Ahhh…the holidays. Christmas cookies, pies, and scrumptious desserts. Sugar here, there, and everywhere. It can be such a tough time of year for those of us paying attention to our health (which should be everyone)! I’ve written before about the necessity of removing the refined white stuff from our daily food. Somehow, it just seems all the more difficult during this time of year.
But, have no fear! Did you know that you can have a SWEET CHRISTMAS without the sugar? Don’t believe me, do you? Let’s talk about the different things you can do to have a sweeter, and healthier, holiday!
- Try a natural sweetener like stevia or xylitol. Now, there is some confusion around these. You might think they are chemical or artificial sweeteners. Nope. These are NOT artificial, chemical substitutes. These are natural sweeteners that can easily, and sweetly, take the place of white, refined sugar. Try them both to see which you prefer. You can find them at your local health food store or online.
- Go for raw, local honey. Raw, local honey has other benefits than just its taste. It can boost your immunity and even help with allergies. It’s good for sore throats and coughs, too. Getting a local honey that is not overly-processed is what you want to look for. Check your farmers’ market or health food store.
- If you want the taste of chocolate, try baking with dark chocolate. And, again, look for the least processed dark chocolate you can find. Dark chocolate has lots of benefits for your health. It’s full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Yay, chocolate!
- Do not use chemical substitutes for sugar like aspartame, Splenda, Sweet & Low, Equal, or any other chemical sugar substitute that might be on the market. Not good. Also, agave is not the healthy sweet substitute that many think it is. It’s typically very processed and very high in fructose.
- Finally, find sweetness in other places other than your food. Maybe you think you want that chocolate cake, but in fact, you’re REALLY craving sweetness in your life overall. So, take a hard look at what’s missing for you in life (relationships, fulfilling career, self-care, stress reduction), and find the sweetness that you crave by improving those areas, rather than over-consuming those overly-sugared desserts.
See? Simple ways to have a healthier holiday! Now, go create some sweet memories with your loved ones!