Healthy Holiday Eating
By Laurie Lynch, ND    

The Holiday season can be the most fun and exciting time of the year, but it could also be one of the most depressing and fatiguing times, when we dwell on the negative, are moody and irritable, pass colds and flu back and forth, and gain excess weight.

Here are some tips that can help you maximize the good times and minimize the bad.

  •   Substitute raw honey for sugar and artificial sweeteners.  

  •   Substitute whole grain flour for white flour.

  •   Substitute Caffix for coffee.

  •   Substitute apple cider, herb tea, or my Eggnog recipe for alcoholic beverages.

Why?  Sugar, white flour, caffeine, and alcohol all lower the immune response and raise the blood sugar temporarily, but then our pancreas and adrenal glands kick in and produce their hormones to lower the blood sugar even lower than before.  When our blood sugar levels are lower than normal our brains and other cells do not get the glucose they need to function properly, and that can cause fatigue, mood swings and depression. 

  •   Prepare food fresh and avoid processed and restaurant foods because they contain chemical additives and about 80% contain genetically engineered ingredients that contain tumor causing bacteria, pathogenic viruses, and toxins that can lower the immune system. Also cooked food begins to develop harmful bacteria after 2 hours if left unrefrigerated, and mold begins to develop after 24 hours, even when refrigerated, which can cause health problems.

  •    Eat simply and smaller amounts. Combining too many different foods at one time, too much food, and eating before the previous meal is digested can cause indigestion which contributes to these problems. 

  •   Eat lots of vegetables. Veggies add immune-building nutrients and fiber that help counteract the harm done by the processed foods.

  •   Eat organic.  Organically grown foods have better flavor, more nutrients, and none of the allergy/cancer causing chemicals.

  •   Minimize indigestion with digestive enzymes supplements, proper food combining, and keeping the bowels regulated with Psyllium husks and the herbal laxative, Cascara Segrada, and by drinking Chamomile tea with fresh grated ginger.

  •   Bring healthier foods to parties.  I always bring a healthy salad and desert to my family dinners, and healthy snacks to parties.

 Here are some healthier substitutes for traditional holiday fare:

1/2 cup RAW HONEY                      1 tsp WHOLE ALLSPICE                  2 quarts APPLE JUICE (freshly juiced)                                                                    1 tsp WHOLE CLOVES                                                 1 three-inch stick CINNAMON                                                                                                        .    Combine honey and cider and add spices. Slowly bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Strain out spices. Serve hot with orange slice and cinnamon stick.

7 ounces organic TOFU                                                                                  1 can COCONUT MILK (fresh is even better, see Dr. Laurie's recipe book)
4 Tbsp raw, unfiltered  CLOVER HONEY                                                      1 or 2 whole NUTMEGS, freshly ground
1 large green AVOCADO                                                                                1 tsp organic VANILLA
     Scrape out yellow part of avocado and add to blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serves 2-4.

Fresh raw organic veggies cut in strips

4 oz TOFU                                            1 Tbsp. RAW TAHINI                       1 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL                                                                                             1 tsp. LEMON JUICE                           Dash of  MUSTARD                          1 tsp. BRAGG’S AMINOS
 ¼ tsp. DILL                                          1 tsp. CHIVES                                                                                                                              

      Blend ingredients until smooth, except dill and chives.  Spoon into bowl, stir in herbs, cover and refrigerate several hours. 

1 cup CAROB CHIPS                                                            1 cup ALMONDS
½ cup COCONUT                                                                  1/3 cup HONEY             
1/3 cup OAT GROATS (soaked 24 hours)                              1/2 cup raw TAHINI    

     Finely chop almonds, add coconut, honey, Tahini, and oats, and chop until mixed.  Add carob chips and chill.  Knead mixture and roll into balls and roll in additional coconut. Keep refrigerated


Stuff pitted DATES with raw ALMOND BUTTER, top with an almond.

FRESH BEET, grated                                                    Red bell PEPPERS, diced
RADIASHS, chopped                                                    RED ONION, minced
RAW ALMONDS, freshly toasted                                BROCOLI flowerettes

1/4 cup LEMON JUICE                                               2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp raw HONEY                                                        1 tsp ground CUMIN

1 cup whole rye or spelt FLOUR                                  1 cup CORNMEAL
1 Tbsp. PSYLLIUM HUSKS                                       2 tsp BAKING POWDER
1 tsp BRAGG’S AMINOS                                           2 Tbsp raw HONEY
1 2/3 cup WATER

Mix honey and water, add to dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. Pour into pan oiled with a drop of lecithin, bake 20 minutes at 375.

8 cups cubed CORN BREAD                                       2 sticks melted BUTTER                               1 & 1/2 cups chopped CELERY
1 cup chopped ONION                                                1 & 1/2 cups VEGETABLE BROTH             1 tsp. SAGE  
                                                                                           1 cup MUSHROOMS, sliced                                       1 tsp MARJORAM                                        1 tsp THYME                                                                   1/2 tsp BRAGGS AMINOS                                        1/4 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER                          1/3 cup CHESTNUTS

Combine bread, butter, and vegetables. Stir liquid in gradually.  Spoon into 3 quart casserole dish oiled with a drop of LECITHIN.  Bake covered 30 minutes, then bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer. 

2 Tbsp BUTTER                                                          5 Tbsp whole RYE flour                                   1/4 cup ONION, chopped                                               
1/8 tsp SAGE                                                              1/4 cup BRAGGS AMINOS                             4 cups veggie BROTH
1/8 tsp CAYENNE pepper                                        (1 cup chopped Mushrooms)

Melt butter over medium heat, add onion; sauté 2 minutes.  Add flour, stir until brown, add broth, Braggs and herbs. Cook, stirring until gravy boils and thickens. Cook 1 more minute.                                                   

 1 ½ cup PECANS                                                    1 AVOCADO                                                      1 cup baked YAM                                                           4 Tbsp. RICE SYRUP                                               1 ½ tsp. VANILLA                                              baked PIE CRUST                  
Bake pecans at 350 for 5 minutes, mix yam, vanilla, avocado, and rice syrup in blender until smooth. . Add raw HONEY if needed.  Pour into baked pie crust and press in pecans.  Refrigerate 2 hours.                   

2 cups baked, peeled, mashed PUMPKIN (sweet potato, squash, or yam)                                              1 tsp each ALLSPICE, NUTMEG  
1 pound TOFU, squeezed and drained                       1/2 cup HONEY                                                   1 tsp CINNAMON                               
Blend until smooth, pour into pie crust, bake at 350, 25-30 minutes until firm.

1 cup whole RYE FLOUR                                        1/3 cup BUTTER                                                (1 tsp. BRAGG'S AMINOS or 1 Tbs. HONEY)                2 1/2 Tbsp. cold  WATER                                                                                                             .   
Mix butter and flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add liquids a Tbs. at a time, tossing lightly with fork. Kneed until it picks up crumbs in bowl. Press into pie plate. Double for two crust pie.                                                                                                                        

.    Eat healthier and have happier, healthier holidays.

Laurie Lynch is a Naturopathic doctor, Nutrition expert, Master Herbalist, and certified Hypnotherapist at the Living Well Health & Education Center, 910-426-5159.   To enquire about Dr. Laurie's cook book, call her at (910) 426-5159.                                     

 Home          Back to Health Tips

      Copyright © Laurie Lynch, N.D., 2008-2011