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The holiday season can get a little hectic, and when things get hectic, it gets much harder to stay healthy. I want to share some of my tips for staying healthier this holiday season. I do my best to practise these tips all year round.
- Keep your baking nutritious and delicious. Try using unrefined coconut oil in your recipes. Consider adding hemp hearts, chia seeds, and other nutritious nuts and seeds to your recipes. Adding seeds and nuts to sweet recipes helps balance your blood sugar and lessen the sugar rush. I am working on a recipe for Healthy Chocolate Almond Butter Cups with oats and hemp hearts. They’re delicious, and they don’t seem “healthy” at all. If you have a recipe that uses raisins, try adding goji berries instead. You’ll add some antioxidants and lessen the sugar rush that comes with raisins.
- Be prepared. If you know you’re going to a party where there will be foods that tempt you, I suggest you do one of two things. Either eat really well all day so you can stand to slip up a little bit at the staff Christmas party. Or, bring your own eats so you have something healthier to eat when you get tempted to dive in to something not so healthy. Check out my Christmas recipe page and my Snacks & Appetizer recipe page for ideas. Everyone always suggests you eat before you go to a party so you aren’t tempted to eat unhealthy food. Well I don’t know about you, but that never works for me. Instead, make sure you have a day of healthy eating behind you. Then the party indulgences will be easier on your body because it will be armed and ready with lots of nutritional goodness from a day of healthy eating.
- Use whole grain gluten-free flours that are higher in nutrients. Teff, quinoa, certified gluten-free oat, and millet are some of my faves. Teff goes oh so well when paired with chocolate and gingerbread spices. You could even use grain-free flours like almond flour or coconut flour. These flours will also help to balance the blood sugar spike that comes with sweet treats. Whole grain and grain-free baked goods also leave you feeling a little more full, so maybe you won’t eat so many sweets from that gluten and sugar-filled tray that keeps calling your name.
- Swap out the sugars. When I began my refined sugar-free journey I started by using blonde cane sugar instead of white table sugar. There’s virtually no difference when it comes to taste. The only difference is the colour, there’s less processing involved with blonde cane sugar. As we all know, less processing always means it’s the better choice. If you’re a regular to my recipes, then you know maple syrup and coconut sugar are two of my favourite unrefined sugar-free sweeteners. They both add incredible flavour to baked goods. Locally grown honey, molasses, and stevia are also good options when you’re swapping out the sugar. Yes, sugar is sugar, but it’s much easier on your body if the sugar you’re baking with is less refined. And let’s be honest, there will be sugar during the holidays. Why not make it healthier sugar?
- Take good care of yourself. During the holidays we are often spending so much time doing things for other people. And yes, this is the point of the holiday season, but at what cost to your personal health? Take some time throughout the day to pamper yourself. I know you can squeeze it in somewhere. My favourite way to relax these days, even for ten minutes, is in an epsom salt bath with my favourite essential oils. A healthy and happy you will mean everyone will be healthier and happier. Get lots of rest, exercise, eat well all day long, try not to indulge, and if you do, bring yourself back on track before it gets out of hand.
If you’d like more information or to work with me one-on-one, I am currently taking a limited number of clients for nutritional consulting. Click here for more information.