The holidays can be a tricky time for a lot of people with dietary restrictions. Cookies, cakes, candies, and all kinds of sugary sweets prevail, along with processed foods like low-quality meats and cheeses. For anyone with health issues, consuming these kinds of foods can be harmful and impede vital healing processes. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy the most popular holiday foods in a guilt-free fashion.
5. Drink Kombucha Instead of Beer
Alcohol abounds during the festivities, from holiday cocktails to spiked eggnog. Unfortunately, all alcohol metabolizes to sugar, which is not good for cancer or nearly any condition. Kombucha is a very lightly alcoholic beverage that is chock full of nutrients and probiotics. While it does not have enough alcohol to provide any intoxication, the nutrients can make you feel good, and in an unmarked glass it looks so much like beer that no one will ever know you are not partaking.
4. Substitute Meat with Healthy Alternatives
Although some meat is okay, it is important not to eat too much. This can be a problem when a 20-pound turkey is sitting in front of you. There are several high-quality brands of “vegetarian meat” on the market, including those that use beans, nuts, or mushrooms as the base. Avoid products that use soy protein isolate or wheat gluten as their primary ingredient. Certain types of seaweed, such as dulse, are even becoming popular as bacon alternatives. It’s worth trying!
3. Eat More Fruit
Nearly everyone craves a little sweetness at the holiday times, and this craving is most healthily satisfied with fruit. While cancer patients should generally reduce sugar as much as possible, having some high-sugar fruits during the holidays in substitution for processed foods is okay. There are also low-sugar fruits, like Granny Smith apples, that are pretty sweet but do not raise blood sugar tremendously.
2. Organic Meats
Meat can be a very powerful source of nutrients when consumed in the right quantities. It also must be raised and prepared properly. Organic meats are becoming ever more prevalent and should be used over non-organic alternatives. This will spare you antibiotics, hormones, and whatever toxins the animals absorb while eating non-organic feed. Ideally, it is best to get meat from a local farm that treats its animals well.
1. Stevia-Sweetened Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is an incredible beverage during the holidays. The warmth it provides during end-of-the-year cold is unparalleled. But you don’t need to ingest several teaspoons of sugar to benefit from this tasty warmth. In fact, hot chocolate prepared the right way can actually be healthy.
You can heat up hemp milk or any dairy alternative in a pan along with organic raw cacao, and add stevia as a sweetener. This also has advantages over prepackaged brands in that you can control exactly how much chocolate or sweetness you want.