktails without added sugar! Ask for water, soda water or on the rocks opposed to diet coke or fruit juice for a mixer. 
  8. Choose appetizers that are fresh or baked instead of fried foods. 
  9. Keep your distance from the snack table before the meal.  Consider a mint or chewing gum to avoid mindlessly reaching for the chips while chatting.
  10. Eat mindfully: Actively choose the foods that you want to eat and avoid putting ‘a little of everything’ on your plate.  Savor your food, focusing on enjoying the smell, taste and texture of each bite. 
  11. If you plan on eating turkey, choose the white meat over the dark meat.  
  12. Trim the trimmings: avoid cream sauces, gravy, pie crust, dressing.  Focus on turkey, roasted vegetables, nuts, fruit. 
  13. Graciously decline bringing home leftovers. 
  14. Recover from your holiday party by drinking a bone broth protein shake for breakfast, and re-hydrate with plenty of water. 
  15. Remember to stay active!  Include a walk with family members during the festivities, or exercise on your own before attending the party. 


Keeping these tips in mind, here’s an idea of what a healthy and tasty holiday plate can look like!


  • 2-3 slices of white meat turkey
  • 1 scoop of mashed sweet potatoes (see Recipe tab)
  • 1 scoop of pureed parsnips (see Recipe tab)
  • 1 scoop of brussels sprouts with crispy bacon (see Recipe tab)
  • Heaping portion of greens salad (consider oil and vinegar dressing if the salad is undressed)
  • Dessert: Pumpkin Paleo Bars with Whipped Coconut Cream (see Recipe tab)


Head over the Recipes tab to gather ideas for delicious and healthy holiday eats!  Remember to scroll down and check out the previous recipe post on Pumpkin Paleo Bars for dessert, and consider adding the Whipped Coconut Cream to top it off!


From the staff at Northwest Functional Medicine, we wish you a safe, joyous and healthy holiday season!  




Dr. Silverman