Post by Jamie Fairbairn, Holistic Nutrition Student & Competitive Water Skier
The countdown to Christmas dinner is ON! We all have our favourite traditional Christmas/Holiday dish – but the sugar and calories consumed during a meal like this can leave us feeling guilty the next day. Before you turn away from this post in disgust thinking “[gasp] she’s suggesting I ditch the stuffing and eat a green smoothie instead!”… do NOT worry! Know that I’m simply encouraging you to think differently – smartly– while preparing your family favs!! My family tried this on Thanksgiving and the meal was delicious!
Creating a Lifestyle
All we did was think about the delicious food on the table and break it down into its whole and natural flavours. It’s then easy to pinpoint just how much “extra” we add while cooking. Now ask yourselves…. is this extra sugar, or pound of butter really necessary in this dish? Because let’s be honest, this is 2015! Refined white sugar is over-rated! Think outside the box! Your food is beautiful and delicious. Challenge yourself to make simple substitutions to your classic dishes as a lifestyle choice which you can feel proud of, not guilty of, the next day.
Being proud of the food we prepare and eat is an amazing first step to creating a positive relationship between us and our food. This positivity helps us to feel great about what we put into our body, and in turn our bodies feel great as well! This nourishes a deep connection of love and respect for our body and the skin we’re in. Can you think of a better way to feel as the New Year approaches?! Heck No!
Below are some quick and easy prep tips for traditional dishes on my family table during the Holidays. Make it your own, and be creative! Our bodies will be smiling all the way into 2016!
Quick Tips for a Guilt-Free Christmas
Cranberry Sauce: Try making your cranberry sauce with 1/3 the amount of sugar the recipe on the bag calls for. You’re going to amaze yourself with this one!
Tip: organic cane sugar and organic coconut sugar work well as a substitute to refined white sugar
Stuffing: Substitute your white bread with sprouted whole grain bread, or even a quinoa bread! Quinoa bread is dense and much higher in protein than other bread so you can fill up and feel satisfied with your healthy selection! Yes… we just said stuffing was healthy 🙂 When picking out bread, pick up the loaf and read the ingredients. My rule is, if I can understand each ingredient then I’m on the right track to finding a great loaf. If the ingredient list is long and complicated – move on!
Tip: Try adding more veggies to your stuffing than you did last year. Get creative! Celery, carrots, beets, peas, corn, onion, garlic… you name it! They’re all delicious and nutritious.
Sweet Potato Mash: Sweet potatoes are naturally high in Vitamin A, C, many of the B’s, and minerals such as manganese and potassium. If your meal already includes a sweet potato dish – amazing! If not, try substituting a potato dish for sweet potato. You won’t be disappointed.
Tip: Sweet potatoes even have the word ‘sweet’ in their name! Put down the maple syrup and butter here. Taste the natural flavor of the food instead. I like to bake my sweet potatoes, mash them with the skin on for extra nutrients, and add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg for flavor.
Turkey: It’s the holidays! No one should ever feel guilty for indulging, so long as the choices we make are conscious ones. Cook your turkey with love; baking or smoking it will enhance flavors without sacrificing nutrients. Deep frying is typically a detriment to the nutrient value in food, and all of a sudden a food with a lot of nutrient potential is devoid and becomes empty calories. If we feel great about preparing our food, our bodies will thank us for many years and Christmases’ to come.
Topless Apple Pie: All the great flavour but half the crust! Bake your treats with a bottom crust only to satisfy your stomach and feel great about the food on your plate.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!