Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season when we have a few more things on our plate (ha! a little pun there :)). We have busier schedules, less sleep and are exposed to more people — all of which can set us up for illness and feeling stressed out! At times like this, you may be tempted to ditch the fresh real food and grab a quick processed snack or carry-out meal. It may feel like we are making our lives a little easier, but actually, we are really making matters worse! Stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet drain our immune systems. We are left feeling exhausted and sick.
Now more than ever is the time to make an effort to support and boost up our bodies with fresh, healing power foods and rest so we feel refreshed, energized and happy.
Here are my top 3 ways to support your body with healing foods during this busy season:
Stock up on healthy “grabs” — keep your refrigerator (and your car) stocked with quick healthy snacks: water, apples, bananas, mixed nuts, Denise’s Energy Bars, hard boiled eggs, cut veggies and a healthy dip, make a fresh dressing and keep a large bag of mixed greens for a quick salad, hummus spreads, or frozen fruit to make smoothies.
- Start your day with a green Smoothie — Greens are your power source – so you why not start your day with Green power! Scrinching your nose up at green drinks? My Kale Pineapple Smoothie is the place to start.
- Double up! Making soup or chili? Make a double batch and freeze the extra. Crockpots are great time savers — especially if you prep ingredients in advance and freeze them! Try my favorite Cuban Braised Beef! Bringing a dish to the party? Make extra to keep at home!
Here is a great recipe for the holiday season — it’s a delicious appetizer for guests and a lunch or light dinner for you!
Curried Chicken Salad over Toasted Cinnamon Raisin Rounds
2 cups cooked chicken breast, finely chopped (see Denise’s Tips below)
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup apples, finely chopped (leave skin on)
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup plain hummus
- 3 Tbs cranberry relish (canned or fresh in deli)
- 6 slices of Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread
Preheat broiler or toaster oven. Remove bread crusts and cut into triangles or use a round cookie cutter to cut into rounds. Toast under broiler until just browned. Use the leftover bread for stuffing or croutons.
In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except cranberry relish). Toss well, cover and chill for 30 minutes (or make the day before). Divide chicken salad and place on top of toasted rounds. Top with a dollop of cranberry relish.
- I like to cook my chicken breasts, bone-in, in chicken broth for tender, moist meat.
- Double up on the chicken salad and save some for later — on top an Ezekiel english muffin or on some greens for a quick lunch or light dinner
I hope these action steps give you some direction to keep your body strong and your spirits high during the holiday season.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Start with just one action — make a green smoothie!
Don’t wait until January — your body needs it NOW!
You can do it:)
For those of you in the Boston area, join me Nov 20 at Craft Beer Cellar from 6pm-8pm for a paired tasting!