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I feel like the biggest questions I get this time of year are about how to stay healthy over the holidays. This blog will include my best healthy holiday eating tips, and how to continue eating healthy during the holidays even when there are so many tempting options. This blog will show you eating healthy during the holidays isn’t hard and will help you get control of your holiday eating while still having fun! Let’s find out how holiday healthy eating is a no brainer.

Is staying healthy during the holidays much different than staying healthy during any other time of the year?

This question may seem really simple to folks who have a nutrition and fitness plan dialed in, but even the most disciplined people fall for the temptations that the holidays bring. With all the endless celebrations at both work and home, the potlucks and the sweet treats, it’s no wonder why we struggle. One of my favorite traditions an old friend started back in California is a cookie exchange party. I plan to start that tradition here in Leadville, CO. I will be providing some healthy cookie and sweet treat recipes in this blog. In regards to keeping it simple through the holidays and following tips and tricks you may otherwise follow during different times of year, I would like to reference an earlier blog I wrote about living healthy with a busy lifestyle, let’s face it the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. One of the things I have discussed that keeps me healthy year-round is my daily superfoods. My health and wellness community is no stranger to the temptation of the holidays so they provide the most delicious holiday options like my favorite Pumpkin Spice latte and coming soon Peppermint Mocha!

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Let’s get to the good stuff, the recipes. I will provide some healthy sides you can take to all those potlucks, some fun appetizers, and of course desserts.

Appetizers:

One of my favorite Fixate recipes for the holidays is:

Sweet Potato Latkes

Ingredients:

  • Parchment paper
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, grated
  • ¾ medium onion. grated, squeezing out as much liquid as possible

    Holiday Healthy Eating

    Holiday Healthy Eating

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 6 tsp. reduced-fat (2%) plain yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, onion, egg, flour, bread crumbs, garlic, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.
  4. Using ¼-cup measuring cup, scoop mixture into rounds and form into patties. Place on a prepared baking sheet.
  5. Brush the tops evenly with oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip latkes and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp.
  6. Serve each latke topped evenly with 1 tsp. yogurt.

    Holiday Eating

    Holiday Eating

Vegetable Tray

Another fun and easy holiday option is to make a simple veggie tray, maybe in the shape of a Christmas Tree, Pumpkin, Draidle, or Menora.

Cream Cheese and Pepper Jam

Another holiday favorite is cream cheese with pepper jam and crackers. Simple ways to make this delight healthier are to use gluten-free or whole-grain crackers, and a low fat/organic cream cheese.

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks with Fixate Marinara

It’s no secret that I’m Italian and it’s also no secret that I love Autumn Calabrese. Check out this video she and her chef brother Bobby Calabrese made to teach us how to make a healthy Italian treat that can be used as an appetizer or side during the holidays.

Now, one of my Team Beachbody Blog (TBB) favorites:

Roasted Grape Crostini

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Ingredients:

  • Parchment paper
  • 1 lb. seedless red grapes stem removed
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil, divided use
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • ¼ tsp. + 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, divided use
  • 16 ½-inch whole-grain baguette slices, (approx. 8 oz.)
  • 1 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Place one rack high and one rack low in the oven.
  2. Line one large and one small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine grapes, 1 tsp. oil, salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a medium bowl; toss gently to blend. 
  4. Place grapes on a prepared small baking sheet. Bake, on lower oven rack, for 20 to 22 minutes, or until grapes are tender and skins are slightly wrinkled.
  5. While grapes are baking, brush both sides of bread lightly with the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Place on a large baking sheet in an even layer. Bake, on higher oven rack, for 8 to 10 minutes, turning after 4 minutes.
  6. Spread each slice of toasted bread with 1 Tbsp. cheese. Top evenly with grapes, remaining 1 dash pepper, and thyme; serve immediately. 

Sides:

Fixate Garlic Parmesan Mushrooms

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tsp. ghee (organic grass-fed, if possible) 
  • 4 cups mushrooms cut into ½-inch chunks 
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic 
  • 1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt) 
  • 1 dash ground black pepper 
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tsp. fresh) 
  • 2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 lemon wedge  

Instructions: 

  1. Heat ghee in a large skillet over high heat until skillet starts to smoke. 
  2. Add mushrooms; cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. 
  3. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme; cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are nicely browned and crisp around the edges. 
  4. Remove from heat. 
  5. Place mushroom mixture in a medium mixing bowl and toss with cheese and a squeeze of lemon.
  6. Serve warm.

