Healthy Alternatives for your Holiday Meals


Looking for some healthy alternatives for your holiday meals? Don’t get stressed out about gaining weight. There are loads of easy ways to make the right choices during this busy time of year.

When you entertain family and friends during this festive season there is a temptation to eat and drink more than usual. All is not lost. You can control the meal planning to avoid holiday weight gain. Not just for you but for the people you love, too! There are healthy alternatives to even the most traditional recipes. Here are some tips to make healthier choices by using less fatty or modifying ingredients.

Potato Alternatives

The other night I had my family over for dinner and served them black rice. Use black rice as an alternative ingredient in your stuffing or instead of potatoes. Black rice is higher in antioxidants, vitamin E and protein than any other rice, and it actually tastes great! It is NOT processed so it adds insoluble fiber to your food and guess what … insoluble fiber helps with elimination! Add some grated veggies such as carrots or cabbage for colour, some herbs for flavour and little olive oil (cold pressed and organic.) You’ll have a fabulous tasty, easy to digest side dish to accompany your protein of choice.

All oil is not created equal. There are healthy alternatives. Always use coconut oil for cooking and cold pressed virgin organic olive oil for dipping or salads.

Stop the Bloating

Although I personally stay away from red meats, I do know that they can be popular favourites for a family meal. If you want to avoid bloating and digestive issues when serving veal, pork, or lamb roast, try eating them with a salad as opposed to potatoes or any other starch. Cooked side dishes lacks the enzymes that we need to help digest proteins. So if you add a salad (raw veggies) to your protein, this will help immensely with digestion.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Baking is a priority over the holidays. Coconut and almond flour are better choices than refined white or wheat flours. Choose butter instead of margarine, and applesauce or maple syrup instead of sugar. You will be surprised how good your favourite shortbread and brownie recipe will taste with these delicious alternatives for baking. Think outside the box … bake from scratch!!

Also, consider how you can detoxify your body if you did indulge a little too much. Check out my previous blog on Foods That Help to Detox Your Body Naturally. Then make a plan to get back on track right away the next day.

Enjoy your holiday meals ……and remember very little change you make goes a long way!!

Other Healthy Alternatives

If you have any questions or other ideas for healthy alternatives you would like to share, please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Frances Michaelson, Naturopath practicing on the West Island, Montreal, PQ

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