Healthy Whole Foods: Holiday Eating Strategies
First, and foremost, drink plenty of water. Not just during the holidays, but always. I’ve frequently heard the recommendation that we should take our weight and divide it in half and that is the number of ounces of water that we should drink each day. Teresa’s suggests drinking two liters of water every day. Another one our presenters, Karen Urbanek (KarensHolisticHealth.com), has the saying “2 by 2”, meaning two liters of water by 2 pm. Why is it essential to stay hydrated? It detoxifies your body, boosts your immune system, decreases your appetite and helps your whole body function better.
Next, take steps to manage stress and fatigue. Say “no” sometimes. There is nothing wrong with taking a break and spreading out the fun. When you are feeling a bit stressed pause and breathe deeply three times. Why? There are many good reasons, but on top of the list is that deep breathing is one of the best ways to relieve stress by sending a message to the brain to calm down and relax. What else can we do to keep our stress levels down? Do less, simplify, slow down and enjoy the moment. Get plenty of sleep! If you are not stressed or tired you will eat less.
Now let's talk more about food! The holidays are a fun time to eat because there are lots of treats and foods that we don’t get to enjoy at any other time of the year. It’s a big part of how we celebrate! So here are some pointers of how to do it wisely. Before you head out to a party eat first. Sounds silly? Well if you do you will probably eat better and be less hungry at the party. Bring a healthy food to share then you know that you will have at least one healthy dish to choose from. Make just one plate and start by eating whole foods like fruits and veggies. Skip the high carbs and eat just one dessert.
When cooking and baking at home make healthy substitutions. First, on the list, use less sugar. It adds a lot of calories and it is not good for our bodies. Instead, use more cinnamon to help sweeten your food. It’s loaded with antioxidants, lowers blood sugar levels and has many other amazing benefits. There are other good sweeteners to choose from as well. Stevia is one of my favorites! Choose healthy fats such as olive, avocado, and coconut oils.
Finally, eat foods to support your liver. The liver has several amazing functions. One of them is that it breaks down toxins like alcohol, medications and metabolic waste products. It gets a workout during the holiday season. Help it out by having plenty of citrus in your diet, as well as, blueberries, eggs, onion, and garlic.
Another fun part of all of Teresa’s classes is that you get to sample some pretty yummy food too! Here is a simple recipe that she shared with us. Enjoy!
Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup good quality cocoa powder
½ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup mild raw honey
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Prepare a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.
Put all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is smooth and nicely combined. (it will be very liquidy) Don’t over mix.
Pour the liquid fudge into the prepared muffin liners.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the fudge has hardened (or put in the freezer for 10 minutes).
Enjoy! Store in the refrigerator.