Hopefully you were able to try out some low-cal, nutrient-rich recipes this year—but even with the best of intentions and a healthy holiday spread, we often succumb to surrounding temptation or overindulge in the less healthy items that sneak their way onto the holiday menu.
And since it’s only the day after Thanksgiving, there are still the Christmas, Chanukah and New Year’s Eve treats that friends and family will likely gift, bake and press upon you!
So how can you fight the urge to snack, eat (mostly) clean for the holidays, and fend off those friends and relatives with an urge to feed?
Well, fresh fruit and vegetable juices and/or smoothies are a great way to start. Both juices and smoothies can pack lots of extra micronutrients into your diet. These nutrients may also be more bioavailable since the process of juicing or blending breaks down the plant’s cell walls, and enhances your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients.
Smoothies especially can serve as the perfectly balanced breakfast or a light lunch. Adding nuts and seeds to a smoothie for some healthy fats turns your beverage into a complete meal, and will keep you satisfied longer. In green smoothies (but not juices) you get all of the fiber, so blood glucose levels stay low. For this reason, it’s best to limit juicing and use more vegetables—such as kale, collards, spinach and swiss chard—because they have a lower glycemic load than fruits. This can be especially important for diabetics.
Now, take a look at some our top picks for smoothie and juice recipes! And happy, healthy eating for the holidays!
- 1 large apple
- 1 cucumber
- 2 large curly kale leaves (or 3 for a nutrient boost)
- ½ a lemon or lime according to preference
1. Thoroughly wash all fruit and vegetables in water, removing dirt and any stickers
2. Cut up cucumber and apple into smaller pieces and slice off the very bottom, most fibrous part of the kale stem.
3. Slice lemon or lime in half.
4. Add pieces of fruit and vegetables, alternating between apple, cucumber and kale.
5. Stir and serve!
Best Green Berry Smoothie
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 to 1 cup kale, center and any tougher stems removed
- 1 mango, peeled and chopped
- 1 ounce pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened soy, help or almond milk
- 2 cups of ice (for a frosty) or water
- 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed
1. Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until the liquid is smooth.
2. Add ice according to preference.
3. Serve and enjoy!
Do you have any favorite foods or recipes that help you to stay healthy during the holidays?