Tips for Staying Lean Over the Holidays


Not only did I lose weight when I went plant-strong but I’ve kept it off without really trying for the past two years. If you’re following my blog, however; you know that I’ve been posting lots of goodies lately. While some of these are plant-strong others are not.

I do believe it’s okay to indulge occasionally as long as it’s really occasionally. Over the holidays, however; I can get carried away. I’m especially worried this year because in addition the normal festivities I’m also attending two winter weddings. Call me cheap, but I only got one dress for both and I want to fit into it for my brother’s January 4th nuptials!

That’s why I’m excited to share “The Plant-Based Dietician”, Julieanna Hever’s Tips for Staying Lean Over the Holidays. This chica is one awesome plant-based diet advocate. You’ll get bored if I list everything she’s done, but here’s some biggies. She wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and co-authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking. She’s also the nutrition columnist for VegNews Mag and is the star of the new series “What Would Julieanna Do?”.

Phew – I told you she was accomplished! Anyway, here’s her keep trim holiday tips.

Tips for Staying Lean Over the Holidays:

  1. Schedule indulgences. Maintain a health-promoting, whole food, plant-based diet as a foundation for your week, with awareness of when you may have an event or party scheduled where you can allow yourself a little slack. If you know there will be a treat you want to enjoy, make sure the rest of your week is solid and clean, so you can indulge without guilt.
  2. Travel consciously. Know where you will be and bring enough healthy food choices along with you to keep you satisfied until your next eating opportunity. Travel with fruit, trail mix, whole grain crackers with hummus, oats and seeds in a bag to add water to, whole food bars, healthy baked goods you have prepared at home, or use disposable containers to pack up grains, legumes, and salad to eat on your journey. Scout out healthy restaurants or markets before your trip so you can plan meals.
  3. Party lean. Parties can be risky for excessive alcohol and junk food consumption. Opt for a wine spritzer or light beer to lighten up the alcohol load and extend your drinking time, if you like a cocktail, and seek out snacks with mostly veggies and whole foods. Minimize heavy dips and fried foods which will add tremendous calories without filling you up. Also, drink plenty of water (sparkling or still) to stay full and hydrated.
  4. Plan to succeed. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, as the old adage goes. Know where you will be for holidays and parties and what is likely to be served. If you can bring a dish you know is healthy and you can share, knowing you have something safe to enjoy. If there won’t be an opportunity to bring something (if you are going to a restaurant, for example), check out the menu ahead of time to see if there are healthy options. If not, eat beforehand so you can go without raging hunger pangs and eat lighter, like a salad, fruit, or baked potato…and not be hungry.

Photo courtesy of Health News and Views.


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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22 Responses to Tips for Staying Lean Over the Holidays

  1. Mychael M says:

    One of the best advantages to going vegan is never being tempted by most of the junk people bring to work to share. Just about none of the holiday treats are ever vegan. In the past, whenever donuts would show up, or pizza, I always tended to overdo it a bit and then regret that I did:) No more, unless there’s a bag of Fritos or potato chips around:) Thanks for the post. Even though we eat healthy vegan food most of the time, many of us still struggle with excess weight. I’m sure to have a few pounds to shed after the new year, and I’ll have to share a more crowded gym with all the New Years resolution-ers for the first few months of the year:) Happy Holidays, Celeste, and may your 2014 be the best year yet!

    • Hey there Mychael!! What you say is SO true! I’m one of those people who just can’t say no to goodies if they’re right in front of me. Or at least I used to be before I went vegan. Somehow this has given me the strength I never had before. Saying “No” is a bigger deal now because it’s not just my weight and health that’s at stake, but the well being of animals too. It’s also a way for me to interact with others about my lifestyle because people ask me why I’m not having a piece of cake or whatever and we get to talking about veganism.

      Anyway, it’s great to hear from you Mychael! I’m actually going to San Diego tomorrow. I would have asked if you wanted to meet up with me, but I’m just going to help my sis with wedding preparations (she’s getting married Dec. 27th). We’ve got so much to do, so no time for fun. Oh well, I know we’ll get together in 2014!

      Happy Holidays to you too!! 🙂

  2. Oh thank you, G-d and Celeste! My pants are getting really tight and frankly I feel like cr**. I need to get back to my healthy habits — these are nice little baby steps. Thanks!

