Eat This, Not That; Enjoying without Overdoing on Christmas

What’s the best way to enjoy your Christmas Eve Celebration without waking up Christmas morning feeling like you’re in a food (and / or alcohol coma)?

Well, having a plan comes in handy but if it feels like that’s a little too nit picky, perhaps you can just remember five simple things to focus on.

Below are my top five suggestions of what you might chose to enjoy and their sneakier, not so healthy alternatives, which will create the perfect balance of enjoying without overdoing it.

  • Wine, not eggnog

No one ever said you’ve got to be an absolute teetotaler, so go ahead and enjoy a glass of vino (ok, or two) while you reap the benefits of this excellent source of resveratrol[1]. Basically, drinking a glass of wine is just like taking a vitamin, (OK, not really); whereas a commercially prepared cup of eggnog will load you up with a wholloping 20 grams of sugar[2], often coming from corn syrup. No thanks!

  • Crudités with a handful of walnuts, not dates stuffed with candied pecans

Yes, dates are natural. They grow on trees and are picked, so one might argue they’re a healthy fruit option, right? Not so fast. A single date, yes one, has 15 grams of sugar[3]. That’s more than a tablespoon’s worth! Add a candied pecan to the equation and you’re looking at 2! If, however, you nibble on crudités along with some raw nuts, you’re saving yourself the blow you’ll inevitably experience shortly after eating all that sugar!

  • Roasted Sprouts with bacon, not stuffing

Ah… bacon: the protein/fat option that has somehow come to be mistaken for a paleo food to be eaten each and every day. Not so much. However, pasture raised, uncured bacon roasted with a dish of sprouts, shallots and some duck fat, for example, is quite delicious and satisfying and you’ll find a smaller serving eaten slowly with the other lovely foods gracing your plate is far more satiating than something else you could’ve chosen: stuffing. Let’s put it this way: who wants to feel stuffed? Enough said.

  • Dark meat turkey with skin, not white meat with roux-based pan gravy

For years and years, I was under the impression that I should eat white meat only and avoid the skin… because it had a lot of the F word (fat… not the other one). Gosh, what I was missing! The dark meat tends to be juicier and it contains more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12 compared to white[4]. And those pan drippings! Wow!   Who needs flour to thicken up that nectar of the Gods?

  • Poached pears, not apple pie

Looking for a little something sweet to wrap up a lovely meal? Why risk a stomachache or feeling overfull after you’ve chosen so well? Go with poached fruit, fresh berries or even some dark chocolate (go head, have a little top-off of that vino).   Light with a hint of sweet and perhaps just a few bites will be all it takes, since you’ll already have achieved that perfect balance- enjoyable, not remotely deprived and not feeling like one the human version of one of those sausage rolls you almost ate!

Merry Merry!




[1] “Heart Disease.” Red Wine, Antioxidants and Resveratrol: Good for Your Heart? N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec. 2015


[3] “Show Foods.” Show Foods. USDA, n.d. Web. 23 Dec. 2015

[4] O’connor, Anahad. “The Claim: White Meat Is Healthier Than Dark Meat.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 Nov. 2007. Web. 23 Dec. 2015