Snow falling gently. Bright lights glistening in the cold winter’s night air. Lush garlands decorating doorposts and mantles. Candles flickering in frosty windows. The sound of snow crunching underfoot. Church bells ringing with songs of joy and hope. Laughter shared by friends. Gatherings with family. Kisses under the Mistletoe. Brightly colored packages surrounding the lavishly decorated Christmas tree. Carollers strolling about the streets offering a melodious message of the season.
These are the joys and beauty of the Christmas season. These are what Christmas memories are made of. There is another, not yet mentioned. FOOD! Yes, the holiday food. The air is filled with the aromas of rich, warm, comforting and sweet foods. And though you enjoy them and though they too are part of the fond memories you carry in the annals of your mind, they often carry a price that you failed to calculate, or maybe simply forgot. That price is paid through your health and wellness far too often.
Is it possible to enjoy the holidays, relive the memories, cherish the traditions and maintain a lifestyle and attitude of wellness! YES!
- Quality not quantity is the key!
The ingredients with which those meals, party favourites and holiday treats are made mean far more than the quantity. They are the foundation of wellness. So choose whole, real, natural ingredients made only by the One you celebrate this season.
- Don’t forget the Veggies!
It would seem veggies, except of course those mashed potatoes or sugar coated sweet potatoes, had been banned from most celebrations if not entirely, certainly in part. But don’t overlook them this season. Incorporate them into you menus, add them to your favourite dishes. Not drenched in cheese, please! Give them a decided and honourable place in your celebrations.
- Choose lean cuts of meats!
Meats seem, only second to sugar, to be the foundational holiday food. Choose lean cuts of beef and pork like tenderloin or filet and opt for white meat chicken and turkey along with deep sea white fish or wild caught salmon.
- Avoid sauces! I know. A good sauce is certainly enjoyable, especially in the winter months. But most sauces are heavy on fat and sugar…likely sodium as well. Opt for herbs instead to add that full, robust flavour.
- Look for raw desserts! No, I’m not talking about raw cookie dough or cake batter. I’m talking about dishes made from real, living foods that are uncooked. Like Raw Apple Pie, Raw Pineapple Cheesecake, Raw Chocolate Mousse or Raw Chocolate Macaroons. All of these desserts are decadently sweet from natures best ingredients and pack a nutritional wallop! Butternut and Cranberry Salad is another favourite raw food. There are many to be enjoyed in wellness this
- Greens! Another element of wellness often abandoned during the Christmas season. You might find a neglected dish of steamed greens or a lonely green salad stuck over in the corner of the buffet table but they seldom find their way to the dinner plate. Be creative. Add dark leafy greens to soups, braise them with those festive meats. They become subtle
yet highly valuable additions to the festivities!
- Easy on the alcohol! Even T-totalers tend to enjoy a holiday drink. But this is one of the season’s biggest dangers. From over indulgence to the impact alcohol has on digestion and blood sugar, this is one to beware of for sure. Go easy! Yes, enjoy a festive beverage with friends and loved ones but make it one! Anymore and you are setting yourself up for a wellness downfall.
- Contribute healthy dishes to parties!
When you are invited to those holiday parties, take along a fresh, homemade, healthy dish. That ensures you have a wellness friendly option and also shares wellness with those you love.
Yes, it is true. It is now less than a month until Christmas.
Where did time fly? Though filled with joy, excitement, hope and celebration, this is also a season when we tend to sabotage our wellness. From the office parties, to the family gatherings we tend to overindulge and eat foods that are anything but our wellness friends. And yes, those flavours and aromas are tradition and tradition is a crucial element to a blessed and happy Christmas season.
Still, it isn’t necessary to compromise, to surrender and forsake your goals of wellness. You can stay on course. You can sustain and even initiate wellness in the face of it all. You can indulge in those festive holiday foods and do so in wellness via these tips.
You are worth it!
So take these tips to heart and for great holiday recipes, check out my new e-cookbook Simply Good Holiday Foods. It is
packed with 60 fantastic recipes that honor tradition and bless your body! And they incorporate the tips and principles we’ve discussed today. So go ahead. Take tradition to new heights of wellness this season!!
Check it out here. And tell you friends and loved ones. Better yet, pickup an extra copy or two for gifts! They’ll be blessed!
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas Now in wellness!