    • Oh girl, I’ve been there and been there and been there and…!! It has been a lot easier for me to keep the weight off since I went plant-based even though I cheat sometimes. I usually don’t cheat too much, but lately I’ve been slipping. Like you, I need to get back on track. We can do it and we will do it!! I’m so glad we’re connected through our blogs chica! I’ve really enjoyed our connection these past few months. Have a very merry Christmas!! Celeste 🙂

  3. foodbod says:

    Great tips ☺️ as you know I don’t eat sweet things, I also don’t eat any kind of junk or drink alcohol, and as a result I don’t get that stuffed, bloated, tired feeling, full of guilt that I used to have, for years and years. I choose for my body and mind, even at celebration times, and don’t feel I’m missing out because I know that it would spoil everything for me if I ate things that my body and brain don’t like. Whatever the time of year or the occasion, I think you should still be true to yourself, regardless of anyone else’s view. Enjoy whatever you choose to indulge in or not and know that it’s for a finite period of time and it’s okay ☺️ have fun xx

    • What an awesome comment!! First of all, you inspire me because you have been able to absolutely let go of junk food. I think it’s rare for people to get to the point where they don’t eat unhealthy foods occasionally, especially at the holidays. What’s more, you don’t even desire those foods anymore. This gives me hope that one day I can finally kick the sugar habit for good. I’m SO much better than I used to be, but I still have cravings and, as you know, indulge on occasion. The other thing that gives me hope is that I’ve completely lost my desire for dairy. I used to love cheese and ice cream and now I don’t want it at all. I figure if I can completely lose my desire for dairy, which I used to love, that I can also one day loose my desire for sweets. There’s hope for me yet!

      I also wanted to say thank you for being so supportive and understanding. You don’t seem like the kind of person who judges people at all which is refreshing. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment and happy holidays!! Celeste 🙂

      • foodbod says:

        Thank YOU, you know how much I love this whole new blog world and the people I am meeting. I have been judged negatively so many times for my food choices, but here, I’m not, I’m accepted and it’s wonderful. I love that there are so many of us sharing our journeys and making choices for our tastes/health/desires. We have the power to control our health and our moods and our entire lives through our consumption and we’re doing it!!! How fab is that??

        You’ve already made such huge changes, Celeste, you have so much to applaud yourself for and be proud of. Please be kind to yourself and enjoy some little indulgences whilst reminding yourself of just how things have changed ☺️ you’re a star ⭐️ x

  4. Laura says:

    These are great tips – for me, it’s great that I actually cannot eat anything with gluten in it. It definitely limits the treats I can eat at parties.

  5. berealyoga says:

    I love this post, Celeste! I agree with the commenter above — some people treat the holidays like a free-for-all, or a reason to abandon their bodies. And while I enjoy a little indulgence this time of year, I can’t bring myself to completely “jump ship” in the name of the season! Staying grounded, centered, and continuing to connect to my body and internal state through the stresses and pressures gets me through. Like foodbod wisely says, be true to you! Lots of love to y’all! xo

  6. What great tips Celeste! This is a fantastic post, thanks so much for sharing!


    great round-up, celeste!
    I smirk everytime when people ask us “what will you have for christmas dinner?” I presume they wait for some uberdelicious vegan and fluten-free epiphany. but I must say since we eat consciously every day (with minor flaws that can occur), and enjoy what we eat, it’s hard and unneccessary to come up with a crazy christmas dinner. we want to enjoy time together, not drop dead after hours in the kitch! 😀
    but I do tell people that a properly cooked vegan dinner would save them four things: time, energy (as in electricity), money and calories. that’s where most people start thinking!

  8. run4joy59 says:

    Happy holidays, Celeste. For me, eating less healthy around the holidays has more to do with my work schedule than with holiday parties and get togethers. I’m working so many hours a day that I find myself not making time to even go shopping. Of course that means I either eat fast food or junk from the vending machine…not good. Definitely have to get back on track…thanks for the info that will help me do that.

  9. Pingback: Christmas: Jumping Ship or Casting an Anchor? | BeReal Yoga

  10. eietmo says:

    Wow, great tips Celeste! I think your 4th tip is probably the best. Believing in yourself is so important and people seem to forget about it. I lost quite a bit of extra weight when I went vegan, so I’m usually relaxed about it… but I’m spoiling myself a little bit too much this holiday season, haha. By the way, I love getting your post notifications (I always read even if I don’t comment on every single one 🙂 ). You seem like a very positive person and it shows in your writing.
    Cheers 🙂 Ron

  11. Celeste you are truly an inspiration honey xxxx

  12. diahannreyes says:

    Thanks for the motivational tips- Celeste! I like the idea of scheduled indulgences a lot–and the same with the travel meal planning–esp. as lately certain airlines don’t seem to serve much in the way of real healthy food. Happy Holidays!

  13. Ralph says:

    Hi Celeste 😀 Ha !! I “lean over” all the time especially when I “look over” something as informative as this post. A leaning over big hug. Ralph xox 😀

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