Festive and healthy holiday ideas- Jill Brook, MA

Happy December!

I don’t think we have to decide between a healthy holiday season and a festive one.  Here are some some to make our holidays BOTH:

Seasonal soups.  A quick online search offers countless recipes for unique delights, such as pecan soup, sumac roasted carrot apple soup, Thai pumpkin soup, and (probably literally) a million more.  I think if we put as much time into making soups as we usually put into making holiday cookies, they could be the most memorable holiday food!

For edible Christmas decorations, how about stringing cranberries and homemade popcorn?  Just use a needle and thread, and the garland looks great on a tree or anywhere in the house (just keep it out of reach of curious toddlers or pets).

If you enjoy decorating a gingerbread house, but know it will result in too much candy and frosting getting eaten, how about a veggie lodge held together with cream cheese?  A tutorial plus other holiday fun with veggies is provided here:  https://itswrittenonthewalls.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-veggie-lodge-instea….

Instead of egg nog, how about golden milk?  It’s a warm, creamy, delicious anti-inflammatory drink made from ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and coconut milk, sometimes with other tasty things added, such as almond milk, almond butter, honey or other natural sweeteners.  There are numerous recipes online, but a basic 5-minute recipe is here:  https://minimalistbaker.com/5-minute-vegan-golden-milk/

If you are exchanging holiday gifts, why not give (and ask for!) things that will promote good health?  There are edible gifts, such as tea, spices or nuts still in their shells.  There are growing kits for things like mushrooms, sprouts or micro greens.  There are kitchen gadgets to make healthy creations, such as spiralizers, food dehydrators, kale zippers, yogurt makers, and such.  Then there is gear for exercise or relaxation, such as exerballs, yoga mats or foam rollers.  

Find more reasons to laugh.  Silly games may be an underrated therapy, and there are numerous new online options that allow you to connect with others during lockdown.  I recently spent $5 on a game called “Quiplash” and it has already given me hours of laughs with friends across 4 generations and the globe.

What else can we do to make our holidays more joyous and healthy?  Please send any ideas my way, to jill@dietforhealth.com, and have a holiday filled with wellness and joy.

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