Eating healthy snacks at Christmas? Surely that’s a contradiction in itself like ‘Exciting new developments in banking’. How can the words ‘healthy’ and ‘Christmas’ appear in the same sentence? How can anything representing forever be recognised as a celebration of calories and feverish feasting? How can Christmas even sit in the same paragraph as the word healthy?
Well, it can if you spice up your festive season with some genuinely healthy snacks. Or, better still, eat them instead of the less healthy stuff. Christmas is a time of celebration. That doesn’t mean it has to be followed by a time of commiseration as you compare new year waistlines.
So let’s get busy and decorate your Christmas with healthy delights.
“Yuck!” I hear you say. And yes, an overcooked Brussels sprout is a stinky blob of green sludge. But ever so slightly undercooked they remain a bit crunchy and sprouts become a surprising delight. And while you may strike some resistance, after a plate of the little green monsters are placed on the table, it will quickly dissipate.
Oh, and don’t tell the kids they’re good for them. And don’t tell the adults Brussels sprouts can actually help prevent cancer and lower cholesterol; that will only heighten suspicions. And if this unpopular vegetable sprouts some new converts, try broccoli, cabbage and kale as well.
Get some nutcracker sweat going this Christmas. Brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews and walnuts; they’re certainly are an easier sell than sprouts and offer some serious vitamins, fibre and minerals to crunch into. Mix up a bowl of fresh nuts for a nutritious snack anytime over the holidays.
Ah, now we’re talking! Turkey is already part of the Xmas vernacular, yet sometimes it’s overtaken by goose in the festive pecking order. Don’t let it! Goose is both fatty and fattening. Turkey is lean, mean protein packed with vitamin B6 to relieve tiredness; selenium to keep your holiday hair glowing; and phosphorus to rattle your bones into active growth. How can something as delicious as turkey be so good for you? It really is most un-sproutlike.
As a roast accompaniment, cranberries need no introduction. There’s no reason not to have some whole berries in the mix as they also help to stave off cardiovascular disease and stunt tumour development. Now, that’s good dinnertime conversation.
Who’d have thought this quivering mass resembling a post-Christmas stomach could be even vaguely healthy? But it is. Jelly contains gelatin which (more good dinner conversation) helps maintain a healthy stomach lining and intestines thus minimising a leaky gut. Delicious! If that’s not enough to get you jiggling with excitement, jelly is also good for your joints.
Foods to avoid
Having told you the good snacks, it seems only fair to also share the snacks to avoid. They are many and varied; they’re also guaranteed to turn your tummy into the aforementioned jelly.
Let’s start with creamy dips. They go hand-in-hand with the equally fattening partners-in-crime: crisps and corn chips. And while as a combo they might make a nice drink accompaniment, they are full of processed nastiness and calories.
Pies and sausage rolls may be Christmas staples, but they should come with a stapled health warning. They are nothing but fat wrapped in pastry with not the slightest bit of goodness.
Same with cakes, slices, chocolate and sweets. Yes, it’s Christmas; it’s almost obligatory to chew on a few candy canes and fill your face with cake. Just take a step back and monitor the junk you eat. With a little moderation, the ‘’Silly Season’ can actually be remarkably sensible.
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