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4 Unhealthy Holiday Traps To Avoid

Fear should be the last thing on your mind when you get to a holiday season but often for many of us we are consumed with feelings of apprehension, fear, dread and guilt. 

Did you spend time this year getting into the best shape of your life but now holiday season has arrived you’re in deprivation elevation?!

Being afraid you'll backslide over the holidays won't do a bit of good either.

You are better served knowing right from wrong, and what food traps lie ahead of you.

Let me show you how to channel your fear into fun.

Here's what you want to AVOID:

Filling your plate with fat-free and low-fat fare

I'm increasingly amazed that low-fat/no-fat foods are even still being made. After years of fallacy, the truth is finally coming out that fat is NOT the devil!

In fact, with the exception of trans fat, it is quite beneficial for weight loss, hormone production, skin health and brain function.

Why would you want to eliminate a substance that is so good for you? 

The bottom line is, don’t think that the fat-free cornbread or pumpkin pie that your Aunt May made is going to be doing you any favours.

It may be low in fat, but it is sure to be high in sugar to compensate for lack of flavour.  High blood sugar levels increase insulin. This sets off a chain of events that actually make you store MORE fat.

You are better served eating the regular versions, but keeping your portions small.

Consuming artificial sweeteners

Now let’s look on the other side of the coin.

Just because something is sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Artificial sweeteners like

  • sucralose
  • acesulfame potassium and
  • aspartame

have zero nutritive value.

With this in mind, be cautious of “sugar-free” desserts and beverages.

It’s true they may have a negligible effect on blood sugar levels; however, anything artificial is not recognised as real food by the body and regular consumption can cause a litany of reactions, such as headaches, certain types of cancer and even obesity, according to Dr. Andrew Weil.

When making desserts, use a healthy sweetener like coconut nectar, maple syrup or honey.

Drinking too many beverages

When you arrive at a party during the holidays, usually the first thing you're offered is a cold beverage.

Regardless if it is beer, wine, soda or egg nog, you are looking at liquid calories that can add up. Before dinner is even served, you can slug down three or four drinks which can set you off course in a hurry.

If you want to be sociable, fix yourself a glass of Kombucha or a Virgin Mojito (without all the sugar!)

If you must go the alcoholic route, sip on a glass of organic red wine, which has no sulfites. Red wine is also high in resveratrol—a powerful antioxidant.

Preparing unhealthy versions of healthy foods

Sweet potatoes might be high in

  • vitamin A
  • fiber and
  • potassium

but something magical happens when they are drenched in brown sugar, marshmallow fluff and white flour.

You’ve just created a recipe of diet destruction.

Sure it might taste good, but it is high in processed carbs and sugar, nullifying its health benefits.  Aim for healthier preparations of all your dishes.

Sweet potatoes are called sweet potatoes for a reason. They are already naturally sweet.

A little grass fed butter and cinnamon go a long way in flavouring sweet potatoes, yams and carrots.

At the end of the day, there is no need to abstain from your holiday favourites.

Make yourself a sample platter of all the dishes you enjoy, including the desserts. Chew your food slowly and enjoy the flavour.

Now go off and enjoy your holidays with confidence, happiness and courage.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Today say to yourself over and over “I am in control of my own health, i’ve got this!” and know you’re worth it!

Yours in health and happiness,

Beth Cook 

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