The holiday season can be a difficult time for those who want to maintain a healthful lifestyle. Numerous parties, bountiful feasts, so many well-deserved celebrations, each of these can also an opportunity to overindulge. Food plays such a large part in our festivities that it can be easy to lose your intention amidst the chocolate and cakes and schnapps. There are a few simple recommendations, however, that can help keep the holidays healthy without sacrificing the yumminess!
This is perhaps my favorite recommendation. Are you ready?
Eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.
Yes, you read that correctly! It’s your childhood dream come true. Limit your selection to one to two slices, remembering that portion sizes matter. At the end of the article, you’ll find my personal Paleo pie recipe, showcasing the same decadent flavor you crave with healthier ingredients.
Lunch is the meal most often missed during this time of year. It’s easy to justify midday fasting to overindulge later in the day. Skipping meals often leads to binging later. It can be as simple as starting to eat while cooking, grabbing a few cookies to get you through the afternoon, or loading up that dinner plate with enough food for a small country. All those little actions snowball into a large helping of regret the next morning.
Instead, opt for a light lunch. Consider a cup of soup with a salad or perhaps olives with raw cheese to comfortably tide you over until dinner.
This brings us to the main feast: Christmas dinner. Next to Thanksgiving, this is perhaps the most iconic meal we have in America. From The Grinch to The Christmas Story, countless characters line up to admire the final fixings and drool over the beast they cooked for the final meal of the day.
Fatty organic prime rib, especially marbled with juicy fat layers, actually jam packs the meal with nutrients and makes for an iconic centerpiece at the final meal. If turkey finishes off your day instead, you’ll be loading up on quality protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Make sure to pack your plate full of your low-glycemic vegetables, such as green beans, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and chard. Rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, not to mention much needed fiber, these colorful additions to your meal help with digestion and give you that full feeling. For a fun healthy twist on salad dressing, check out my recipe below.
Don’t deprive yourself of some of the holiday favorites, including the classic mashed potatoes. Pair moderate portions with slow, thoughtful chewing to savor the mashed potato flavor without overdoing it.
If you’re looking to switch up from regular potatoes, squash soup is a great start to a formal meal, or roasted root vegetables can hit the spot. Whichever starches you decide to include, make sure that they play a minor role in your overall meals.
Even though you started the morning off with dessert, it’s tempting to finish with the same sugar rush. Wait two hours after eating for your stomach to empty. You may also forget that last slice, at least until tomorrow morning!
After enjoying the morning festivities with the family, build in a physical activity to the celebration. From taking a stroll at the beach to tidying up the living room to throwing around the football at the park, turn the TV off and get the blood pumping.
Whatever you do, encourage your family to remain active throughout the day. Not only does it help create those cherished memories, you’ll be burning off some of that extra sugar you’ve enjoyed.
Jump Start Your New Year Goals
From tackling residual health issues to knocking off that excess winter weight, the New Year always brings about a great opportunity to kick your health goals into gear. As we all know, commitment to our January regimen comes and goes as easily as sneaking a few cookies.
If you’re looking to make a commitment that sticks, accountability plays a big role in overall success. To tackle overall wellness, and achieve your goals this year, consider starting off the year with one of my wellness nutrition packages. Together, we will customize a unique nutrition plan and give you the tools you need to make this the most healthful year yet.
Contact me today to set up your free 15-minute appointment.
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This recipe is adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
- 1 gluten-free pie shell
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin, or 1 can pumpkin
- 3 eggs
- 1/3-1/2 cups honey, or other natural sweetener; to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup coconut milk, full fat, use homemade for GAPS
- Line a 9-inch pie pan with your choice of gluten-free crust. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat well. Add the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into piecrust.
- To avoid the crust getting burned, cover edges of pie pan with strips of aluminum foil until they just cover the edges of the crust.
- For almond piecrust, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 35-45 minutes or until firm. Or for coconut crust, bake at 325 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until firm.
- Allow cooling for several hours or overnight in the fridge. It will become firmer as it cools. If you are using the coconut crust, the crust will also firm up overnight in the fridge.
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons dried (basil, oregano, chives, and thyme are all nice)
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a jar. Stir well with a fork.
- Add olive oil, cover tightly, and shake well until combined. You can also use a blender and drizzle the oil in slowly while it is running.
- Serve over your basic green salad with added chopped vegetables.
Despite the efforts in the organic community, our food supply has fewer nutrients than 100 or even 50 years ago. The transition to industrial food production drastically altered our soil and water supply, stripping them of the life giving nutrients that nourished generations before us. As a result, the presence of key micro nutrients is much diminished.
Without access to nutrient-rich soil and clean water, our food supply suffers.
