The holiday’s are officially just around the corner and that means food! Lots of food. Likely WAY way more food than you could possibly eat. So, here are some healthy switches to make this holiday season to keep the flavor and improve the nutrition. Also be sure to read to the end to get some amazing idea’s for healthy Christmas treats you can make with your family during the holidays.
- Use Butter Instead Of Margarine Or Spreads – Butter contains a special fat called butyric acid. One of the components of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. When faced with the stress of the holiday (and maybe even your family) butter can help keep you calm, cool and collected. Plus, it contains vitamin K2 which is good for your, heart, joints and blood sugar balance. In baking, I melt butter and use in place of oil. Don’t be afraid to put butter on your veggies, too!
- Reduce Sugar – You can cut the sugar by ¼ to ½ cup without sacrificing flavor. Try adding vanilla extract or cinnamon to make a dish taste sweeter without a blood sugar rush or extra calories.
- Add Bone Broth – Use bone broth to make gravy or mashed potatoes. It can even be used as a beverage. Bone broth contains collagen and glycine which can aid digestion, help with anxiety and boost your metabolism. It can even reduce appetite; something we could all use for those endless holiday meals.
- Cut Your Portions – Take enough for a few bites of each item. You can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry.
- Ditch The Cool Whip – Cool Whip is not a food and it doesn’t do your body any good. It is so easy to make real, whipped cream and it tastes a whole lot better, too. Add a little vanilla and try honey instead of white sugar for sweetening. Add small amounts of sweetener at a time and taste before adding more. There is no point in putting in more sugar than necessary.
Healthy Christmas Treats
During this time of the year there is an ABUNDANCE of cakes, cookies and other delectible desserts just screaming your name. However, if your anything like me, shortly after consuming them the guilt slowly begins to creep in. This year avoid the sugar blues and try making some healthier choices with these treats, beginning with these chewy gingerbread cookies. A staple for any holiday gathering!
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If you want to limit grains, use tapioca starch to thicken gravy. Try equal portions of tapioca starch and coconut flour in baked goods. Other healthy fats to use if you can’t do butter are;
- Coconut oil
- Properly rendered lard (make sure it is not hydrogenated)
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
Avoid soy, corn, and canola oils.
Have a fabulous holiday season and enjoy!
Annette Presley RD, LD, is a functional nutritionist, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She enjoys helping people live their lives well so they can stay out of hospitals and spend more time with their families and doing the things they love.