Coping With The Holidays When On A Wholefood Diet
Cheat Day During the Christmas Season: Yay or Nay?
If you follow the whole foods diet or are strictly Whole30, having a cheat day is generally frowned upon.
However, while you might not want a cheat day every week, there are some other ways to let yourself splurge a little and not go too crazy.
Consider Why You Want a Cheat Day
The first thing you should do before you even start considering whether or not you want to do a cheat day during the Christmas season is to ask yourself why you want one in the first place.
The answers will usually tell you whether it is a good idea for your situation or not. For example, if you want one because you want to eat with your family on Christmas, it may not be necessary.
There are a lot of traditional Christmas foods that follow along with the whole foods lifestyle, including the ham or turkey, and many of the vegetable sides.
If the reason you want a cheat day for Christmas is because you would like one day where you can choose whatever treats you want, including those you can’t usually have on the whole foods lifestyle, ask yourself if you think it will only be for one day or not.
Good Reasons to do a Cheat Day
There are some reasons that you might want to try a little cheat day or meal during Christmas, or in general during the holidays. Here are some reasons you may want to consider it:
- You are not in charge of preparing the meal, so you will have limited food options.
- You want your kids to take part in an annual traditional involving special treats.
- It is a good ‘last hurrah’ before you start the new year.
- You don’t think the cheat day will turn into a cheat week or month or year.
Reasons to Think Twice About it
On the other hand, there are also plenty of reasons to think again before you decide to do it. For example:
- Cheat days often don’t stop at the end of the day.
- You could start with your cravings all over again, making it more difficult to get back to whole foods.
- It creates an unhealthy frame of mind.
- The guilt may end up causing you to feel worse.
Some Recommended Variations For Christmas
Instead of having an entire cheat day, why not just limit yourself to what you want to splurge on?
For example, if you eat your entire Christmas dinner of all whole foods and recipes, then you can have a piece of pie that contains sugar, chocolate, or other ingredients that aren’t really Whole30-friendly.
4 Whole Foods-Approved Holiday Drinks
When the holidays arrive, you might want to try some alcoholic drinks to celebrate the occasion.
However, when you are on the whole foods diet, it isn’t as simple as just making any type of drink.
While Whole30 asks you not to drink any alcohol, you might continue with a whole foods diet after completing the first 30 days.
It is at this point, when you can choose to occasionally drink alcohol, but still remain within the general dietary guidelines. Here are some holiday drinks that should still be fine while on the whole foods diet.
The first type of holiday drink you can make for Christmas while on the whole foods diet is a blackberry sparkler.
This is going to use champagne, so if you are actually doing Whole 30, it might not be allowed. Otherwise, it isn’t going to use any ingredients you can’t have on a whole foods or paleo diet.
For this type of drink, you will combine blackberries with water and some fresh herbs, such as mint or rosemary.
You can also use any other types of berries you like. Some people also add sugar, but of course you want to leave that part out. Add this mixture to a glass of champagne.
Coconut Milk Egg Nog
This is a mock egg nog recipe since you are going to use coconut milk instead of regular dairy milk, which you should avoid when you are following the whole foods lifestyle.
For this type of egg nog, start with light coconut milk, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and raw maple syrup.
This is the main mixture you will use for your egg nog.
You can then flavor it any way you like, such as adding seasonings like allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. If you want to add alcohol, try rum or bourbon.
Sangria is typically made with red wine, so like the other alcoholic drinks on this list, you need to decide if you are allowing it on your whole foods diet or not.
For the most part, choosing a really high-quality organic red wine is the best option. For a winter sangria combine your wine with juice from winter fruits, such as cranberries, raspberries, pears, and oranges.
If you can find some pineapple, juicing chunks of pineapple is also excellent for this sangria.
For a non-alcoholic version, you can use ginger ale instead, but find one without any sugar added.
Fruity Lime Spritzer
A spritzer is a type of fruity sparkling beverage, usually carbonated but not always.
This can be made with alcohol or not.
The main components include homemade cranberry juice you have made without any sugar added to it, lime that has been freshly squeezed, and some garnishes, including cranberries and lime wedges.
