Healthy Holiday Tips
Here come the holidays and it’s time to visit with family and friends. But along with these merry days of celebration comes the fear of gaining those unwanted pounds and toppling those well-maintained blood sugars. While traditional meals and dishes are hot favorites at this time, these delicacies are usually high in calories and carbohydrates.
Does that mean you need to miss out on all those goodies and fun? No, you can be a part of all the happenings and still be in good control with just a few simple tips:
- Snacking at home and at parties can wreck havoc with your blood sugar, so avoid all the salt filled crackers and go NUTS! Many nuts have heart-healthy benefits and walnuts are full of essential omega-3 fatty acids. With this relatively low carb snack, hunger can be kept at bay.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, especially in the form of salads and appetizers with healthy fat dips such as avocado.
- Trim meats before cooking and remove skin before eating. Cook meats on a rackso that the fat can slowly drip away from the meats. Choose white meat without skin whenever possible.
- Think of having low-sugar desserts, such as baked fruits sweetened with natural juices or cinnamon. Try a great chocolate mousse that no one would suspect is made with avocado. (see recipe below)
- One alcoholic beverage can be enjoyed when blood glucose is in good control. Although there remains controversy about what is considered “safe” moderate intake, some research does show benefits from women drinking one drink per day, and men drinking two drinks. Certainly one drink of red wine is more heart healthy than consuming a high carb egg-nog drink.
- Exercise needs to remain in your holiday schedule. Even just getting out for a walk around the block can be helpful, as well as being a great stress-reliever. Walking immediately after meals is best, as it helps you use the food you just ate more effectively and helps lower blood sugar!
- Whether your holiday is concentrated on family, faith, or service, look forward to enjoying the experience and having fun no matter what you do!!
Nutritious and Delicious avocado Chocolate Mousse
Makes 2 servings
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
- ¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1-2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut or almond milk (adjust to desired consistency)
Place the avocado, cocoa powder, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Slowly add in a splash or two of coconut milk, until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. (will be thick) Place the mousse in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let the flavors set. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Serve in individual bowls and top with shredded coconut and fresh berries.