Living a whole-food, health conscious lifestyle doesn’t have to stop just because Santa is coming! Being aware of the things to avoid and also the things to include in your holidays is important. I want to share with you today a few tips that can help keep your Christmas clean while still have an amazing holiday!
Exercise – Keep up your exercise routine
Although it may seem that there is less time to exercise around the holidays, maintaining your exercise routine is important. You can make time by adding exercise to your social agenda. Doing something physically active for your catch ups keeps you fit and feeling good over the holidays. Exercise releases feel good endorphins, increases circulation and lymphatic drainage which enhances immune function and increases bone density.
Tip: Instead of going to a bar/cafe, catch up with friends at the park, gym or even go for a bike ride! Take a class together like dancing, yoga, boxing or bootcamp!
Self-love & Relaxation
Giving Christmas presents to all your loved ones is a huge part of Christmas but did you ever think of giving yourself a gift at Christmas? I really do believe that loving yourself is one of the most important parts of healthy living, especially for the mothers out there who often focus so much on their children and forget to love and care for themselves. Treat yourself to a massage, meditation, a relaxing spa or any other way that feels special to you.
Tip: Even just congratulating yourself on all the things you have achieved for the year is an act of self-love and recognition. Express gratitude for all that you have, this brings more things into your life to be grateful for!
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the “bad food buffet” at parties that are filled with sugar, trans fats and even pesticides or genetically modified food. A trick that I like to use is to eat a little something healthy at home before you go out so you don’t end up eating the “bad” stuff!
Tip: Add some protein like eggs, nuts or free-range meat to your “before party meal”, this will give you longer lasting energy. A green smoothie with Spirulina is a great choice and will also add extra protein and the added benefit of alkalinity and detoxification.
Sodium nitrate is used to preserve christmas hams, bacon, hot dogs and other processed meats. Sodium nitrate turns to nitrosamines when charred or burnt and this chemical has been linked with cancer. Vegetables such as kale and celery actually contain natural nitrates and some companies use celery juice/powder, instead of sodium nitrate (which is made in a science lab), to preserve their meats. These may be a better alternative for your christmas ham this year. However, over consumption of processed meats, no matter what kind of nitrates they contain, I don’t believe is beneficial for your health. I generally avoid processed meats all together and choose fresh organic meats instead.
Note: If using meat preserved with celery powder/juice ensure you cook your meat thoroughly.
Tip: If consuming processed meats ensure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables high in Vitamin C to potentially protect against the effects of nitrates/nitrosamines. Eg Broccoli, lemons, leafy green vegetables like kale or spinach, tomatoes, asparagus and avocados.
Use Fresh raw vegetables like carrots, celery or cucumber with your dips to increase the raw, enzyme rich food you consume over the holidays.
To read more on this:
Look for and avoid MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial colours, trans-fats, vegetable-oils, hydrogenated oils, food colourings and preservatives. Some stuffings contain MSG, which is bad news! It causes damage to the nervous system, including killing brain cells. MSG is a flavour enhancer found in things like noodles, coffee, soda and meat.
Tip: hidden MSG on labels: natural flavour, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) and yeast extract.
Be conscious about your alcohol consumption and also your choice of alcohol. Stick to lighter coloured spirits like vodka and mix with mineral water and fresh lemon/lime. Organic and preservative free red wine is rich in antioxidants and also a good choice. Also consider things like Mocktails made with cold-pressed juice, fresh fruit, sparkling mineral water and mint or spices. They are so satisfying and refreshing! Limit your alcohol to 1-2 glasses and drink plenty of filtered water through the day and in between drinks.
Note: It might be also wise to increase your probiotic intake over the Christmas period as toxins like alcohol can kill the good bacteria in your gut which are the foundation of your immune system. Fermented foods like cabbage, kimchi, low sugar kombucha drinks, plain yoghurts, homemade rejuvelac or a good probiotic supplement will all benefit your gut flora.
Tip: everyday drink roasted dandelion root tea or take St Mary’s/Milk thistle to detoxify and protect your liver from alcohol.
Sauces & Salad Dressings:
Some pre-made sauces/dressings can contain large amounts of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils and preservatives. These sugars may be lurking in many different products that you might not expect eg. Breads, yoghurts, salad dressing and sauces. Christmas favourites like apple sauce and cranberry sauce are really easy to make at home without the nasties. Your local Natural Health food store may have some healthier pre-made alternatives too, but be sure to inspect labels.
Make your own salad dressings using healthy ingredients like cold-pressed olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, organic dijon mustard, herbs, tahini, plain yoghurt and sea salt.
Tip: Use organic apples when making apple sauce as apples are heavily sprayed with pesticides. Green apples also have less sugar so are also a good option.
Here is a link to a delicious cranberry sauce:
Desserts & Sweets:
I always think it’s best to make your own sweets at home. That way you can avoid the bad stuff. Choose fats like coconut oil or organic butter (if you eat dairy). When you’re adding sweeteners to foods stick to whole-food sugars like dates, maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia or raw honey. These options still have beneficial nutrients such as minerals or fibre to keep blood sugar levels under control.
My Christmas Cookbook has a variety of Christmas favourites like Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread and an Egg Nog recipe which I am going to share with you today. All my recipes are are all dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and soy-free. There are some really simple recipes in the ebook that you could cook with your kids. Educating your kids on cooking real whole-foods I think is important, so you might like to get the kids involved in making things like the chocolate Truffles this christmas?
Free Recipe from our Christmas Cookbook – available through this link for $4.99 http://nourishandinspireme.com/christmas-cookbook/
Stay tuned…Daily Pea will be hosting a giveaway of this beautiful Christmas Cookbook very soon!
MINI “EGG NOG” SMOOTHIE
This is my raw version of an egg nog, obviously minus the sugar, cream and complicated mess! I love recipes that are quick and easy to make but satisfy your taste buds! All though it may not seem like the “real thing”, this smoothie take on egg nog will not disappoint. I have used fresh, whole foods to create a creamy smoothie with festive spices. These mini smoothies will get you in the festive mood without feeling like you have over indulged. Serve in mini cold glasses as a treat for your guests to enjoy on arrival or after their meal.
Dairy-free / Gluten-free / Sugar-free / Raw / Serves 2 small sizes
1 frozen banana
1 tsp mixed spice
1⁄4 tsp vanilla pwd
Handful of cashews
1⁄2 cup coconut milk
3 tsp coconut whipped cream for extra creaminess or just the thick/solid part of the coconut cream.
HOW TO MAKE
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and pour into chilled glasses. Sprinkle with mixed spice and garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired. Merry Christmas!
Nourish & Inspire Me was created from across the globe between me and my sister Brooke. I live in Melbourne, Australia and Brooke is currently living in Austin, Texas in the USA. We’ve always been interested in health and wellness and love to create health conscious meals based around whole organic food. I have done a Diploma in Remedial massage and i am also a singer/songwriter. Brooke has degree in International Business and Marketing and is responsible for most of our website design, photography and food styling. With our website we hope to inspire others to do what they love, eat well and connect to their true selves. I truly believe that to create positive change you must, “Be the change, you wish to see in the world”. I hope that our website can help improve your life in some way no matter how big or small.
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