You’ve prepared for fall and winter. All your tinctures are in a row, and so are your stockings. You have a solid three pounds of elderberries in your cupboard, and loads of baking mixes. Even your home is ready for the colder season. You’re gift planning, and prepared for the holidays. You’re set, right? Contributing writer, Danielle, shows us how to make the most of the holiday season as natural mamas, while focusing on the joy this season can bring.
How To Make Your Holidays Crunchy
Are you worried about all the unhealthy treats, materialism, non-stop parties (where we just eat the unhealthy treats) and possible illness to follow?
I know that I am.
In the beginning of my natural mama journey, I declared the holidays a “free” season. We will just have to eat what’s served at the holiday parties, and try Aunt Barb’s red #40 cookies. It isn’t Christmas without them! Or is it?
After every Christmas followed with a nasty cough, I realized the attitude I had towards the holidays was not helping anyone, especially my child, and was contradicting our lifestyle the other 11 months of the year.
It was the time to put the crunch back into our Christmas.
The truth is that the holidays can evolve around food for us – grandma’s special ” butter” (GMO margarine) cookies, grandpa’s mashed potatoes, and Aunt Margie’s 50 layer taco dip.
So, the first step in transforming our holidays is to realize that it’s not about the food at all.
Yes, you can eat a few unhealthy treats.
Yes, you can make the recipes healthy.
But, at the core, the holidays are about giving and gratefulness. They are about family and sharing our love with those we hold dear.
So, turn your holidays healthy by focusing on all the other great parts of the season.
Make It NOT About Food
Find a local food bank, host a Fair Trade party to benefit women in dire situations, or volunteer at your church. Create an Advent calendar with fun, giving tasks. Have a healthy party with moms from your neighborhood. Plan SOMETHING that does not evolve around Christmas cookie swaps. Your health, waistline, and those in need will thank you.
Create New Traditions
Sometimes when we begin our own family, we stick with the traditions our own families did. But, it is also fun to create new traditions as a new family. Try camping out under the tree, stringing popcorn as decorations, and other fun, educational crafts and traditions to make your own holiday memories – and something other than food to look forward to.
Focus on Others
The real point of the holidays is being grateful for what you have, and sharing that with others. Focus on helping someone else, such as donating gifts to a single mom, filling a shoebox for a less fortunate child, or even lending a helping hand at a food shelter.
Make It Educational
Instead of the typical commercial-type toys this year, find fun educational alternatives. You can even get a subscription to a magazine or a membership to a local museum. That’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Buy Healthier Toys
Many toys, especially plastic ones, leach petroleum byproducts, dyes, and other health hazards. Stick wtih classic and educational toys, especially opting for wood over plastic.
Learn about how other cultures celebrate the holidays, and try out their foods and traditions! This is great for the homeschool or unschool family. And why not actually go to another country one year to celebrate? You may pick up customs and family traditions for the other seasons of the year, as well.
Host It Yourself
If all else fails, host the family and community parties at your home! You know that you can then control the menu, and it may be fun to introduce your way of eating to those you love.
Try Healthy Home Scents
Commercial candles are allergenic, have been shown to worsen asthma, and even disrupt hormones. Choose beeswax or soy candles. You can also warm water with a cinnamon stick and orange peel right on the stove for an easy DIY home scent. Warm beeswax with some essential oils in commercial oil warmers.
Swap Out The Recipes
Truly there is NO food you cannot make healthy! You just need to swap the unhealthy, packaged and preserved ingredients with traditional whole foods. Below are some common swaps, but you can also entirely remake unhealthy recipes into something you are proud to serve!
Quick Natural Recipe Swaps
- – Instead of vegetable oil (which usually is GMO), try coconut oil or even cold-pressed sunflower or olive oil.
- – Swap white, bleached flour for sprouted, sourdough, gluten free (such as almond or coconut) and whole wheat flours.- Try honey, molasses, maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of bleached, white sugar.
- – Swap regular croutons for hardened (leave it out for a few days in a dry place, then crush in a food processor of coffee grinder) leftover sprouted, gluten free, or sourdough bread.- Try dairy and nut free, high cacao chocolate for baking instead of commercial chocolate, which contains preservatives and GMOs.
Holidays can be an extremely tough season for sticking to your healthy lifestyle. But, they don’t have to be! Try out these tips, spruce up your unhealthy recipes, and resolve to have a crunchy holiday this year!
What are your tips for having a crunchy holiday?
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