I would guess the initial thoughts that come to mind for many of us about the holiday is; turkey and desserts (yum!), followed by bloating and food coma (ugh). It’s that time of the year that we tend to indulge a little more, it’s easy to over eat because let’s be honest, the food is so darn good!
Healthy holiday eating is possible. I’ve shared my tips on how to celebrate during the holidays while keeping your health goals in check and preventing that post dinner bulge. Because food comas and adjusting your belt loop after a meal aren’t usually what we like to look forward to.
Let’s keep the over stuffing for the turkey, not our bellies.
Over eating creates havoc on our digestive system and we end up with that dreadful gut rot feeling. It’s so easy to get carried away when there is so much food around. The trick is to start with a salad, baked veggies, or soup followed by a protein so that you begin filling your stomach up with dense nutrients, leaving little space for the breads and casseroles that tend to be the bloat culprits.
I also recommend taking a high quality digestive enzyme with your meal to help with digestion so you can absorb the nutrients from your food better, ultimately reducing bloating and that sensation of food sitting in your stomach.
Slow it down
During the holidays you get to surround yourself with family and friends around good food. Distract yourself with conversation. There’s no rush to finish your plate. Take a breather, and put your fork down between bites. This gives your brain time to register that your stomach is currently on duty. No one is forcing you to eat everything on the table, choose what you really want to eat and mindfully enjoy every bite of it. This goes for dessert too, choose 1 dessert that you have been eyeing, and savour every delicious morsel.
Contribute a healthy side dish or dessert for the dinner
Make something you can bring to the dinner that is something you would love to eat yourself. A tasty side dish such as my chickpea pomegranate salad or the coconut butter bark below.
You’ve heard all the buzz on the health benefits of coconut oil. Now enter coconut butter, which is the meaty-goodness of the coconut flesh, blended into a silky and creamy purée. I’m big on making desserts using coconut butter because it’s not only packed with healthy fats to keep you feeling satiated, but has a variety of health benefits as well.
Like coconut oil, coconut butter (or coconut manna) is a medium-chain fatty acid. These fats are easy to digest and are converted into energy that the body can use right way. Rich in lauric acid, which boosts immunity and destroys harmful bacteria, viruses, and funguses. Coconut butter is full of fibre, essential amino acids, calcium, and magnesium. How’s that for healthy holiday eating?
Coconut Butter Bark
- 2 cups melted coconut butter
- 2 TBSP honey
- 1/2 cup unsalted hazelnuts
- 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios
- Coconut flakes (optional)
- In a large bowl of hot water, place a smaller bowl into the large bowl, and put the coconut butter and honey into the smaller bowl to slowly melt. Give it a good stir to fully blend.
- Add in the vanilla extract.
- Carefully pour the melted coconut butter and honey mixture out on a tray lined with saran wrap. Sprinkle as much pomegranates, pistachios, and coconut flakes as you wish
This article previously appeared on www.memorymorsels.org.