I'm an admitted, card-carrying foodie, and when I'm at a holiday party, I absolutely love to graze and taste everything.
But when the holiday party platters are overflowing with cookies that are processed-sugar-laden and full of ingredients that we avoid on any other occasion, what to do?
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For me, accepting the host's hospitality is far more important than ingesting an unacceptable ingredient or two (since my food avoidance is for philosophical reasons rather than allergic ones, of course), but it's still far from ideal and often leaves me feeling ill as my body tries to process ingredients it's not accustomed to.
So, with that in mind, here are a few ideas and recipes to keep you joyful and your body nourished through the holidays.
Bring your own cookies – plus enough to share.
If you bring a plate of cookies or treats to add to the table, it's likely no one will even notice that the only goodies you're eating are your own. This way, you can share the yummy goodness of consciously-made treats while still only eating goodies you believe to be healthy and nourishing.
Here are links to a few of my favorites:
At home, soothe and relax with nourishing drinks
I absolutely love tea and coffee, but they are drinks that acidify the body, which isn't always desirable when it's already overloaded with other treats. Instead, try making a warming cinnamon drink by simmering 2-3 cinnamon sticks in 2 cups of water for 20-60 minutes (whatever is convenient for you). Stir in 1-2 Tbls raw honey until dissolved, then pour into a mug and enjoy. It's surprisingly satisfying!
Classic eggnog is also a delightful drink. Raw eggs and raw milk make it especially satisfying. Find a delicious, old-fashioned recipe in the Winter 2011 issue of Edible Vancouver magazine. (There's also a really yummy version my book, The DIY Pantry, which you can find in any bookstore January 2, 2014.)
If you do drink tea or coffee, use alternative sweeteners (such as coconut palm sugar, which tastes the most similar to cane sugar) and raw milk or cream.
Eat treats sparingly
To truly nourish your body, even treats using alternative sweeteners should be eaten or imbibed sparingly. Enjoy what you do eat, but do so in moderation!
Celebrate with others
Whether it's two or three close friends or a large family gathering, eat and nosh with others. Food is meant to be shared! It's also easier to keep your treat-eating to a minimum when you're not eating alone.
Merry merry Christmas to you all.
May all your feasts and simple celebrations nourish you both in body and soul!