We all know that Christmas time can be a challenging time of year to stick to our healthy eating habits. If your family is anything like mine we have multiple days of Christmas, with multiple days of eating. When dessert gets passed around the first night it is relatively easy to say “no”. However, by the 4th night it becomes slightly more challenging when the Christmas Chocolate Yule Log is screaming at you in the face!
Sugar is known as the sweet poison. It is the main culprit to so many of our concerns including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and gastrointestinal complaints. Even consuming a small amount of sugar can paralyze our immune system for hours!
It is time to swap out the bad and introduce the good – trade sweets for fiber!
Fiber includes things like vegetables, oatmeal, flaxseeds, psyllium husk, and beans, to name a few. I am sure we have all heard the great effects fiber has on bulking up our stools and making them easier to pass. Well, it does not end there. Increasing intake of soluble fiber can:
- Increase satiety (how long you feel full!)
- Increase the good bacteria in your gut
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Improve bowel regularity in certain gastrointestinal conditions
Did you know that part of your immune system is located in your gut?
It is called your Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT). Dietary fiber acts as a prebiotic for the bacteria in your gastrointestinal system. It will feed the microbes in your gut, keeping your immune system happy and healthy.
Ultimately, I want you to stay healthy this holiday season! Are you getting enough dietary fiber in your diet? See below for some simple fibre-rich snacks to add to your daily diet.
Quick Fibre-Rich Snacks
Oatmeal & Peanut Butter Energy Bites
- 2/3 cup peanut/almond butter (can use any nut butter)
- 1 cup rolled oats (can use gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
PREPARATION: Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Once done chilling, use a large spoon to scoop out equal portions of the mixture and roll into balls. Store these bites in the refrigerator/freezer for 2 weeks.
Date & Almond Balls
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup almond/peanut butter (can use any nut butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
PREPARATION: Add almonds to a food processor, and pulse until they are the consistency of a coarse meal. Add pitted dates and almond butter. Pulse a few times, then add vanilla, cinnamon and ground flaxseeds. Process until everything comes together. If you see any large chunks of date, break the mixture up with a spatula, and pulse until they are broken up. Add a bit more almond butter if the mixture seems dry. Using a large spoon, scoop out equal portions of the mixture and roll into balls. Store these bites in the refrigerator/freezer for 2 weeks.
Overnight Pumpkin Spice Oats
- ½ cup oats (can use gluten-free if needed)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon + 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin all-spice)
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients together in a medium-sized mason jar. Place in the fridge overnight and serve warm in the morning.