Tips for Healthy Holiday Swaps
Christmas and the holiday season are coming soon. While rich and calorie-laden food is usually central to festive celebrations, we have swaps and strategies to make your holiday feast a little healthier. (This also helps balance out that glass of eggnog!)
Some Healthy Holiday Swaps
- Skip the full-fat dips. You can use avocados, Greek yogurt or cashew cream (made of raw cashews and non-dairy milk) as high-nutritional substitutes when making creamy sauces, dressings and dips. Hummus is also a healthy swap.
- Choose sweet potatoes over white potatoes. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which help boost your immune system. They’ll also keep your blood sugar in check.
- Make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.
- Instead of green bean casserole, have roasted Brussels sprouts.
- Skip the dark meat – it has about twice the fat and 40% more calories than turkey breast.
- Make homemade stuffing with cubes of whole-grain bread, no- or low-sodium chicken broth and your favourite herbs.
- Make your own gravy. Store-bought versions are full of sodium and MSG. Pesto also makes a great holiday substitute.
- Make your own homemade cranberry sauce with less sugar than canned ones.
- Choose whole-wheat rolls over white dinner rolls. Better yet, have veggies and dip instead.
- Skip apple pie and enjoy pumpkin pie instead – it has fewer calories and fat, and is high in vitamin A and other nutrients.
- Cook with coconut oil instead of vegetable oils.
- Skip the eggnog and drink hot apple cider or dark hot chocolate instead.
Healthy Eating Strategies
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day, instead of “saving yourself” for a large and heavy meal. This is easier on your digestive system and reduces bloating.
- When visiting or hosting others, make sure you include a healthy dish that you can snack on without hesitation.
- Drink water between meals instead of during. Did you know that water can dilute your digestive juices? This slows and inhibits digestion.
- Make sure you’re eating enough fibre (i.e., whole grains, fruits, veggies and legumes) to keep your digestive system healthy.
- Keep an eye on portion size.
- Take time to enjoy your food. You’ll eat less and avoid feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
Try some of our delicious recipes to put these tips into practice. Here’s some suggestions to check out in our Recipe Box.
- Sweet Potato and Avocado Bites
- Stuffed Peppers with Garlic Cashew Spread
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Honey