Smarter and Healthier Snacking During the Holiday

‘Tis the season to be naughty with our food.’

Many who have been trying a therapeutic diet find it difficult to enjoy their favourite treats during this special time of year. However, it does not have to be this way. Instead of avoiding foods, perhaps it is wiser to find healthier ways of having our cake and eating it too.


Tips for enjoying holiday treats:

  • Use 1/3 of the sugar the recipe asks for. Many do not know that by using a lot less sugar, they can still make a treat just as tasty as if they used the full amount.

  • Use healthier sugar substitutes. I am not talking about fake sugar but using some stevia, coconut sugar, monk fruit, maple syrup, or agave.

  • Get nutrition into your sweets. I have had many patients experiment with sneaking things like avocado and beetroot into their favourite sweets without their guests noticing. Just because something is ‘sweet’ does not mean that you cannot get some nutrient density as well.

  • Use natural, gluten-free flours. Many treats include gluten-free flour like millet, sorghum, and buckwheat without affecting the taste. Get inventive with using these types of flours in your baked treats.

  • Use a no-bake recipe. Many times, creating sweets like truffles and chocolate energy balls allows you to avoid using any kind of flour at all and lets you put more nutritious ingredients like fruits and good fats into your recipe.

  • Keep in mind that just because we are making more natural treats that they remain exactly this, a treat! You should not indulge every day. This just gives you another way to enjoy a treat with friends and family without feeling left out.


And let’s not forget some valuable tips to help us not overeat during the holidays:

  • If you are not hungry, don’t eat! Unless you have blood sugar issues and need to eat every 3-4 hours, you do not need to snack. The longer you give yourself between meals to rest and digest, the better.

  • Bring Your Own Food. If you are invited somewhere where you are not sure if there will be anything for you to eat, offer to make a dish or a sweet.

  • Take it easy on the alcohol. Remember that one serving of alcohol has quite a bit of sugar so

    your best bet would be to sip on a shot of something with tonic water. White spirits are usually better than wine or beer.

  • If you ‘cheat’ become a detective. If you do indulge outside of your therapeutic diet, take it as an opportunity to notice any negative symptoms. These can include bloating, gas, diarrhoea, or constipation, but also headaches, brain fog, or mood swings.

  • Focus more on the experience than the food. Most people all over the world look forward to the food at a holiday gathering. However, in health, just as important as what we put into our bodies is how we nurture the spirit. Focusing on the people at a party and re-igniting good relationships should be one’s primary focus. Take your time to laugh with people you have not seen in a while or play a game of cards with your grandmother. These are the memories that make the most difference in one’s well-being.

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