Most people during the holidays say, “all bets are off” regarding regulating their healthy food intake, and they simply gorge on treats and junk food right and left, at least until their body starts sounding the alarms. There are lots of house parties, office parties, neighborhood fiestas, pot luck lunches, bar hopping, and the frequent “eating out” going on in December.
Anybody with food allergies, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, IBS, Crohn’s, ulcers, and anyone who’s vegan or vegetarian find themselves in a world of hurt, trying to “eat right” and not indulge in all the junky Christmas treats, movie theater “food,” and alcoholic beverages slung around like they’re free lollipops for the taking. What’s a healthy person to do?
Count chemicals, not calories, for starters
So many people these days are so worried about counting calories, empty carbs (carbohydrates), and grams of sugar, that they forget to identify and eliminate chemicals from their intake, especially during the holidays. It’s one thing to put on a few unwanted pounds during the holiday season, but to damage your cleansing organs and wipe out your immune system is a horse of a different color. Chemicals in American food, especially junk food and holiday treats, can do serious, if not permanent, damage to your body and brain.
It’s important not to warp your cells, not to choke them out, and not to clog your blood while “partying” up a storm this holiday season. So let’s filter out the chemicals by choosing or making smart treats, instead of just grabbing the junk-science ones and shoving them down our throats like starving Neanderthals.
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Chemical-loaded and carcinogenic “treats” to avoid during the holidays, and common sense, easy, “safe” recipes for substitution
#1. Cheap colored frosting on cakes, cupcakes, donuts, and cookies, made with artificial, industrial, petroleum-based food dyes, including caramel (that cause ADHD and cancer). Instead make your own organic treats and color with blueberries, red berries, turmeric, beta carotene, spinach, matcha, beets, and carrots.
#2. Soda (regular and diet). Nearly all popular sodas are laced with genetically modified high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, and artificial sweeteners that cause cancer. Instead, try different flavors of Kombucha, which are fizzy like soda and contain probiotics that foster good digestion and a strong immune system (good gut flora).
#3. Candy canes – most of these age old treats are certainly made with genetically modified (GM) corn syrup (HFCS), artificial coloring, and artificial peppermint candy flavoring. Instead, look for organic candy canes that use organic fruit juice for color, natural peppermint oil, and sugar that doesn’t contain pesticides (organic cane sugar).
#4. Hot chocolate – right away you’re thinking Swiss Miss, Nestle, or Land O’ Lakes, so you better think again. Most conventional brands are loaded with processed, refined sugar; GM corn syrup (or artificial sweeteners); hydrogenated oil; and milk (all of which cause inflammation and congestion). Instead, use organic sugar and some high quality cacao powder, or even melt some organic dark chocolate in some almond milk or hemp milk.
#5. Brownies – typical, popular brownie mixes contain genetically modified sugar, cancer-causing bleached flour, GM oils, and blood clogging canola oil – and then they tell you in the instructions to mix it with eggs and milk. Instead, you can just buy organic brownie mix and blend it with a can of organic black beans (undrained) and bake! You’ll be amazed at the flavor, and you’re getting fiber and protein, instead of a boatload of bad-for-you ingredients.
#6. Sausages – the usual conventional sausages contain nitrates and monosodium glutamate, which cause dehydration, inflammation, and migraine headaches. Those ingredients are also carcinogenic. Instead, buy some organic meat (turkey or pork), chop it up finely and mix with sage, black pepper, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and ginger in a bowl. Fry the sausage patties in a skillet over medium heat until browned (3 – 5 minutes per side).
#7. Starbucks frappuccinos – these “bad boys” are absolutely overloaded with sugar and dairy, both causing inflammation and excess mucus. They also contain artificial flavors and carageenan (plus, a “Grande” contains 420 calories and 63 grams of sugar). Instead, make organic coffee at home, use organic sugar (a reserved amount), maple syrup or honey, and add in some almond milk, cacao, and vanilla extract – and the whole thing can even be vegan, if you so choose.
Also, avoid microwave ovens when heating up your treats, including cookies, brownies, pie, hot cocoa, apple cider, or coffee because “nukers” destroy nutrition, alter the texture, and ruin the flavor.
Tune into Food.news for more updates on holiday foods you might want to avoid. Happy holidays!