A Healthier Christmas and Holiday Season
At this time of year many people are starting holidays and often that leads to drinking too much alcohol and snacking on unhealthy foods. It doesn’t have to be that way, and it can also be a time of rest, nourishment, sunshine and swimming, connection with family and friends, and looking after your health in ways you may not have had time for over the year. How would you like to feel when you head back to work next year? Vibrant, well rested, healthier and ready for the year?
May I suggest this can be a good time for booking an appointment with your natural, preventative health practitioner, to get your health back on track. I am available all through the Christmas and New Year season, to support you in your health goals.
We often think of Christmas as a time for overeating, and eating foods we might not indulge in the rest of the year. They also tend to be foods that are not suited to summer in Australia, and come from our European heritage. In the northern hemisphere, feasting on dried fruits, cakes and pies, large roasts and other such foods suits their cold winter season. However, we will feel much better and lighter if we adapt to our local season and eat from the abundant choice of incredible, fresh and delicious seasonal foods we have available. We can create our own food traditions that serve us rather than deplete us.
The focus of this newsletter is on including more:
in your Christmas Holidays
I am a big fruit fan, and encourage people to include more fruit in their lives. I am not talking about concentrated fructose, or even fruit juice, but the whole thing. It has natural sugars, for sure, but these are wrapped up with soluble fibre, and so much nutrition, and are a healthy way to satisfy our sweet cravings. People have been valuing and eating fruit for millions of years, and studies show that people who eat fruit regularly are healthier.
Fruit is also easy to digest and wonderful for children.
Fruit pretty much speaks for itself, but here are some ideas to include plenty of fruit in your Christmas. I am not saying you should only eat fruit, or even too much fruit, but I encourage you to enjoy fruit instead of the sugary and flour-based foods that abound at this time of year.
Here are some ideas for including more fruit in your Christmas:
Starting with a fruit platter. How about adding some raw nuts and olives for fat and protein, for some balance. It is a colourful and beautiful dish to take to a pot luck or shared meal, instead of chips and dips.
Wild Blueberry Smoothie
David and I have a version of this most mornings. I stock the wonderful organic wild blueberries.
To serve 2
1 cup of wild blueberries
Juice of 1 orange
1 large or 2 small bananas.
A decent handful of leafy greens such as kale (destalked) or baby spinach.
Enough water or coconut water to blend and pour into 2 cups.
To this you can add a variety of other things, for example:
hemp seeds or protein, raspberries, mango, ginger, turmeric, spirulina, barley grass juice powder, kelp or dulse, ashwaghanda powder (for stress), Vit C powder....so many possibilities!
Christmassy Chia Pudding
For the Chia Seed Pudding:
6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups of milk of your choice
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
For the Raspberry/ Wild Blueberry Puree:
2 cups frozen raspberries or wild blueberries
½ cup water
1 tablespoon raw honey
fruit of your choice
To make Chia Seed Pudding:
The night before, mix all ingredients in a bowl together together and whisk. Cover and place in refrigerator (or leave on bench) overnight. If you need this quicker, 2 hours is sufficient.
To make Raspberry/ Wild Blueberry Puree:
Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until well blended.
To make parfaits:
Evenly divide raspberry puree into 4 small parfait glasses. Add chia seed pudding then top with fruit. Enjoy!
Fruit Ice Cream
Freeze some overripe bananas and mangoes when they are cheap in the stores. Chop them up first.
Then when you want some creamy icecream, take 1 cup or so of bananas and/or mango, along with any other fruit like raspberries, wild blueberries..and blend in your blender. You can add a splash of coconut cream for extra creaminess.
Fruit Icy Poles
Icy poles can be made with whole fruit, adding yoghurt or coconut cream for extra creaminess and/or protein power for protein for fussy kids or the elderly. So much better on those hot days, than resorting to the sugary shop ones.
Salads with fruit added
Salads taste so much better when they have fruit added, especially to the salad phobic. Remember that tomatoes and cucumbers are technically fruits too, and most people can digest fruit in their salads perfectly well, so don't be concerned. It is far more likely to be the gluten, sugar and flour you eat that will upset your tummy. In summer, and in particular at Christmas, adding mango, figs, berries or apricots to your salads makes them so delicious. For a complete meal around this time of year, add some protein such as some cooked prawns, fish or chicken, or a handful of nuts, and you will be very satisfied.
Christmas Bliss Balls
And last but not least, if you are looking for a healthier, and easier to make version of Christmas pudding, these bliss balls will do the trick.
Ingredients for 16 small or 8 large
1 cup of almonds or macadamias
1 teaspoon of cinnamon or mixed spice
2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder
1 cup of dried figs and/or dried apricots
1 cup pitted and chopped medjool dates
Orange zest and juice from 1 small orange
Place nuts with the mixed spice and cacao into a blender and blend until the mixture resembles textured breadcrumbs. Put aside • Add the medjool dates, apricots, figs and orange zest, whiz until the fruit is finely chopped. • Put nut mixture back into blender with chopped fruit and orange juice process until blended together. • Roll into balls, chill and serve. • You can roll in desiccated coconut, and serve on a platter with goji berries sprinkled over.