by Aimee - Primal Health Coach
Christmas and the New Years period is a tricky time to stay healthy let alone get healthier! It's definitely, in my opinion, best from a sustainability and success point of view to begin a new health plan in January but I definitely believe that over this period we can still make healthier choices to avoid January's goals being even tougher to achieve because we had such a blow-out in December!
There's nothing wrong, for most people, in indulging in a few treats over the Christmas period. If you're ok with it, you know what could be happening to your body and you accept it, then it'll have less of a negative impact than if you stress and worry about it.
If you'd feel better making a few 'better' choices though and not having a complete junk-fest then I have some ideas and inspiration for you!
Healthy Swap Ideas
Here's a list of ingredient, general food and meal swap ideas to give you some inspiration for planning gatherings, going to events, prepping for Christmas day and New Years celebrations:
Swap out regular wheat flours in recipes for coconut flour, green banana flour and use tapioca/arrowroot powders when needing extra binding.
Make your own pure peppermint essential oil sweets instead of always opting for the candy canes! (recipe here!)
Make gelatin gummy lollies instead of buying packets of cheap Christmas-themed jelly lollies.
Use good quality (pure if possible) coconut milk/cream to make drinks such as eggnog, chai spiced lattes etc.
Add pure Grade B maple syrup to desserts, even coffee, for healthier sweet and rich replacement to cane sugars. I like to add a dash of maple to my coffee on Christmas morning, it's my yearly tradition treat!
DIY potato salad using golden sweet potato or the purple skin/white flesh sweet potato and paleo mayo (recipe here), along with fresh herbs, maybe some good quality bacon bits and that's about it. Pretty simple and way healthier!
A healthy homemade coleslaw is even easier... paleo mayo, shredded cabbage, grated carrot, salt, herbs/spices of choice, done.
Buy healthy organic soy-free chocolate bars, chunks etc from the health food store and melt down in a double-boiler method on the stove to then pour into Christmas moulds, to set, and wah-lah, you've made healthy Christmas Chocolates!
Make your own stuffing with coconut flour, green banana flour or nut meal of choice, ghee or butter, herbs and mineral salt.
Glaze your good quality ham with honey.
Source clean dried cranberries (often the health food stores or online will have sugar and preservative-free options) and make a healthy cranberry sauce with coconut amino, mineral salt, cooked down and blitzed to make smooth or left chunky. You can also add some apple sauce (peeled, cooked, soft, mashed apple).
Choose raw or activated nuts instead of buying roasted salty nuts. You can lightly roast your own nuts in a pan on low heat with mineral salt and ghee/butter but raw/activated is always best for digestion.
Buy cooked prawns not raw black prawns. If not cooked on board the trawler, they're dipped in a sulphite solution which is all chemical. Cooked prawns are free from this. Wild-caught and locally sourced are ideal!
Make a paleo pudding with the flours mentioned above, clean dried fruits (not sunflower coated, preserved in the 200's chemicals, cane sugar etc), cinnamon, nut meg and all spice, apple juice and raw honey or pure maple syrup. Yum!
Make this paleo custard recipe.
There's a fair few swap ideas for you!
Reduce Inflammation Over the Silly Season
It's not only easy to eat off-track over Christmas, it's also a more stressful and chaotic time in general. All of these factors combined produce inflammation in the body, reducing our immune strength, and increasing our chance of getting sick.
My suggestions of foods to incorporate to try to combat inflammation and keep it at a minimum are:
Bone broth (recipe here)
Pure beef gelatin and collagen powders
Animal based meals as often as possible (red meat is the best, such as beef, kangaroo, venison and lamb)
Slow cooked veggies (and try to minimise or totally leave out leafy greens)
Animal fats such as tallow and lard (good quality only)
Fermented cod liver oil
Other Handy Healthy Habits
Get as much sunrise light on the skin and in the eyes as possible as many days a week as you can (20+ min is great).
Get yourself back outside later in the morning to absorb some essential Vitamin D.
Exposure yourself to nature and kick the shoes off to get the benefits of earthing
Blue light block at night time (with glasses) to help you sleep well and balance your circadian rhythm.
If you're feeling stressed, try to make some time for legit downtime and do what makes you feel good! Reading, watching some Netflix, journaling, beach hangs, socialising with people you love being around, going for walks, listening to your fave tunes, take a bath with a glass of wine, arts and crafts... whatever brings joy and relaxation!
I hope these ideas and tips give you some inspiration and motivation for a not-too-unhealthy Christmas and New Year!
Please get in touch if you have any questions.
Primal Health Coach
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