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When someone asks is Christmas a “time-out” in healthy eating? I answer with a resounding NO

“… It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” I love Christmas, and the tree, and the lights, and the decoration and the food… this is the time of year to share (more) with family and friends, gathering around and reuniting with those we don't see much. It is, however, one of those moments in the year where it might seem more difficult to stay true to healthy eating and healthy habits. It has not been that difficult for me in the last years, and I would like to share with you how I embrace holidays with a healthy mind, and maybe help you cope with temptations and the difficulties that might come up efforts of being healthful.

Concerning issues of health and nutrition my husband and I are very conscious that we really are what we eat and that goes for our twins too!

I am well known among friends and family for cooking healthy, swiping “bad” ingredients for great-nutritious ones.

Embrace the holidays with a healthy mind. However, I know well that using holidays as an excuse to fail in healthy habits is common, and being able to fight against it takes some time, will and knowledge.

My kids are 2 years and 3 months old, and being their mom has been as adventurous and exciting as it can be. I have devoured articles about healthy habits in order to raise my kids in the best way possible. This is the first Christmas where they will be more exposed to holiday traditions involving different foods and preparations, which most of the time differ from the ones I cook at home. However, I am not worried because I have done my homework prior to entering the holidays: creating healthy environments at home all year long. When we go to a party or a reunion with family/friends, I tend to take some home cooked meals to share, always made with organic, minimally processed ingredients that are healthy for all. This ensures that I will have my own options. From what we are offered, we always choose the natural nutritious preparations above the ultra-sweet, high calorie, high fat dishes, and since my twins are already used to the food we eat at home, they end up craving carrots, celery, olives, Greek yogurt and seed’s crackers instead of chips and gold fish.

I do not leave behind the fact that I love traditional Christmas dishes, so what I have opted to do is to make my own recipes inspired in the traditional dishes in order to make them a healthier alternative. I would go for a healthier version of banana cake, or low GI desserts, or an ‘avocado-oil mayo’ potato salad, or even a healthy ‘Hallaca’ (traditional Venezuelan Christmas dish) made with organic yellow corn flour, whole grain oat flour and soon will be trying with sprouted grain quinoa flour. I will be sharing this recipes with you!

Holiday’s traditions and health can for sure coexist, but as I said before it requires engaging our daily life, all year long, with the purpose of living nutritiously. What is not real nor sustainable is to pretend to create better habits during a short period of time when there is no background and no prior habit for having healthy habits. Let’s make health a long term goal!

Dare to Dream! The Holidays do not have to be a "break" from healthy habits.

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