Nature's Path Blog

Better Health for the Holidays

Posted by Ashley Koff RD on November 10, 2015

Healthy holiday food ideas


This time of year so many great things are vying for our attention. Whether gathering with friends, family, colleagues or donating your time to support those less fortunate, there’s a special energy that the holidays deliver and demand.  And it’s the latter - the holiday demands - that can deduct from your better health beginning this month and into the New Year. 

We all know holidays are better when we are healthier so here are some quick tips to help enable better health during the holidays.

1. Choose Sleep.

It sounds super simple, but so many things compete with our sleep time and quality during the holidays. Sleep is the only thing that can truly enable the body to recover from all the wonderful things we add to our list during the holidays.

To enable better sleep, choose foods rich in magnesium (Mother Nature’s muscle relaxant) like organic greens, pumpkin and hemp seeds, almonds and cashews, cacao nibs, and quinoa.

2. Choose Organic.

Nothing says happy holidays to your body like giving it what it recognizes for use without things that can irritate and disrupt its efforts to nourish you effectively and efficiently.

Dark chocloate peanut butter celery sticks - a great healthy holiday snack

3. Choose Crunch.

Treat yourself right these holidays by adding some nutritious crunch to your holiday treats, which will help you get and stay satisfied with less. For example, try adding 1/3 cup of Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Love Crunch to veggies like sweetkabocha squash or atop celery with peanut butter. 

4. Choose Plants for Protein.

Plants pack protein into super healthful packages that all do different things.  Their colors and textures signal their different nutrient powers; specifically, plants are our “clean up” team. And boy do we need to make sure we get in effective cleaning efforts all holidays long.

Try adding Qi’a - which contains protein rich hemp seeds - to any holiday nutrition pit stop from topping a soup, a baked apple, or adding to winter veggies.

5. Choose Carbs vs (More) Coffee.

Q'ia Chilli is a delicious option for a healthy holiday

Enjoy your coffee and tea, but don’t mistake the stimulant caffeine for an energy provider. Energy comes from calories, and carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. That’s not carte blanche to OD on candy canes, but rather to make sure you have a quality source of carbohydrates – fruit, beans, grains, winter vegetables – at each nutrition pit stop during the day.

Consider pumpkin flax pancakes, a banana with nut butter, a winter salad with white beans, the dark chocolate peanut butter Love Crunch celery sticks, and a Qi’a chili as ideas to deliver energy all day long. Caffeine Hint: try your espresso shot, or try matcha or chai tea, added to your oatmeal as a pre-workout or morning after a holiday party pick me up. 


Written by Ashley Koff RD

Ashley Koff RD

Ashley Koff is an internationally-renowned registered dietitian who believes better nutrition is simple, but isn’t typically explained that way. To that end, Koff created a tool-kit: “The Better Nutrition Simplified Program” which offers several tools to make better nutrition, simple and accessible for everyone.The Better Nutrition Simplified program includes easy meal planning tools such as “The Better Nutrition, Simplified Plan”and “Better Nutrition Simplified Pit Stops,” as well as a tool for food and supplemental foods selection “The AKA (Ashley Koff Approved) Personal Shopper.” Koff also offers Better Nutrition Simplified Quick Start video consults and the opportunity to arrange personal consults.