You can add these ingredients to any sparkling water for the non-alcoholic version, or to champagne.
Holiday-Inspired Fruits and Veggie Snacks
During the holidays, particularly when Christmas is on its way, you may be thinking about different snacks, treats, and appetizers you can have that are themed for the holiday, but are still considered whole foods.
Using fruits and veggies as the main component is a really good way to stay on track. Here are some different Christmas-themed fruit and veggie snacks to try out.
Christmas Tree Veggie Platter
This is a super simple way to put together a veggie platter for Christmas or other holiday celebrations and also turn it into a fun and festive arrangement. Instead of simply placing veggies on a plate, arrange them into a Christmas tree shape.
You can do this with a large platter, then start with the broccoli. The broccoli is going to main the basic Christmas tree shape.
You can now use sliced bell peppers to create a star at the top, preferably with the yellow ones. For other veggies, chop them up and use them as ‘ornaments’ for the Christmas tree.
Grinch Fruit Heads
Who doesn’t love the Grinch? This popular Christmas character is really great for turning ordinary fruit into little Grinch heads, helping the kids to remain on the whole foods diet while also getting some fun Christmas spirit.
These little Grinch heads just require using a green grape, adding a strawberry without the hull on top to create the Santa hat, then a slice of banana for the white trim of the hat. You can just stack them the best you can or use little tooth picks to hold them together on the platter.
Make Candy Canes
Another fun idea for fruits and veggies is to use a combination of white and red fruits and veggies to create small candy canes or one big one.
Some white options include bananas (technically a light yellow, but close enough) and cauliflower.
For the red part, you can slice up strawberries, cranberries or raspberries, or red bell peppers. Alternate the colors to create red and white candy canes.
Prepare Egg Snowmen
These don’t just consist of fruits and veggies, but also use hard-boiled eggs as well.
Most whole food lifestyles allow for these eggs, so they should be great for your snacks or appetizers.
The snowmen are made with the hard-boiled eggs, using a whole one for the body, and a half of one for the head.
You can then use slices of carrots for the nose and create carrot hats as well, then use either peppercorns or some small pieces of black olives for the mouth and eyes of the snowmen.
Type of Whole Foods Christmas Cookies
If you have been invited to a cookie exchange for Christmas or simply want to make something festive, you may be a little stumped.
Most Christmas cookies include ingredients you aren’t supposed to have when you are on a whole foods diet, particularly sugar, chocolate, and dairy.
Luckily, there are still some yummy and festive options out there for you to try out.
Fruit Thumbprint Cookies
A popular cookie to make for Christmas, particularly when you are going to be in a cookie exchange is the thumbprint cookie.
It is usually a sugar cookie with fruit jam in the middle. However, this cookie is going to use some ingredients that make it a little different from a regular sugar cookies, though still delicious and perfect for Christmas.
While raspberry is usually used, you can use strawberries or even cranberries for the thumbprint portion.
Try to find jam with no sugar or make it yourself. For the rest of the cookie, use almond flour, coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, salt, coconut oil, and almond extract.
Gingerbread cookies can be made with no sugar and contain all whole food-approved ingredients.
These are one of the perfect cookies to make during Christmas.
To make soft gingerbread cookies that are Whole 30 and whole foods approved, use a sweet potato, coconut flour, baking powder and soda, molasses, and seasonings like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yes, you can definitely make chocolate chip cookies on the whole foods diet, though you want to use some variations on the traditional recipe.
You don’t want to use regular milk chocolate chips, and if you are doing Whole 30, you’re not supposed to use dark chocolate either. You are meant to use only 100% cacao.
You can either use cacao chips for this recipe, or dark chocolate chips if you are on a whole foods diet more closely resembling paleo.
Other ingredients include almond and coconut flour, salt, baking soda, coconut oil, almond butter, coconut sugar, vanilla extra, and an egg.
Almond Butter Cookies
For a butter cookie, you can make a whole foods version by using almond butter.
For these cookies, you will combine almond butter with an egg, coconut palm sugar, and vanilla extract.
