Holiday Cook Together
Ingredients: Lamb, chicken, kale, brussel sprouts, raddiccio, green beans, hazelnuts, olive oil, cranberries, bread, apple pie
Happy Holidays! – time of celebration and of course feasting! Interesting how the idea of feasting can strike terror in those of us that have been inundated with nutrition information such as – “do everything in moderation.” Clearly there is nothing moderate about feasting, unless of course it is accompanied by fasting, which is another word that strikes terror in people. But the problem is, moderation is challenging for many people, especially around the holidays. This holiday Cook Together is all about giving ourselves permission to feast on whole foods with full pleasure and acceptance. When consuming whole foods, we can eat a lot more because our bodies know exactly how to process, assimilate and digest whole foods.
Periodic feasting, followed by periodic fasting was the way indigenous cultures did food. But because we have emphasized the feasting and neglected the fasting, we have decided that “moderation” is required to maintain “control” of our eating habits. This attempt to “control” the body with the mind is clearly not a very effective strategy, because there is far more chronic disease than there was 100 years ago. Honoring the fasting cycle with at minimum 12 hours between eating, is a simple and effective way of giving the body a rest from metabolizing and digesting food. Easily done, because most of the time this takes place while sleeping.
Tips for a healthy, happy holiday season!
#1 – Ask for help! Don’t try to do it all. If you are a guest, ask the host if you can come early and help. Make it fun, bring some nice tea and wine. There is some real magic that happens in the kitchen when people cook together.
#2 – Breathe – We cannot digest food in the stressed state. Activating the parasympathetic nervous system is as simple as taking 3 deep breaths before eating.
#3 – Multiple veggie sides help to balance the richness of the gravies, carbs and proteins. The body loves diversity and so does the microbiome of the gut.
#4 – Cut sugar, preservatives and GMO ingredients where you can. The pancreas can only process approximately 30 grams of sugar a day. ½ can of cranberry sauce contains about 55g. Choose wisely, save your sugar for what you truly love and avoid added sugars in canned, processed and packaged foods. Jesse made a delicious cranberry sauce with no sugar and an apple pie with only a sprinkling of sugar on top, and it was delicious.
#5 – Choose a bird that did not live its life as a slave. This might cost a few dollars more, but worth it. Free range, organic feed, trusted and local farmer.