Tasty snacks to get you through the holidays

This might be the most wonderful time of the year, but not so much for healthy eating. With our American culture, it’s a challenge to eat healthy any time of the year but even more so when you toss into the mix family traditions wrapped around the Christmas holidays. For my family, it was an old-fashioned fudge recipe passed down to me from my momma. I made batches and batches of it every year. It is delicious and it’s also pure sugar. Eating too much sugar can disrupt the healthy balance in your gut microbiome, leaving you vulnerable to unpleasant GI symptoms and other health conditions. I stopped making the fudge four years ago and have now replaced it with new food traditions, including some of these snack options. Most tasty treats are laden with highly processed ingredients, especially sugar and refined carbohydrates, but not these three. Hope you enjoy!

Baked pears with cinnamon

Baked pears with cinnamon is a wonderful, healthy snack that will make you feel like you’re indulging in a luscious dessert. It’s perfect for chilly winter days. Pears are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which can enhance your digestive health. 

Pears are antispasmodic. They help to soothe the linings of the stomach and intestinal tract, and they feed beneficial bacteria while starving and killing unproductive bacteria, parasites and fungus. Pears also help to raise hydrochloric acid in the stomach and help to prevent intestinal and stomach cancers. The trace mineral salts make pear juice high in electrolytes, which help stabilize blood sugar. Lastly, the flesh of the pear is loaded with phytochemicals, trace minerals and amino acids.  

Pears are best eaten between breakfast and lunch, or in late afternoon, shortly before dinner. They act as an appetite suppressant and stomach tonic to prevent you from craving sweets or overeating at meals. 

Baked Pears

Recipe by blair@inkmagazines.com
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calorieskcal

Ingredients

  • 4 pears, any variety

  • 2 T maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Slice the pears in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Arrange the pear halves face up on a baking tray. Drizzle each pear half with maple syrup, brushing over the face of the pear and leaving some inside the center. 
  • Divide the walnuts evenly into the centers of the pears, and sprinkle cinnamon over the top of each.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes until the pears are tender and cooked through. Serve warm from the oven and enjoy. 

Apples with almond butter

Did you know that almond butter has nearly double the amount of fiber that peanut butter has? This fiber provides important prebiotics that can act as “food” for friendly bacteria in your gut.

Almond butter is also packed with nutrients like calcium and phosphorus; both play a key role in strengthening your teeth and gums, which can take a hit during the holidays with unhealthy food choices.   

Apples are hydrating and provide such trace minerals as manganese and molybdenum as well as electrolytes and critical mineral salts.

Its anti-inflammatory properties make the apple a top pick for snacks. Apples also are the ultimate colon cleanser. The pectin from an apple moves through your gut and rids your body of bacteria, viruses, yeast and mold. 

Celery and Dates – Grab and go snack

Although I do not advocate eating on the go, sometimes during the holidays we find ourselves overcommitted and existing outside our normal routine. Heck, sometimes life is that way regardless of the holidays. That’s where this great grab and go snack of celery and dates comes in handy.    

These two foods combine mineral salts from the celery with high-quality bioavailable glucose from the dates, giving you a powerful adrenal restorative and, as a bonus, providing backup superpower for the thyroid. This snack can be made ahead of time, and it holds up well if stuffed in a purse or backpack, making it easy to manage on the go.

PRO-TIPS:

One of the best ways to optimize your gut health is to focus on eating whole real foods year-round. skipping highly processed foods like snacks. In addition, make sure the whole foods you select work best for you and your unique physiology. Good nutrition is never one-size-fits all. A Functional Nutrition Practitioner can help you determine what foods are best for your physiology.  Food is the new old frontier in health, and we need to rethink what is good for us.

References:

William, Anthony. Medical Medium Thyroid Healing: the truth behind Hashimoto’s, Graves, insomnia, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules & Epstein Barr, Carlsbad, Hay House, Inc., 2017.

William, Anthony. Medical Medium life-changing foods: save yourself and the ones you love with the hidden healing powers of fruits and vegetables, Carlsbad, Hay House, Inc., 2016.

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Picture of Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta is a certified functional nutrition practitioner, holistic cancer coach and speaker. She studied whole-food, plant-based nutrition with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. She is a food driven analyst and works with clients to help them use nutrition principles to solve the root causes of their health symptoms. She knows that functional nutrition is the answer to our current healthcare crisis, both for individuals and for society at large, and wants to inform as many people as she can of the power of food to heal. Her promise to clients - if you eat better, you will feel better.