Holiday Green Beans

Ingredients: 

  • Fresh Green Beans
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Dried or Fresh Cranberries
  • Coconut Oil
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Shredded Coconut (if desired)
  • Honey (if desired)

Instructions: 

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large to medium skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add green beans and 1-2 tbsp of water and cover to steam for a few minutes until green beans are bright.
  3. Add sliced almonds and lightly toast.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste and dried cranberries.
  5. Add any other desired garnish (coconut or honey)

Now, how about a Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole instead of the traditional Mac N Cheese or Cheese Potatoes? This recipe can be used throughout both the Fall and Winter Holidays. 

Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground white pepper (to taste; optional)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ⅓ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with spray. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.
  4. While cauliflower is cooking, bring almond milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Add cheese, pumpkin, and mustard; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until well blended.
  6. Add cauliflower; mix well.
  7. Pour cauliflower minute into 8 x 8-inch casserole dish that has been lightly coated with spray.
  8. Top with bread crumbs.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Desserts:

Another TBB favorite:

 Red Wine Poached Pairs with Marscapone

Ingredients:

Healthy Desserts

Healthy Desserts

  • 2 cups red wine
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 6 firm Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, cut in half
  • 12 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese

Instructions:

  1. Bring wine, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add pears; gently boil, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn pears and continue cooking for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until pears are fork-tender.
  3. Remove pears from liquid; gently boil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until reduced in half.
  4. Serve ½ pear with 1 Tbsp. cheese topped with wine sauce.

One of my favorite holiday cookies recipes is the thumbprint cookies with jam. I love this healthy adaptation from Autumn and her brother Bobby.

Raspberry Filled Cookie Bites

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries 
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp. water, divided use
  •  ¼ cup raw honey 
  • 2 large egg whites (¼ cup) 
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup sifted almond flour 

Instructions: 

  1. To make raspberry filling, combine raspberries and ¾ cup water in small saucepan; cook, over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until berries have broken down and the liquid becomes slightly thicker. Refrigerate to cool. 
  2. To make meringue, place honey and remaining 2 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan; cook, over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 240° F with a candy thermometer. 
  3. While honey mixture cooks, place egg whites in a clean, large metal mixing bowl; beat until soft peaks are formed. Set aside. 
  4. When honey mixture reaches 240° F, transfer it into a clean, heat-resistant pouring vessel (like a glass measuring cup). 
  5. Slowly add honey mixture (in a thin stream) to egg whites, whisking vigorously until completely mixed. 
  6. Add extract; continue whisking vigorously until the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks. 
  7. Gently fold in almond flour; mix until well blended. Set aside. 
  8. Preheat oven to 300° F. 
  9. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  10. Transfer meringue mixture into a large resealable plastic bag (or pastry bag). Squeeze out any excess air and seal bag. Cut off about ½-inch of the bottom corner of the bag. 
  11. Pipe out thirty-six 1-inch rounds, evenly spaced. Firmly tap each baking sheet against the kitchen counter a few times to release any air bubbles. 
  12. Let cookies rest for 30 minutes prior to baking. 
  13. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until cookies have risen about an inch. Remove from the oven. Cool before removing from parchment paper. 
  14. Evenly divide raspberry filling on the flat side of eighteen cookies. Top each cookie with the flat side of a second cookie to make a sandwich. 

What healthy Black Friday Deals should I look for?

There are two Black Friday deals you should look out for to complete your kitchen for healthy cooking. These items can sometimes be a splurge, but if you can find a good deal they are so worth it. 

  1. Vitamix: You may be thinking any kind of blender will do, but if you want to make your own soups, juices, smoothies, shakes, gravies, and sauces while saving time, this is a must! Even if you want to chop your own nuts for energy ball recipes or homemade granola the Vitamix really does it all while preserving the nutrients of the food. It allows you to mix and make things without overheating or over processing and you can ditch the juicer and the food processor.  
  2. Air Fryer: Now there are many different air fryer options and from what I hear not all are created equal. I have found some on amazon that I like. My coach Meredith Gnau swears by her Ninja air fryer. They also make a really good blender if you are not quite ready to splurge on the Vitamix. Here is a review website that reviews the TOP 10 Air Fryers of this year. Take a look and see which one fits your vibe the most and then wait for that Black Friday deal!

Light and Peace,

Sarah

“Sarah Savino is my recommended Wellness and Nutrition Coach who resides in Colorado but has a community of clients she guides and manages nationally. She has her frequent retreats that her clients are encouraged but not required to attend and someone who knows first hand how it is to be overworked and overweight. She is a living truth that once within the right community and with the right guide, everything is possible. She can be reached thefitphilanthropist@gmail.com and facebook.com/sarah.savino IG- the_fit_philanthropist ”- Dr. Shakib, your Irvine Chiropractor