It’s the most wonderful time of the year to celebrate with family and friends, but it often doesn’t feel that way when you’re trying to stick with your new healthy, slimming lifestyle. While everyone around you is indulging in what used to be your favorite treats and drinks, it can feel next to impossible to crush your cravings, stick to your new diet, and not feel left out. The good news is there are healthy holiday recipes to maintain your energy, your waistline, and your holiday cheer!
From cocktails to candies, here are my favorite healthy holiday recipes for guilt-free goodies to keep you on track with your health and weight loss goals while enjoying all the festivities.
Cranberry Vodka Spritzer
My personal chef Teresa is a whiz at creating healthy holiday recipe favorites. If you want to indulge in a little holiday libation without sabotaging your weight loss efforts, a good choice would be a small amount of gluten free vodka. If you are at a party you can easily order vodka with a twist of lime or a splash of cranberry juice, but if you are the party host, you can wow your guests with this delicious spritzer.
My favorite gluten free brands of vodka that I like to have on hand at holiday parties are:
- Crystal Head – distilled from a variety of corn called “peaches and cream,”
- Chopin – distilled from potatoes, and
- Tito’s – distilled entirely from corn mash (a less expensive but still very good option)
Cranberry Vodka Spritzer Recipe
1 to 2 Tablespoons of organic frozen berries of your choice
4 ounces chilled, unsweetened cranberry juice
1 shot gluten free vodka
4-5 drops Liquid Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener or Sweet Leaf Stevia drops
4 ounces sparkling mineral water like Perrier or San Pellegrino
Mint leaves or slice of lime to garnish
Spoon frozen berries into a glass. Pour cranberry juice and vodka over the fruit. Gently stir in liquid sweetener to taste. Slowly pour sparkling water in glass and gently stir one more time. Top with garnish and make a toast to good health!
Teresa’s Flourless Brownies
We are so blessed to have Teresa as our personal chef! She is a pro at lightly sweetening delicious treats without using sugar. Lakanto sweeteners are made with monk fruit and have a little erythritol added. If erythritol bothers your digestion then feel free to use pure monk fruit sweetener in its place or organic maple syrup if you tolerate it. She’s replaced the usual flour in this healthy holiday recipe with nutritious nut butter and plenty of rich cacao and chocolate. Your family and friends won’t even know they’re good for them!
Flourless Brownies Recipe
1 cup almond butter
2 medium zucchini, shredded
1/3 cup Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Lily’s brand chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Coconut oil or avocado oil spray
Lightly oil a 9″ x 9″ baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread into baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Notes: No need to peel the zucchini before shredding. Try substituting other nut butters and nuts. (We love these with cashew butter and cashews.) Add a little more or use less syrup according to taste. You can also substitute regular Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener or Sweet Leaf Powdered Stevia for the syrup.
Snack Foods for the Road
Distant family and friends mean holiday road trips for many of us. Ditch the greasy potato chips and hotel breakfasts and try these healthy holiday snacks instead:
- Atlas Protein Bar – these are my go-to snack when I’m on the road. Sweetened only with monk fruit, these satisfy hunger without packing on the pounds or adding inflammation.
- Pro Granola or Paleonola – sprinkle either of these on top of a bowl of berries (fresh or frozen), drizzle with coconut cream and add a dash of UNI KEY Health’s Flora-Key probiotic for extra sweetness.
What To Do When You Can’t Bring Your Own Food
Holiday festivities don’t always allow for us to bring our own food without sticking out like a sore thumb or offending the host. This is especially true with catered work parties and other formal events. In this case, the best defense is a good offense – plan ahead. Before you go, drink a protein shake full of essential nutrients and healthy fats so you aren’t arriving hungry. Previously tempting food are much less enticing when you already feel full, and small bites of overindulgent favorites feel like more than enough to quell those cravings.
If you must partake, make sure you eat a full meal with plenty of healthy fats and protein first. Choose complex carbs like pumpkin or squash pie so your blood sugar doesn’t react so sharply. Sugary foods, especially when you’ve been away from them for a while, tend to cause a sharp rise in blood sugar, followed by a crash. After the crash is when the cravings hit hard. Preventing cravings is much easier than fighting them, especially during festive celebrations.