Christmas brings an enormous amount of opportunities to EAT. Without some prior planning and preparation, we can be left with little or no healthy choices.
Even before I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2013, I was a health nut (comes with the Dietitian territory) and very dedicated to making sure I always had choices. NOT just any old choices but delicious healthy foods at my fingertips so that I never felt deprived.
A huge part of long term success is finding healthy alternatives to your favourite foods and making sure you have them around when unhealthy, tempting foods abound, which tends to be what happens at Christmas!
So how can you have a hearty cancer-recovery Christmas menu plan, that your family and friends will love?
Hearty cancer-recovery hot meal ideas
If you’re cooking the turkey with all the trimmings or some version of roast meat, really max out the vegetable options. That way your plate will be full and no one will notice whether you’re eating the roast meat or only have a tiny portion.
I love stuffing and I saw a fabulous recipe the other day that was being used for Thanksgiving. You could quite easily substitute the whole-grain bread in the recipe for cooked brown rice or quinoa. You can watch here.
Roast vegetables are always a winner so go overboard with the variety and include potato, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, zucchini, little yellow squashes and whatever else you love.
In Australia, a Christmas meal is not complete without a cheesy white sauce to go over the cauliflower and broccoli. My healthy twist is to make a cauliflower white sauce and have it over broccoli. You can find that recipe here.
Then you could do steamed french (or runner) beans tossed in roasted flaked almonds and seasoned with Herbamere. Or steam brussel sprouts and toss them in roasted sesame seeds and Herbamere.
Last but not least – make a gravy. Here is a mushroom gravy from Jane Esselstyn and her adorable mum. If you Google ‘plant-based whole foods gravy’ you will also find heaps of other recipes.
Before you know it you’ll have mega choices to eat, even if you choose not to eat the meat. PLUS leftovers galore!
Hearty cancer-recovery cold meal ideas
Same goes if your family is doing a cold Christmas meal – you’ll need to max out the salads. My favourites are:
Hearty cancer-recovery sweet treats
Yep, those black bean chocolate brownies have to be in the fridge at ALL times over the festive season! Here’s my blog with the recipe, my tweaks and a video demonstration.
You may also like my eggplant tart, it’s quite easy and can be made in advance.
I would also make baked apples: Simply core green apples, stuff with raisins, sprinkle with cinnamon, cover and bake until cooked. These are delicious hot or cold, and can be eaten with coconut yogurt and home-made granola (see below). The granola is also a fantastic gift idea!
And let’s not forget Nic’s Choc Balls – I also keep these in the freezer at all times!
I hope you have a wonderful festive season creating precious memories with family & friends AND eating deliciously healthy cancer-kicking foods.
I look forward to seeing you in the New Year,
Nic x
P.S. Grab a copy of my FREE e-book ‘3 Simple Shifts to Optimise your Health After Cancer‘ and receive my weekly newsletter with healthy eating tips and a tonne of motivation by registering below.