Just these four ingredients make simple, yet really delicious Christmas cookies. The best thing is that because they have a simple flavor, they are really good to balance out
Christmas cookie boxes when others in the gift exchange are bringing chocolate fudge, peanut butter cookies, snowball cookies, and a lot of the sweeter types.
Whole Foods Christmas Party Ideas
As you get ready to start the Christmas season parties, you will be wondering what type of food you can prepare for that party.
If you have been asked to bring something, the following ideas will still be on the whole foods diet, but also really great for the other guests.
Create a Fun Veggie Platter
Whether you are bringing a dish to a friend’s party or having a party in your own home, you probably want to do a veggie platter.
The veggies are something almost everyone can have, from people who are gluten-free, to vegetarians and vegans, paleo, whole foods, Whole30, and tons of other special diets.
For more of a Christmas theme, try something a little more decorative.
You can use a round-shaped platter and put all the veggies around the edge to create a wreath form out of them, with the dips in the center, or you can put them on a big rectangular platter, using certain veggies to spell out a word like ‘Joy’.
Make Your Own Dip
A really good dish to bring is your own dip, because this is something everyone can use.
Your whole foods and Paleo friends who can’t have regular dips with dairy or loads of cheese will enjoy the dip with veggies, but it is also great for non-whole foods friends and relatives who want to dip in their chips and crackers.
For example, you can make a veggie dip by using tons of veggies, garlic, red wine vinegar, seasonings, and coconut milk combined in a food processor.
You can also make spinach and artichoke without cheese, instead adding more veggies, seasonings, and cashews that are put through the food processor.
Prepare a Festive Vegetable Side
Vegetable sides for a Christmas party dinner usually include a lot of ingredients you can’t have, such as green bean casserole made with cream of mushroom soup and milk, or mashed potatoes loaded with butter and milk.
Another option is to make a vegetable side that is festive, delicious, but doesn’t use any ingredients you can’t have.
Try to think of a vegetable in season during the winter, such as butternut squash. This is typically in season during the fall and winter, and is perfect.
Make some roasted butternut squash with cinnamon sprinkled on top to turn it into a Christmas dinner delight.
The good thing about Christmas dinner, is that the main component is usually ham, roast beef, or turkey, all of which can definitely be enjoyed if you are on the whole foods lifestyle or diet plan.
Ideas For Whole Foods Stocking Stuffers
Is your entire family on the whole foods diet and lifestyle?
If so, your stocking stuffers are no longer going to consist of tiny foil-wrapped balls of chocolate and big chocolate Santa’s. Instead, you want to re-think how you do stocking stuffers with these tips.
Whole Food Snacks
First of all, keep in mind that you don’t have to add any types of snacks or treats to a Christmas stocking.
While this has become a modern tradition, there are definitely a lot of other ways to choose fun stocking stuffers.
With that being said, there are still some yummy whole food snacks that you can add to a stocking stuffer.
This includes any types of fruits, including oranges and apples, along with packages of dates, raisins, and dried fruit. You can also choose packages of beef jerky, nuts, and seeds.
For a stocking stuffer that isn’t food-related, why not include a fun water bottle?
This is great for anyone on the whole foods diet since they aren’t drinking much aside from water and juice if they make their own.
They are not drinking soda, milk, or fruit juice that contains sugar. Including a water bottle is a really great stocking stuffer.
It can be one that is personalized, a water bottle with a filter, or even an infusing water bottle if they like to add fruits and veggies to their water to flavor it.
Small Kitchen Gadgets
Don’t forget that someone on the whole foods diet is going to need a lot of different kitchen gadgets for chopping, slicing, dicing, and preparing.
For example, they will eat a lot of fruit, so they can probably use a peeler, apple corer and slicer, or a pineapple slicer.
Some other little tools and gadgets that are good include a small set of paring knives, coasters, handheld can opener, or even a bottle opener for anyone who still drinks their one glass of red wine each night.
For someone on this type of special diet and starting a new lifestyle, they are going to do a lot of cooking.
You can put together some signature spice blends, put them in little jars, label them, and include them as stocking stuffers.
This is not only a unique gift that is perfect for a whole foods lifestyle, but it is something personalized so it also means a little more than if you were to buy spices as they are sold in stores.