It's officially the holiday season! But that doesn't mean you have to neglect your health. For many of us, the holidays are paired with unhealthy eating habits and feeling not so fantastic.
Most store-bought products nowadays are full of harmful chemicals and inflammatory ingredients that not only make us feel crummy but cause a lot of damage to the body.
So the best way to ensure you are getting good nutrition while avoiding the bad stuff is to simply do it yourself!
Healthy eating during the holidays just takes some planning and experimentation, but it doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself or choose the boring bland salad.
Did you think you had to give up your favourite recipes? Check out some of our favourite holiday alternatives suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike.
The ultimate comfort food on a cold winter's day!
This mac n'cheese recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, making it a dish that is both anti-inflammatory and nutritious. The main ingredient, pumpkin is a fall favourite of ours as it is naturally sweet, low calorie, and nutrient-dense. It is particularly high in beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, which is important to maintain eye health, support gut repair, protect the skin, and fight infections (1).
The holidays could not be complete without gingerbread men.
Another twist on a classic, this recipe uses healthy fats and warming spices such as almonds, flax, cinnamon, and of course, ginger. Ginger is a therapeutic food that can be used to treat digestive upset such as nausea and IBS, menstrual cramps, and even migraines. Its impressive nutritional profile and spicy kick make it a great addition to baking recipes or simply as a tea!
Don't be fooled by its name, this Christmas classic can be made completely plant-based. This eggnog is skipping the dairy this year with plant-based milk as a substitute combined with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. Sweetened with pure maple syrup it provides some sweetness without giving you a blood sugar crash. Dairy-free, gluten-free, and alcohol-free, this recipe is perfect for the whole family to enjoy, and if you want to get a little adventurous you can always make it into an adult drink!
Everyone loves a 7 layer dip! But most of the grocery store options contain inflammatory ingredients as well as numerous additives. This healthier version provides healthy fats, fiber, and protein to keep your blood sugar stable and promote satiety. Pair it with organic corn tortillas or whole-grain crackers for a crowd-pleasing appetizer!
What's better than a cup of hot cocoa curled up next to the fireplace with fresh snow outside? Though most hot chocolates you can order are filled with inflammatory fats and refined sugars (talk about a sugar high!) this recipe uses raw cacao to provide antioxidant benefits and that chocolate kick we are all searching for.
Is chocolate actually good for you? Raw cacao contains potent antioxidants, much more than regular dark chocolate but also contains fatty acids, calcium, amino acids, and magnesium. So choose the raw form for increased health benefits. Cacao can positively affect your mood by raising neurotransmitters like serotonin, no wonder we can't get enough!
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.