Hello my friends, and happy holiday season!
This month in our house brings blessings and challenges: wrestling into coats and boots, and wet, muddy dogs, yes, but also the fireplace roaring and the start of holiday entertaining!
We not only host, we also attend countless events through invitations generously extended by family and friends. I know sometimes this can cause worry because we may run ourselves down in the name of cheer. But these events can simply be a source of joy rather than one of fatigue. You need only be mindful of the challenges presented by constant visiting and entertaining, so you can address them the Superfoods way!
First of all, give yourself a little insurance against germs and exhaustion. Eat superfoods, take your supplements, drink your water, and keep going on those daily walks – maybe even invest time into meditative practices like Tai Chi and Yoga (also, do pay extra attention to hygiene this time of year and look to including steam bathing or sauna into your routine). In addition, be sure you are eating local late-fall and winter vegetables, such as hearty greens, squashes, apples, parsnips, turnips and beets. These deeply-hued treats are rich in nutrients meant to support your body this time of year. We love to roast beets and squashes for beautiful salads and sandwiches, or make vast pots of hot soup to ladle into deep bowls with freshly ground pepper and herbs. It’s relatively simple to do, and provides assurance that we have the nutritional support we need to stay healthy all winter long.
Next, party food can sometimes be a concern. These offerings are often rich, fatty foods with little nutritional content. This is easily solved!
Is the party coming to you? Try serving soup! It is a fun alternative from finger foods and will fill your guests with autumn warmth.
A great one to try is my butternut squash soup! It is good enough for your holiday table.
• 2 medium sized butternut squash
• 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
• 1⁄4 cup grade B maple syrup
• 1 tbsp. cinnamon
• 1⁄2 cup water
Preheat your oven to 350°F; cut both the tops and bottoms off the squash, slice the squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds; place the squash skin side up in a glass baking dish filled with the water; bake approximately twenty minutes, or until tender but firm; spoon three of the squash halves into a blender and blend with the almond milk, scoop out and cube the remaining squash half into a pot; pour blended mixture over the cubed squash, add maple syrup and bring soup to a low simmer for 10 minutes, lower heat and sprinkle on cinnamon (or you can try the raw variant of this soup listed in my book, Eat Yourself Super).
This delicious soup, a nice red wine, maybe some dark chocolate, and you have a celebration on your hands!
If you are not hosting, then the problem of eating elsewhere presents other unique challenges. While our friends and family often put wellness first and eat as we do, we always like to bring an offering to the table not only to guarantee a healthier option, but also to share recipes and ideas amongst ourselves (we have converted many a family member to the Superfoods lifestyle this way! Our hors d’oeuvres can be very persuasive).
Try bringing along a spreadable vegan cheese, such as Treeline, first mixed with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, a pinch of mineral sea salt and some freshly chopped herbs—we like chives—along with a whole-grain, sprouted bread, sprouted flax crackers and/or veggies, or a giant salad with homemade dressing, incorporating roasted butternut squash, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and dark winter greens.
Want to supply sweets? Make our Honey-Coconut Almond Truffles: mix 2 cups of almond meal, ¼ c. cacao nibs, and ½ c. honey into a truffle dough. Roll into little bite-sized balls, then top by rolling into ¼ c. raw, unsulfured and unsweetened coconut.
If you’d like to give a little hostess gift of wellness, consider tying up a copy of Eat Yourself Super with a wooden spoon, some dark chocolate, or a canister of my Matcha green tea. This is also a way to get a jump on your holiday shopping. Give the gift of health and keep your loved ones close for a long, long time!
My final wish for you is to take pleasure in this beautiful time of year with those you love. Spending time with them is a gift: a choice we make to build community, and it helps us live longer, healthier lives. Enjoy that, keep eating your Superfoods, and you’re in for a stress-free winter of wellness.