Healthy Food Hacks for Surviving the Holiday Season

pecan pie

For some of us, the holiday season, in general, comes with a bit of anxiety. Being that the majority of the holidays revolve around food, it’s a time where everyone comes together to enjoy each other’s company — and each other’s recipes. Just remember, that part of living a healthy lifestyle is balance. You should feel comfortable enjoying all your holiday favorites (like our incredible Pecan Pie featured above) in moderation. Below is our go-to list of everyday healthy food hacks you can incorporate into your daily meals to counterbalance all the fun fa la la’ing. Enjoy!

Upgrade your morning oats. Skip the maple syrup or brown sugar and opt for frozen berries instead. Once those icy beauties hit your hot oats, they’ll instantly start melting and naturally sweeten your bowl. Bonus: A generous dash of antioxidant-rich cinnamon will add big flavor and depth. (A favorite topping combo: One teaspoon of almond butter + chopped almonds)

Go on a date (with your morning smoothie). Give maple syrup or other sweeteners the boot and throw a dried date into the blender instead. Naturally sweet and super nutritious, one dried date will more than satisfy your sweet tooth.

Make beans your bestie. So filling, versatile, and packed with cancer-protective fiber – you can put them in almost anything. They’re a great substitute for pasta as they absorb sauces quite well + thicken soup beautifully when mashed. Plus, try roasting them with a little cooking spray or olive oil + salt and pepper – an addictive, grab-and-go snack!

Season your soup the smart way. You’ve just simmered your pot to perfection, given it a taste, but uh oh, it tastes a little flat. Instead of adding more fat or salt, try adding a splash of vinegar or squeeze of citrus to brighten it up.

Make friends with mocktails. Craving a cocktail or glass of wine at the end of a long day? Many times it’s more about the occasion of the drink than really needing the alcohol. Start with your favorite fancy glass, fill it with ice, soda water and then the additions are up to you – which you can mix and match. We like fresh citrus (try grapefruit!), any type of ade (lime, lemon, etc), bitters, fresh ginger (or ginger beer), fresh herbs and fruit. Cheers!

Go Greek. Who needs sour cream when Greek yogurt is such a spot-on substitute? Both are creamy and tangy but Greek yogurt has lower calories and fat + more protein than sour cream. Use it in dressings, dips, when baking and as a topping for your favorite Mexican dish – your family and friends will never know you made the swap!

Marinate your meat. Marinades are a great way to add tons of flavor to your favorite proteins without adding tons of extra calories. No need for heavy sauces or breading when your marinade is doing all the work. Bonus: Always marinate twice the amount you need, freeze half and then when it’s time to defrost, it’ll slowly marinate as it thaws – two dinners for the price of one!

Healthier Holiday Mocktails

Cancer treatment can make it hard to partake in holiday festivities, but don’t let the little stuff, like whether or not you can enjoy a cocktail, get in the way. Have a yummy mocktail!

orange juice, pomegranate juice, virgin bermuda triangle- anti-cancer recipes- cook for your life

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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