by Janice Dietrich
Last month I talked about Thanksgiving being my favorite holiday, and while that is 100% true, I adore the Christmas season as well! I love that everyone is excited to give and show loved ones how much they care. I love the Christmas lights and how pretty they look. I love being able to bundle up in a big coat, scarf, hat, and boots. And don’t even get me started on the music.
One thing that is very similar about the Christmas holidays and Thanksgiving is that parties and gatherings frequently revolve around, or at the very least include, food. My favorite and most loved food from Christmas as a kid was my aunt’s cookie tray filled with the best sugar cookies. I know it will be there on Christmas this year and I know my best bet to avoiding it will be preparing myself with delicious healthy food options to choose from.
I have made healthy meals that taste even better than their unhealthy counterparts, and I know I can help myself make the best choices on Christmas if I prepare correctly. This recipe is a quite simple one that can be customized to exactly what you want. I love any kind of chocolate, especially if it’s with peanut butter, and I’ve realized that chocolate covered fruit or pretzels really helps suffice my sweet tooth.
Chocolate Dipped Dessert
- Apple Slices
- Gluten Free Pretzels
- Dark Chocolate (look for one that is dairy and sugar free)
- Coconut Oil
- All natural peanut butter
- Crushed nuts of choice
- 1 Can of Coconut Cream
- Add chocolate and coconut oil to a double broiler to melt; stirring constantly until fully melted. If you don’t have a double broiler, heating it up in the microwave in 30 second increments and stirring in between will work just fine.
- Dip your food of choice into the chocolate and immediately sprinkle crushed nuts over chocolate or drizzle with peanut butter.
- To make dairy-free whipped cream for dipping, refrigerate the can of coconut cream overnight. Then whip with mixer for about 10 minutes until it has reached a whipped cream consistency.
Although I love this Chocolate Dipped Dessert recipe, I know that this one recipe isn’t going to magically make all my food choices on Christmas easy. I wanted to give you some additional tips on easy ways to prepare for the holidays as I understand that it’s not always easy! Here are a few tips that I use to set myself up for success on the holidays!
1. Load up on salad!
Salads don’t need to be boring or rabbit food. I look forward to salads because I can add nutrient dense, delicious toppings and I am constantly mixing up my options for something new each time. You can actually enjoy a salad filled with fresh spinach, kale, hard-boiled eggs, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, carrots, beets, avocado, sunflower seeds, or sliced nuts (whew! That’s a lot of toppings!) and it will be more filling. If you eat this kind of salad first, it will be easier to resist other foods that aren’t necessarily helping you reach your health goals.
2. Find a friend!
The majority of my family doesn’t eat the way I do and will be bringing dishes that look great but will probably lead to inflammation. I do know that my sister is health conscious and eats the same way my husband and I do, though. This Christmas, my sister and I planned what we were each bringing so we have more options. For example, I’m bringing a healthy dessert and appetizer, and she is going to bring a compliant side dish and gluten-free rolls. Working together with my sister allows us more options without all the work. If you don’t have a family member who eats the same way you do, consider inviting a friend who does!
3. Use gut healers!
I love gravy on my meat and potatoes during the holidays, but let’s be real – the store bought kind is not the best option. I like to use bone broth to make my own gravy for family events because not only is it better for me, but its healing my gut as I eat! A big bonus is that my family loves it too, so I can help them heal and be a little healthier without them even knowing!
4. Give yourself grace!
Stress can be detrimental to your health and it can wreck your body. Do I need to avoid temptation and choose healthier options when I eat? Absolutely! But do I need to stress myself out so much that I can’t even enjoy time with family? Not at all. I may choose to eat mashed potatoes that I would normally avoid, but it’s okay. While I still make health conscious decisions, I give myself grace for not being perfect for this one meal. And you should too! Be aware that food allergies or intolerances don’t go away for special occasions; they will still affect you and you will still have to deal with consequences of how they affect your body but do what you can and then enjoy your day!
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