Healthy Food Choices for a Healthy Holiday

Day7-Importance of Fruit & Veg crop

Chocolates and Cookies…

When I think about the holidays, I always think about chocolate and cookies. I grew up in a family where we baked cookies every Christmas. My grandmother’s recipes came from Hungary and they were first translated to Spanish, since I grew up in Mexico, and then translated now to English. One of the spices that we use is cardamom. That smell for sure brings good memories.

What about Veggies?

As I have moved now into a healthier lifestyle, I still bake cookies. However, not as many as I used to, as they are more of a treat as well as a tradition. What about you? Do you have traditional recipes that your grandma baked?

What about veggies over the holidays? My feeling is that often we forget about the food that gives us more nutrients than chocolate and cookies. With some simple tweaks and imagination, you can easily create a delicious salad, decorate it with a holiday theme, and combine fun and nutrition. Pick up vegetables that have Christmas colours, for example, reds from peppers and tomatoes. What about greens? There are many to choose from: cucumbers, peppers, peas, or any of the leafy greens that you like. What about white? Here is my favourite ingredient. I made this recipe with jicama. What is jicama, you might ask? It is a root. I grew up with it, and in Mexico we eat it raw. For wonderful flavour, sometimes you might want to add a little bit of salt and lime juice to sliced or grated jicama. And guess what, you can easily cut jicama using cookie cutters, and create an amazing vegetable dish that all the family will be happy to enjoy.

But what is it that makes this salad healthy? How come vegetables are more nutritious than chocolate and cookies? The answer is simple. Vegetables are what we call real food. Food that can be picked up from the ground, doesn’t need to be cooked, and it can be eaten as is. The plants pick up nutrients from the soil and those are transferred to the different parts of plants. When we eat vegetables, we are eating roots, leaves, stems, fruits, and even flowers. They are the parts of the plant that are full of nutrients. These nutrients are needed to make sure all of our cells are healthy. And they also have what we call fibre. Fibre will help clean the digestive tract, as if it was a broom and a sponge. Fibre allows us to feel lighter and healthier.

Veggies also supply water and minerals. Some of those minerals are used by your body for strong teeth and bones. And I also love touching those veggies! Let your little ones experiment with different textures, colours, and flavours… there are many to choose from!

Pass the Veggies PLEASE!

So, is it worth reducing the amount of chocolate and cookies, and increasing your vegetable intake? The answer is YES!!! We can have some of that fun food once in a while, but most of the time, don’t forget about a healthy tummy, a healthy digestion, and a healthier and happier YOU! Your body with be thankful for that.


 

Quinoa Holiday Season Salad

Ingredients:

  •    Organic quinoa (cook for 20 mins prior, and let it cool; use one cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water. Cooks in about 15-20 mins)
  •    Jicama
  •    Cucumber
  •    Red peppers
  •    Peas
  •    Olives
  •    1 lime
  •    Salt
  •    Olive oil

Instructions:

Chop the veggies in small cubes, and add to cooked and cooled quinoa.

Add the juice of one lime, salt, and a little bit of olive oil.

Be creative and use a cookie cutter to cut a slice of jicama into a decorative shape.

Have fun!


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