Avoiding Christmas Cookie Baggage

One major complaint that I have with American holidays is that they are almost all centered around food. Not only that, but many of them encourage gorging yourself with food. Not one of them widely advocates for indulging in moderation. The Thanksgiving food baby is now joked about, but in reality it is a pain that can detract from the enjoyment of spending time with loved ones. Can you imagine a Holiday where we eat just enough, rather than way too much, and have the energy to go for a brisk walk or a game of basketball with the fam rather than slouching into the couch for a movie and a nap? Not only does the exercise boost endorphins, but it will provide you with the energy to spend real quality time. The other major issue is the sky-high content of fat, sugar, and calories in your most beloved holiday foods, but thankfully with a little effort and creativity that can be avoided. Here are a couple great, healthy recipes that mimic crowd favorites without the added baggage.

Raw Chai-Spiced Cookies: Easy to make, healthy, and provides a great boost of energy for breakfast or snack time!

  • 1 1/4 cup dates, pitted

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 2 tsp masala chai spice mix

Instructions: Pulse ingredients in a food processor until it is a ball of dough, separate into smaller balls and flatten on a cookie sheet, freeze for at least an hour, and enjoy!

Oatmeal Breakfast Pancakes:

  • 1.5 cup oats

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • optional: 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 

  • Vanilla

  • Stevia (to taste)

  • Spice it up with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in a food processor and cook over medium heat. Top with Greek yogurt, maple syrup, or fruit!

Check out this article for a larger list of healthy Christmas cookies:

https://greatist.com/health/healthier-holiday-cookies

Just remember, even if other people are eating beyond their levels of comfort, you have the option to enjoy healthier versions of common Christmas treats and to eat in moderation. You don’t have to give up on all of your health and fitness goals simply because it’s Christmas time. Be creative, use the resources available to you on the internet, experiment with healthy recipe alternatives. Above all, keep in mind that most things in life are most enjoyable in moderation.

Sources:

http://asunshinemission.com/eat/festive-friday-raw-chai-spiced-cookies/

http://pheebsfoods.com/2014/12/19/healthy-gingerbread-men/

Photos:

Pixabay.com