While I am the first to say that sometimes it is important to loosen up a little bit and eat, drink and be merry, a month long marathon of indulgence is not going to leave you looking or feeling your best.  With a few simple swaps, make this holiday a little healthier. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself in the New Year!

 

Ditch the White Flour

My favourite flour swap is to use organic spelt flour in place of white flour. Spelt flour has not been, ‘tinkered,’ with, in the same way that white flour has. Spelt is higher in protein that white flour and also has more essential nutrients such as iron, zinc and magnesium. While spelt does still contain gluten, many people with gluten sensitivities tolerate spelt better than white flour. I have found that spelt behaves the most like white flour in my baking. Need a gluten free option? Grab the recipe here.  Leave, ‘tinkering,’ to Santa and the elves and go for spelt.

 

Watch Those Festive Bevvies!

Many people lose sight of just how much sugar and calories are in one glass of a festive drink. For cold drinks, replace ginger ale with tonic water or club soda to reduce the amount of sugar you are consuming. Look for 100% fruit juice for your mixes and be sure to garnish with fresh fruit for a fun and healthy touch to your glass.  If ordering a hot drink from a local cafe, ask if they are making your drink with fresh ingredients or with syrup. Most likely, you will find syrup is what is being used. Many drinks from your favourite shop can have upwards of 10-12 teaspoons of sugar depending on the size you order. Simply order a small at half sweet to still get the flavour you are after without all the extra sugar. Even though the snowflakes are swirling and it is cold outside, it is still really important to drink plenty of water. Aim for 8 to 10 cups daily!

 

Swap the Appy for a Salad

Ditch the appetizer at a restaurant and order a side salad to get started with. This will keep you from devouring the bread basket and get some extra veggies in your belly. Up for an added challenge? Skip the starches like baked potatoes, french fries and rice. Ask for extra steamed veggies on your plate. This will help promote digestion and help you feel light on your toes for a little dancing later!

 

Eat Before You Go Out

Many holiday parties start a little after the dinner hour. Depending on when you normally eat, this can begin to feel like an eternity. Swap the aggravation of having to wait to eat, for a balanced snack before you leave the house. Eating an apple with almond butter will ease those hunger pains and set you up for better decision making when presented with a menu or a tray full of empty calorie bombs on a platter.

 

Swap the Temptation of Saying Yes

Instead, stay home and get in your jammies early. Slow your pace down and watch a fun Christmas movie, take a bath and go to bed early. Our calendars can get ridiculously full at this time of the year. Go easy on yourself, set realistic expectations and enjoy this beautiful season.

 

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year!