Eating healthy through the holidays can seem like an impossible task. But, you might be surprised to learn that lots of delicious, festive things are actually incredibly supportive of metabolism and healthy hormone levels! Yes, my friend, healthy holiday eating is possible and I’ve got a ton of ideas (and recipes!) to prove it to you.
Healthy Fats for Festive Recipes
First off, skip the Crisco and hydrogenated oils, please! Instead, cook your holiday treats using real, grass-fed butter, tallow, lard (makes an amazing sourdough pie crust!) Avoid vegetable oils that are high in PUFAs and cook with the real thing. Saturated fats are more supportive of healthy hormone levels and in all honesty, even they have a small percentage of PUFAs but its the high amounts we want to avoid. In case you’re wondering what the heck a PUFA is, it’s a fatty acid group that is highly unstable (oxidizes/goes rancid) in the presence of heat, light and oxygen. Not something you want happening inside your body. Think: corn, soybean, canola, cotton, sunflower, safflower, etc.
Eating Nourishing Cuts of Meat
Festive roasts of turkey, beef, lamb etc are great because gelatinous cuts of meat give us a good serving of collagen, which balances out the amino acid profile in muscle meat. Go for locally sourced, pastured animal products since these are the most nutrient-dense and humanely raised. Also, these cuts are generally cheaper too, and you can save the leftovers to make other nutritious dishes. Bonus: save the bones to make bone broth which is another great source of collagen and minerals.
Let Things Get Gummy
Cook with that liquid gold bone broth! It’s perfect for rice, potatoes and as a base for soups and stews. You can also add powdered collagen and gelatin to hot chocolate and homemade egg nog. My favorite brand is Perfect Supplements. You can make homemade marshmallows or gummies with gelatin. Protein is so important when it comes to healing hormones and these are a delicious way to make sure you’re getting enough.
Carbs Are Your Friend
Carbohydrates are super important for balanced hormones but it’s easy to go overboard on cookies and cakes during the holidays. Satisfy your body’s needs for carbs with nourishing, mineral-rich choices that are totally in season like stewed fruits: apples prunes and oranges. Enjoy locally grown and seasonal cooked winter squash or pumpkin with cinnamon, bone broth, butter, and maple syrup. In addition, other yummy and seasonal options are carrots, potatoes and beets.
Pate, anyone? Seriously, a homemade chicken liver pate with sourdough crackers is an awesome holiday snack. Keep the organs that come in your turkey and make gravy or saute them in butter and enjoy as a chef’s snack. Liver is a crazy good source of so many vitamins and minerals, so be sure to get it in your diet during the hectic season. If eating it isn’t an option, reach for convenient supplements like those from Heart &Soil.
Dairy is a Definite Go
Raw milk drinks are so grounding and warming during colder weather. I love a yolk drink with added adaptogens, topped with raw whipped cream if it’s really frigid out there. Hot chocolate drinks are very nourishing and you can find my recipe here or here. Dairy is a great source of vitamins A, D and bioavailable calcium. Raw cheeses pair well with healthy carbs and help a meal to feel more filling, grounding and nourishing.
How to Eat Healthy Through the Holidays
In general, to support your body and your hormones you want to be eating warmer, cooked, denser foods in colder seasons. Focus on nutrients and minerals. The holidays can be excessive in sweets and treats! Keep the balance by eating sufficient protein and healthy fats. For example, a grass fed meat stick + homemade fudge. Eat to satiety, and balance meals with protein, fat, carbs. Don’t diet or under eat because you’re going to a party later. That only puts your body is a stress state. Keep the fuel coming all day long to balance blood sugar and you’ll be less likely to overeat.
We aren’t “treating” ourselves, we are eating foods that nourish. We have to kick that mentality.
When it comes to alcohol, I get a lot of questions. “Can I have it?”, “Is there a better option?” and “Do you really not drink alcohol, ever!?” I get it, it’s a part of some people’s culture. While I choose not to have alcohol, you make your choice. Remember – though – it truly isn’t supportive of an imbalanced body (a healthy body does just fine with it) and you don’t have to subscribe to the “wine mom” culture. ANYWAYS. Quality always matters like with anything I share. For wine, organic, regeneratively grown and truly knowing the sourcing is important. If you’re looking at hard alcohols, again, quality. And a general rule I recommend when asked is that you pair fructose and these hard alcohols together. That’s all I’ll say on alcohol for now.
Here’s a Sourdough Pie Crust Recipe for ya!
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups organic flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup cold, grass-fed butter, cubed
- 1 cup sourdough starter discard
Cut cold butter into the flour/salt. Mix in sourdough discard. Roll into a ball and cover. Keep in the refrigerator 2 hours or up to 2 days to allow fermentation. When ready, roll out and line your pie pan. Bake as directed according to your recipe 🙂