It’s no secret that many people gain weight during the holidays. I don’t have any spare weight I can afford to gain, so my secret to staying in my pants this holiday season is simple- high protein meals and high intensity workouts. I’ve also cut out sweets, but that’s a personal preference and I am not at all against eating sweets..balance is bliss remember?
This week was my holiday work party, and it was potluck style. Being a vegan, I know ahead of time there aren’t many options for me at parties like this. It just so happens I don’t enjoy eating food made by other people very often, so it all works out! I brought a dish that allowed me to survive the night without looking twice at the cookies.
- 2 cups quinoa (one red, one tan)
- 2.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (AKA straight from the orange)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon/orange zest (half of each)
- 1/3 cup green onions
- 1 cup pistachios
- 1/2 cup crasins
- 1/2 cup chopped mint
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Cook your quinoa as directed on your packaging. Once your quinoa is cooked and cooled add the ingredients in the order listed. Starting with the liquids, and ending with the herbs. DO NOT add the pistachios until you are ready to serve though, this keeps them crunchy and fresh tasting. Hence the cup full of nuts on the side.
I featured this recipe on my blog many moons ago, but it’s so good I had to bring it back for its own post. This is a light, refreshing, but filling dish welcome at any party! I had to have some before I left my house, being full helps deter my sweet beast from rising.
Delicious alone, or paired with a bowl full of beans and greens!
The party was filled with laughs and I had a wonderful time. We did a secret Santa exchange and you’ll never guess what I was gifted…my secret Santa did gooooood.
Q: How do you survive the holiday temptations, or do eat whatever you want around the holidays?
38 thoughts on “Surviving the Holidays”
kathy @ vodka and soda
ahh brittany, i have a post about this going up soon that’s about my secrets to not loathing yourself during the holiday feasts.
after 2yrs of clean eating with very little to no cheating, giant feasts don’t even phase me. except when there’s butterfly shrimp jamaican style. i have a weakness for those. and filipino lumpia. that’s when i have to say to myself: WALK AWAY HEFFER COW, WALK AWAY!
I have never been one to gorge myself just because it was a holiday, BUTTT I would gorge myself on a random Tuesday if there were donuts or cookies present. HAHA. I never worry about holidays because surprisingly I have MORE self control around the holidays, perhaps due to the schema associated with eating poorly.
Oh dear Lord, my mom goes to church with a shitton of Filipino ladies..and they ALWAYS gave us a SHITTON OF LUMPIA! I used to enjoy it, but honestly I think it’s soooo gross now!! I guess that’s a good thing. Going vegan also helped with a lot of foods that I don’t feel tempted by during holidays. SCORE ONE FOR BRITTANY! HAAAH.
Hmm survive… I am eating too much and trying to make up for it with running. I am also hiding from my scale until January. #FAIL.
Amy @ A Desert Girl
That quinoa looks so good! I am definitely going to try it – and add some avocado like you did in that one picture. I am trying to lay off the dairy this season. I love cheese…but it doesn’t love me. So that will help me through the holidays – if I can be strong and stick with it.
Amy @ A Desert Girl
PS – I’m also not very tempted by food that other people make, potluck style! So that’s a win.
Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
How are you doing without sweets? Is it tough? I think you’re smart for doing that! I rely on lots of workouts during the holiday to help me!
Honestly, it’s not that tough!! Sure, I have moments where I CRAVE a cookie..but I find that PB helps with the cravings. I have more motivation to shed some extra weight than I do for eating a cookie! I plan to have a cookie or two Christmas day though!
Davida @The Healthy Maven
Well I definitely don’t eat whatever I want but I don’t have your willpower to turn down sweets. I try to move my ass and not eat all the cookies but I can always be a January Joiner right??
I’ve given up on trying to lose weight this season – I’m just trying to maintain or gain just a little and I’ll hop back on the train in December!
di @ life of di.
I’m not big on eating food that other people prepare either. I’m okay if my mom or husband cooks me something but anyone else and I just don’t like it. Not sure why that is but I’m picky that way! Anyways, this quinoa salad looks so delicious. I need to add this to my weekly dinner schedule next week! 🙂
YUMMY! For some reason quinoa makes my stomach GO NUTS. I have no idea why. I rinse it before I cook it, I TRY to eat it but nope – that stuff kills me! merp. I really wanna eat this quinoa goodness though, looks DIVINE. HOW are you staying away from sweets??!!? Teach me!!!! I try, but I fail sooo miserably. The back room at work is always FILLED with goodies and snacks and ughhhhh they just stare at me….make it stoppp.
Kristina at damntenpounds
I sent my hubby to his work potluck with Mediterranean quinoa yesterday. I knew everyone else would bring garbage – rolled tacos, pulled pork, nasty meatballs sitting in a crockpot all morning. Barf. I’m not a big fan of potluck style either. Unless its a dessert potluck, then you and I are a complete 180 on the topic of sweets 🙂 Your dish is obviously beautiful and looks amazing with all the fresh citrus and herbs. I bet your coworkers loved it!
A dessert potluck sounds SO dangerous. Put me in a room with fair game vegan treats and it’s game over.
I’m obsessed with quinoa – yum! It’s all about balance! I try to eat healthy meals around the ones that may be unhealthy – so, if I know lunch is pot luck, then breakfast and dinner are extra clean. I indulge a little, but never go overboard, I know I’ll just feel crappy after.
