From pesky colds to dreary days that make working out less appealing, staying healthy during the holidays can be a challenge, but one of the most difficult parts about taking caring of your body during the fall and winter months is making healthy decisions about nutrition. It’s all too easy to overload our bodies with foods that are void of nutrition when confronted with tons of tempting holiday treats, which is why it’s especially important to be mindful of the choices we make about food during the holidays. Staying on track, doesn’t have to mean sacrificing taste though!
In order to make healthy and delicious choices during the holidays, I follow a few simple principles. I make sure to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I count colors, not calories. I pack tons of nutrient-rich superfoods into every meal so that my body feels nourished, instead of deprived, and I create beautiful dishes that I can savor with all of my senses. My Colorful Quinoa Salad combines tons of different flavors and textures, so it’s great for satisfying a wide range of cravings, from sweet to savory. Quinoa is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet and one of my very favorite grains. It is an incredibly rich source of protein and fiber, which means a little bit will keep you full for hours, and is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and trace minerals. Loaded up with colorful fruits and veggies, like sautéed kale and red onions, steamed sweet potatoes, tangy pomegranate seeds, and crunchy pine nuts, this salad is a feast for both the eyes and the body. It is a gorgeous, wholesome addition to any holiday meal and would work well as either a side dish or a main dish.
Along with encouraging people to eat lots of fresh, whole foods, I also like to remind people that making healthy choices isn’t just about eating salads. Even naughtier treats can be nourishing if they are packed with beneficial ingredients, which is why I try to sneak healing ingredients into holiday cocktails and desserts, as well. I make wintery Thin Mints that are packed with superfoods like coconut, Manuka honey, and my special Cacao Magic Superfood Blend, and I love creating classic baked goods with healthy twists, like my Persimmon Pumpkin Pie, which is gluten-free and loaded with filling fiber and healthy fats. Just a little slice goes a long way because it so satisfyingly scrumptious! I even add detoxifying and immunity-boosting ingredients to homemade cocktails like my Sage and Berry Honey Soda that combines healing sage, fresh lime juice, fragrant ginger, effervescent kombucha, my Berry Bliss Manuka Honey, and a splash of vodka for a drink that will make you feel merry, while keeping you healthy and bright.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember when trying to make healthy and nourishing choices is to listen to your body. When you really feel the urge to indulge, go ahead! Just be sure to be present and enjoy the experience as a treat, instead of a cheat, so that you can feel truly satisfied and more inclined to make healthy, balanced choices throughout the holiday season.
By Sophie Jaffe