While we can now obtain foods that are free from toxic chemicals and pesticides, I am afraid that not even the best organic practices will give us back the quality soil and water we had 100 years ago. This means that the we may not get all of the necessary nutrients at each meal.
This is where supplements can fill the gap.
Tailoring Supplements to Meet Your Needs
For the majority of healthy individuals enjoying an organic and wholesome diet, I recommend a basic regimen of multivitamin, omega 3 fatty acids, and probiotics. This counteracts the lack of micro nutrients, fish, and fermented food in most meal plans, all of which have key nutritional elements.
The truth is that most individuals are in optimal health. From frequent headaches to troublesome digestion to fatigue, the average person finds himself or herself fighting some type of ailment. You can find the specifics by browsing through their medicine cabinet. The Mayo Clinic did just that, discovering that 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication. 50% of Americans are on two prescription medications, and 20% takes a whopping five prescription medications.
Yikes! This is the result of the Standard American Diet (SAD) and all our “innovations” in food production—medicine cabinets lined with prescriptions.
In order to adequately address these ailments, it’s important to first address the causes. While I advocate the use of food as medicine, I recognize the importance of supplemental nutrition to fill specific gaps in your diet.
Replacing Prescriptions With Nutrition
Despite the advertising from profit-driven pharmaceutical companies, you can replace the majority of your prescription medication with a nutrient dense diet and targeted nutriceuticals. In fact, this is the best way to actually heal the body’s different ailments.
Too often we leave a doctor’s appointment with a laundry list of prescription medications, covering everything from hormones to anti-inflammatories. It’s well intentioned, but sadly it is only a Band-Aid approach.
For example, if your thyroid is imbalanced and under producing hormones, you may be prescribed hormone replacement therapy. Basically, you can take a pill to replace the work of the thyroid, and provide your body with hormone(s). Unfortunately, this approach does not find or correct the root cause(s) of the thyroid imbalance. You must know that the thyroid makes one hormone in inactive form (T4), which is converted in the active form (T3) in the liver (estimated 40%) and in the gut (estimated 20%), as well as other organs. The conversion is dependent upon nutrients, namely selenium, zinc, and iron. If your thyroid issues stem from micro nutrient deficiency, caused by a poor diet, or a leaky gut, or stressed liver, it would make sense to work on the root cause, and provide the body what it needs for healthy functioning. Why take a hormone in pill form, if what is needed are nutrients to allow the body to make its own hormones and conversions? Long term, you aren’t giving your body a chance to heal and you are hindering its ability to work optimally without having to depend on a pharmaceutical drug. Wouldn’t the better approach be to give the thyroid the raw materials (nutrients) necessary to produce the hormone?
You can with a diet and nutrition-based approach.
Once you start to realize the sheer power of using nutrition to define healthy living, you’ll join the growing number of Americans telling the high-profit, low-service pharmaceutical industry to take a hike.
Using the Highest Quality Supplements
Just like how not all food is created equal, especially when comparing more wholesome organic fruits to mass produced and modified produce, not all supplements are created equal. With the rise of popularity of supplements and other diet additives in the health market, many low-quality companies have entered the arena to take a cut of the revenue.
Poorly made supplements don’t give your body the nutrient dense building blocks it craves.
Individuals striving to restore and boost health need an option that is based on the most cutting-edge science. That’s why I’ve started offering USANA supplements. USANA has been a pioneer in the nutrition scene. Their products are based entirely on science and research to create the most effective supplement for you.
Rather than trying to capitalize on the latest fad or build up unnecessary hype, this company has steadily built up their research-based products over the last twenty-five years. USANA works with top-of-the-line researchers and nutritionists to make sure everything they put their name on is high quality. Over 90% of USANA products is created in-house, ensuring the quality and caliber of ingredients that goes into every item.
I don’t recommend companies lightly. Due to their extensive research-based process and longevity in providing the highest caliber products, I’ve decided not only to recommend them to clients, but to also use their supplements myself.
Redefine Your Health Today
Regardless, if you are looking to fill the nutrient and vitamin gaps in your current diet or are looking for a more substantial approach to a healthier life, together we can help you achieve your health goals.
If you’re really looking to pinpoint the exact supplements your body needs, consider exploring genetic testing through Genetic Direction.
With this tool, we can identify your unique chemical makeup and possible genetic-driven nutrient deficiencies. This revolutionary approach to health gives you the ability to align your diet and workout regimen based on what your body responds to best. We also get a clear picture of which nutrients your body either doesn’t adequately create or might not absorb correctly. With that, you’ll have an even better picture of the most beneficial supplements to use for your unique health journey.
USANA offers a Free Online Health Assessment, and I will extend my practitioner discount to all my clients who purchase through my online dispensary
Contact me today to start!
Edited to add: check out this article for the review of the best probiotic supplements on the market! http://www.reviews.com/probiotic-supplement/