I think you solved the question of what I will make for my family’s christmas dinner! It looks so good.
I am usually pretty good about holiday temptations because I never really “felt” any, Yup. But over the years I have gotten more in touch with my appetites I guess? So now I do feel a little temptation and I don’t handle it well because I don’t let myself indulge even a little (because it’s healthier for me to avoid a binge situation than tempt fate) and for once it has me feeling a little let-down.
Like after Thanksgiving I was like…well goshdarnit I want some spinach casserole!
Rach @ This Italian Family
Soooo here’s the truth: I’ve only had quinoa twice and I didn’t like it either time. I WANT to like it, but I just don’t. This recipe actually looks safer than many that I’ve seen (aka I like the other ingredients in it). So I might just try it. Or is there another quinoa recipe you’d recommend for a beginner?
AH I think you would really enjoy this recipe!! I LOVE quinoa alone, but not many people do..this dish has so many other flavors that the quinoa is just blended into it as an extra (with added protein!) I would try any quinoa recipe with LOTS of flavors!!
Aww that’s so fun that you guys had a holiday party at work! Potlucks can be the best (and worst). At many of the ones I’ve been to, people bring salads dripping in greasy dressing, add mushrooms (one of my biggest allergies!) to every pasta dish, and chip in super cheesy casseroles that make me bloat just looking at them. I definitely do the same thing and bring a dish (or even 2 — aka 1 dessert! 😉 ) so I know I won’t go hungry. Or feel guilty after eating everything else.
Yet somehow, I highly doubt you have anything to worry about with weight gain! You always look so fit and happy! 🙂
Grace @ Earthy Feast
This salad looks incredible! I’m loving all the healthy recipes on your blog! The holidays are hard for me because I have such a sweet tooth and my mom makes the best cookies every year for Christmas – so those are definitely my weakness. I try and balance it out with lots of active outdoor time. 🙂
I am loving YOUR blog, but I am having trouble commenting on your posts!! Your recent recipe with the tempeh, broccoli, and rice looks AMAZING!!
I try my best to eat healthy around the holidays, but Im done depriving myself. Christmas day is filled with all my favorites, and while I do try to keep myself in check somewhat, I leave my guilt locked away so that I can just eat and be merry! The next day my tummy is usually so pissed at me that its easy to go back to my normal foods lol
Amen girl, I am all about NOT depriving yourself. I plan to have some sweets Christmas day, but right now I’m more interested in feeling good and when I eat sweets too often I feel too blah! MODERATION!
Change of Pace
Mmmm…delicious! And even more impressive that you stayed away from the sweets! (I have zero self control and am slowly losing an extra space in my pants!)
Kelly has a tough time at potlucks, too. We always bring a monster vegan dish!
Matt @ Runner Savvy
Moderation and plenty of running!
GiGi Eats Celebrities
I let the GOOD TIMES ROLL……. Yeah, that phrase has so many alternative meanings! HA! But NONE OF the meanings I MEAN include FAT ROLLS!
You don’t like to eat other people’s food? Hmm, what’s that about?
I remember this dish. I loved the pistachios in it and I still do. It’s also beautiful too.
I indulge in sweets, but try really hard not to get carried away. I also try to balance it out with lots of fruits and veggies.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I usually just eat whatever I want for the holidays, but I guess I’m lucky because I’ve never really been one to go overboard. Desserts are a little harder to say no to, but thankfully there’s lots of rockin’ around the Christmas tree that needs fuelling up for 😉
The Vegan 8
Omg girl I eat red quinoa and avocado like weekly a few times! I love all the citrus juice you have added, this sounds so good!!! I would love to eat a big plate of this right before I stuff my face with desserts! haha 🙂
I don’t like eating food made by others either- I’m too picky! If we worked together we both make something the other liked and then stick to our two dishes 🙂 the quinoa looks delicious!
Score! Always love seeing new quinoa recipes 🙂 🙂 During the holidays I’ve never been one to go overboard. Truth be told, I like cookies but don’t crave them. I’m quite content with only having two or three during Christmas.
Katy @ iFuckingLoveFitness
The first time I had quinoa salad was at my friend’s party too and then I was just obsessed with it afterwards! Definitnely need to try putting pistachios in it next time.
Nicole @ FruitnFitness
This quinoa salad sounds good! I have not been good with the holiday temptations this year. Between making cookies for work and friends, people bringing cookies and chocolates into work and minimal time at the gym it’s not been the most weight friendly two weeks. I’m trying to just enjoy everything and work on moderation.
Life After Swimming
ohhh your secret santa did VERY good.
Ah, I’ll eat anything with avocado piled on top of it! And… I definitely just eat everything in sight. *sigh*
This looks fantastic… except I do not like avocado. I wish I did b/c everyone on the planet seems to like it BUT I do not like the taste and miss out. YOUR SECRET SANTA IS THE BEST. And you are silly- you can spare a lot of space in the waste b/c every picture I see of you, you are skinny minny with a huge smile. Eat away and enjoy 🙂 I know you’ll spin it off or walk it off later. xoxo
Luv What You Do
I always try to get in some extra exercise and eat healthy for all my other meals. That allows me to eat a little more during the holidays. Like big bags of popcorn at the movies on Xmas!
Vegan Mommy Dee
Yum! Look’s great!
Melissa @ Al Forno Mementos
I need to put eating healthy and working out back in my routine. I fell of this december! :O not good.