Healthier Holiday Table | LiveDoGrowEating healthy. Making good choices. Everything in moderation.

We are inundated every day with messages on eating, nutrition, and ways to do things better. As someone that has struggled with their weight over the years, I hear these messages loud and clear.  You would think that eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight would come easily to me….because I “know” what to do.  I have sat through the Weight Watchers meetings. I have committed a a lifestyle that includes running and endurance events. And truthfully, what I eat is based on a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables.

Except for when I get busy. Except for when it is 6 pm and I have not thought at all about what I am going to prepare for dinner.  That is when my healthy eating falls apart, even with a well stocked kitchen.

Shopping List for Healthier holiday table | LiveDoGrow

The American Cancer Society has a great list of foods to help you get started. Keep these foods on hand for fast meals on busy nights

Because at 6pm, knowing that I have to get dinner ready so that my daughter can get a bath and be in bed by 8:15, the last thing I want to do dig around in my pantry or freezer to start cooking. Luckily I have a husband who is willing to cook (it helps that he is a great cook!) but the last minute, “what are we having for dinner” conversations raise our stress level and end the day in a less than healthy way.

Crock Pot Healthy Eats

So, to combat this trigger of not being planned and making unhealthy last minute decisions, I am focused on making sure that our table is filled with healthy eats as often as possible thanks to my newest friend, a crock pot so that I can prepare meals first thing in the morning, and have them ready and waiting for us when it came to dinner time. Yes a crock pot. Also known as a slow cooker. And yes, as shocking as it sounds, I am 38 and have never once used a crock pot. But my hope is that by combining the use of a crock pot plus stocking my fridge and pantry with quality ingredients, our table will get healthier and healthier.

Crock Pot Beef Roast, My Way

Healthier Holiday Table | LiveDoGrow

I researched beef roast crock pot recipes all over the internet. In the end, I made my own, because that is how I cook. I also cook with dashes and sprinkles, so you will notice a lack of specifics or exact measurements.

  • Beef Roast: I usually prefer the leaner cuts of meat but this time chose a Chuck Roast (because the nice gentleman at Whole Foods suggested it)
  • Carrots: Peeled and cut in chunks
  • Onion: Peeled and quartered (I love the taste of chunks of onion)
  • Potatoes: Peeled and quartered
  • Red Wine (even healthier alternative: use chicken or beef stock)

I started by cutting my vegetables and seasoning the roast with salt, pepper, sage, and marjoram before browing each side.  I put a layer of carrots and onions on the bottom and then the roast on top.  I  added the potatoes and remaining carrots, fresh rosemary, and then the wine and set the crockpot to low for eight hours.

Slow Cooker Recipes that I Look Forward to Trying

If am lucky, others will share slow cooker recipes at the  American Cancer Society’s A Healthier Holiday Table that I can take beyond the holiday season and use in day to day cooking.

Having a healthy holiday or any meal table means making good choices and getting creative and in the long run is good for us.  Because in the end, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of many types of cancer. Here are ideas on how to eat healthy and get active. If you are like me, chances are good, you know what and how to do it but the follow through is not always there. I get lazy. I get stressed.  Having tips and resources like these innovative ways to add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your day while watching your refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat intake are always a good thing to help me stay on track.

Elena Sonnino | LiveDoGrow



Written by Elena Sonnino

Elena Sonnino

Chaser of Dreams. Life coach, wellness and travel writer, yogini, former teacher, adventure seeker, hiker, foodie …and oh right, cancer survivor. Elena writes about finding everyday wellness in far-flung lands and in her own backyard in the Washington D.C. suburbs.


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