54+ signature vegan Christmas recipes to spice up your dinner table this festive season, along with my Top 10 Tips on how to stay healthy, vibrant, and happy throughout the holidays.
Top 10 tips for staying healthy and vibrant over Christmas
Christmas is generally the time of year when restraint and moderation go out the window. 'Ara feck it, sure it's Christmas - go on' is a funny Irish term to tempt you into having just one more drink, mince pie, or slice of Christmas cake!
The shops are filled with an array of colorful confectionery, snacks, and countless other festive treats. It's the time of year when advertisers spend the majority of their annual budgets and retailers are aiming to cash in on increased consumer spending.
It's all too easy to let ourselves go throughout the festive season, with the justification in the back of our minds that we will go on a diet or get back to normal in January with well-intended new year's resolutions!
You can still truly enjoy the Christmas season without putting unnecessary stress and strain on your health. Here are some of my top tips to help keep you on track.
1. Start the day with a healthy breakfast
If I'm going out in the evening, or even if I have a normal busy day I will always have a good bowl of oats for breakfast. Porridge stabilizes blood sugar levels, which helps control appetite later in the day. I top my porridge or Bircher with nut butter, chia seed jam, and fresh seasonal fruit.
- Having a good healthy breakfast each day will set you up for success over the holidays. There will be less desire for snacking.
2. Practice restraint in the supermarket
There is so much temptation at the supermarkets. Never go food shopping on an empty stomach - NEVER! Have your shopping list prepared, keep focused and limit impulse purchases.
- Remember, it's easier to resist the temptation if the sweets and chocolate are not in the house. 'Out of sight - out of mind!'
3. Stay hydrated throughout the day
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you are drinking alcohol. Drinking lots of water helps flush toxins out and keeps you energized. It's best to drink room-temperature water or herbal teas.
- Try reducing your coffee consumption, as this can contribute to dehydration.
- If you feel you have headaches from alcohol or high sugar intake, try drinking more water and getting plenty of rest.
4. Include healthy snacks
There are lots of tempting snacks and sweets around this time of year. Set yourself up for success by snacking on fruit or some healthy energy balls.
5. Make healthier choices
Everything we eat is a choice, it's not always easy to make the right choice though! If there is a healthier option at a party or friend's house try opting for this.
6. Regulate alcohol intake
Skip some days to give your liver time to detox. Give yourself a few days off in between parties! Try not to start drinking too early in the day either.
7. Avoid a hangover
To help prevent a hangover, stick to one type of drink as much as possible. Aim to have no more than one alcoholic drink an hour, alternated with a few glasses of water whenever you can.
- Never drink on an empty stomach. Having a good meal in your system helps soak up the alcohol and metabolize it better.
- Before going to bed, drink another couple of glasses of water. Upon waking drink more water and herb teas along with a good breakfast.
- Take a walk or light run in the morning to sweat the alcohol out of the system. No pain - no gain, If you do the crime - you have to do the time!
8. Get outside and MOVE
Fresh air and forest bathing! You can't beat a good dose of fresh winter air in the lungs. When it's cold outside, it's easy to talk yourself out of getting outdoors. Get your wooly socks, jumper, and long johns on, and get moving!
- Sitting dis-ease is real. According to Just Stand, 3.2 Million deaths per year are related to physical inactivity
9. Physical exercise
Doing some sort of daily exercise will be of great benefit to you over the holidays. Both mentally and physically. Working up a sweat and releasing the feel-good endorphins with some good bursts of exercise will give you a fantastic boost.
- I find it easier to go in the morning or earlier part of the day. The more the day progresses, the better chance you have of talking yourself out of it!
- Getting some daily exercise in makes you feel less guilty for the indulgences in the evening! You got to earn those indulgences! Sweat for them...
10. Mental exercise
Invest 10 -20 minutes per day in developing your meditation practice. It's vital in these challenging times, with the multitude of things our mind has to process and filter every day.
- I use the Waking Up App consistently and find it a huge benefit in my life. There are lots of meditation apps available - find one that works for you and allow yourself to take a short time each day to dedicate to your mental exercise.
Healthy vegan Christmas recipes
Healthy food can taste good. There is no need to compromise flavor for sustenance. As a professionally trained chef, one of my first and foremost aims is to make my recipes taste delicious.
Flavor and food satisfaction is a relative experience. We all have different perceptions of what tastes good and what's unpleasant to eat. There is a lot of emotion and nostalgia attached to our comfort foods and choices.
For me, when I know something is good for my health, I savor and appreciate it so much more. It adds to the whole emotional eating experience.
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Gift ideas - Homemade vegan Christmas recipes
It's hard to beat a homemade Christmas gift. You can make some festive homemade recipes, package them in a nice jar, bottle, or wrapping, and write the recipe on the gift card. Here are a few recipe ideas as Christmas gifts.
- Crunchy walnut granola
- Life changing bread
- Turmeric Jamu
- Blueberry chia seed jam
- Gomashio sesame seed salt seasoning
- Vegan chocolate spread
- Brazil nut and chocolate balls
- Hazelnut and goji berry balls
Vegan Christmas gift ideas for foodies
You gotta love online shopping! As most of my friends and family are scattered around the world, I have some gifts delivered to loved ones' front doors. Amazon is kind of like Santa Clause except without the sleigh!
I have enclosed some foodie gift ideas. I'm a big believer in functional gifts, I like to share gifts that can contribute to people's health and are not to taxing on the environment.
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Holistic Chef Academy Experiences
- Life On Plant Online Membership
- 1-1 Culinary Health Coaching Program
- 'Eat 2 Thrive' 35 Recipe E-book
More Vegan Christmas recipes
I have included links to a few more vegan Christmas recipes I think you might enjoy.
- Festive butternut squash roast
- Vegan mushroom wellington
- Lentil and vegetable bake
- Cranberry orange bread
- Gingerbread cheesecake
- Vegan mince pies
Rumor has it that Santa Clause went vegan this year. He was struggling to fit down the chimneys and keep up with the increase in demand and hectic schedule, so he tried the whole food plant-based lifestyle. He is looking fairly fit and trim now! Check out the full article here...
Lots of delicious food and drinks! All the recipes in this article are 100% vegan and plant-based. Eating plant-based vegan at Christmas is in no way limiting, you just need to plan ahead!
Did you make this recipe? Let me know!