I am such a huge fan of all things fall and the holiday season! What I am not such a fan of are all the years I spent feeling guilty for days after the holidays because of all the so-called bad food I let myself go crazy with.
I have since learned some simple healthy habits that keep me feeling totally satisfied with my entire holiday experience. I have determined to rid myself of the food-guilt relationship once and for all.
These tips also come in handy for that very purpose.
1. Focus on having a super-healthy couple of days prior to the BIG day.
Have a few meat-free days, load up on fresh produce, and try to reduce your sugar intake for several days, which will curb your desire for sweets a bit before you are bombarded with tons of desserts and treats.
2. Focus more on the gathering and the people present than on the food itself.
Yes, eating is a huge part of our American tradition, but take the time to really be present with your guests. Set a beautiful table and engage your friends in conversation and laughter, prolonging the eating experience. Statistically speaking, we do the most calorie damage in the first few minutes of eating. We power through the meal, and before we know it we have overeaten to the point of discomfort. Take time to savor the flavors and the simple joy of eating together. In a nutshell…slow down.
3. Keep some healthy go-to dishes on hand and even offer to bring a dish or two if you are the guest and not the cook.
Survey the table and fill your plate with the healthier options, filling up on those first. Then with the bit of room you’ve saved, go ahead and have the treats you look forward to every year. This strategy works wonders! You still enjoy the things you love, but you have nourished your body with some good choices first, which allows you to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here are a couple of my must-haves.
For me, the sweet tooth queen of the world, if I have these two backups on hand I am a happy camper and not totally at the mercy of the dessert buffet!
Click here for the recipe printable – Healthy Holiday Habits
My Favorite Apple Cider
In a slow cooker combine:
- 64 oz pure apple cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks,
- 1 split vanilla bean
- 6 chai tea bags
- Cook on low for 4 hours.
Remove all the bags, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean and add ¼ cup lemon juice, stir, and serve.
Pumpkin bread that will rock your healthy world
In a large bowl combine:
- 5 cups pure pumpkin
- 2 cups coconut sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup almond milk
- ¾ cup safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Thoroughly mix with a large spoon until combined. In another large bowl, combine:
- 4 cups spelt flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup chocolate chips (I use grain-sweetened chips such as Enjoy Life brand)
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or macadamia nuts.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix until well combined. Note: if you want to hold back a little bit of the chips and nuts you can sprinkle them on the top before baking.
Bake in three greased loaf pans (I like to use coconut oil on a paper towel to grease the pans) at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Let the loaves cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a baking rack to cool completely. ENJOY!
Happy holidays! Share love and Jesus with everyone who comes into your presence!