Let the Christmas countdown commence!
These DIY advent calendars have been counting us down to Christmas since we were children. They are a fantastic way to infuse holiday traditions with healthy habits as you choose what your children (or grandchildren) unwrap and consume each morning of December.
My grandmother started this tradition the year after we force-fed her the soap tasting “chocolate” hidden behind the brightly coloured flaps of our cardboard advent calendars. Slipping soap resembling candy to your children may be one way to reduce the sugar they consume this season, but to protect the tooth enamel and blood sugar levels of our grandparents, this DIY offers plenty of treats without the sweets! They are easy to create, are a stress relieving outlet of creativity, can be reused each year and offer the added environmentally friendly benefit of repurposing all of your old christmas cards lingering around your cellar. And we’re just in time to make them!
Creating The Christmas Card Boxes
From Sweets To Treats
A few sweets here and there are okay too, but treats do not have to be full of sugar. The ultimate tip: raid your local health food store! You will find plenty of healthy goodies and these are a few ideas to get you going:
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans)
- Seeds (sunflower, pepitas – pumpkin seeds, etc.)
- Trail mix
- Dried Fruit (figs, dates, dried cranberries, etc.)
- A dairy free, soy free dark chocolate square (a little sugar here and there is okay too! Just make sure it is a very small amount and teeth are brushed afterward)
- All natural lip balm
- A small bracelet or trinket (it doesn’t always have to be food)
- Not every box needs to be different, just make sure that repeated days are spread throughout the month.
- You do not need much. We will get 2 dates, 5 walnuts, etc. They are just intended to be small treats to unwrap each morning.
As we eagerly await the days of family gatherings and festive feasts, these adorable calendars are the perfect way to make for a more holistically healthy and sustainable holiday! I cannot tell you how excited I am to create these for my children one day but until then, I will enjoy this final year that my grandmother is delivering these mini treats. The true testament that you are never too old for a little Christmas advent!
In countdown to our holistically healthy holidays,
If you’ve ever felt guilty for overeating, if you crave sweet and fatty foods, or if you find yourself browsing the kitchen more frequently than Pinterest… this post is for YOU!
Following the last time you over-ate, how did you feel?
Guilt is one of the leading responses to this question which can put us in a vicious cycle as guilt and shame can lead to more overeating. Whether you are part of the majority who say their biggest binge is pizza and pasta (sugar + fat + salt), or have your own unique vice, the great news is that: overeating is a message and when listened to accurately, it will greatly improve your health! This is our Sunday’s dose of Holistic Life Hacks to overturn overeating into our healthiest relationships with food yet!
* Above: Gluten-free, dairy-free, thin crust pizza from Blossom Bakery. *
1. Just Add Nutrients
- Ever feel full but wanting food? This can be your body craving nutrients. Think of it this way; we eat not just for calories and macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) but for the vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) that keep our cells, tissues and organs functioning optimally. If the food we are consuming is lacking these key factors, we may crave food as our body is intuitively searching for this intake of nutrients.
Prescription for wellness: supercharge your diet with nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality meats, nuts, seeds and legumes.
2. Choose Soul Food
- Ask yourself; what are you hungry for? Hunger may come from boredom, stress, cravings for fulfillment or love. Food is strongly linked to our emotional states and vice versa, so understand the difference between cravings for whole food vs soul food.
Prescription for wellness: healthy bites of soul food comes from journaling, meditating, practising yoga and long walks on the beach.
3. Take A Power Nap
- You may just be tired! When we are lacking sleep, our bodies are lacking energy, and they often respond by signaling cravings for energy rich foods. This used to benefit our ancestors who would seek out supplies of naturally sweet foods such as fruit and berries for a quick boost of energy. Now-a-days, sweetness is concentrated and readily available causing us to crave foods such as pizzas, donuts and candies which have the opposite effect: less energy, more food cravings!
Prescription for wellness; Get your full nights sleep of roughly 7-8 hours, take 20minute power naps when needed and eat foods that are rich in energizing nutrients such as whole fruits and vegetables.
4. Brush your teeth
This past Saturday’s Halloween wedding was the perfect union of sophistication, fake blood and vampire fangs as the ultimate portion control… I highly recommend it 😉
But for those of us not sporting fangs at the dinner table, there is another, less painful (when you take a wrong bite) strategy to curb your appetite… brush your teeth! This works especially well when using peppermint toothpaste (the all natural, essential oil kind of course!).
5. Oil Pulling
- An Ayurvedic detoxifier and distractor from the kitchen: simply take a tablespoon of coconut oil, or safflower oil and gently swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes. Be sure not to swallow it and rinse your mouth thoroughly when done as it draws bacteria out into the oil. It will leave your teeth so clean you won’t want to eat a thing.. unless you’re truly hungry!
6. Drink Tea
- Sometimes food cravings are not cravings for food at all but for hydration. When our bodies are in a state of dehydration, they may crave food as a way to obtain water. Think: https://lifeofeden.com/2014/08/27/holistic-life-hack-7-in-season-foods-to-eat-yourself-hydrated/
- Herbal teas (especially peppermint which eases digestion) can help curb appetite. They keep you occupied, provide warmth and comfort, promote feelings of fullness and hydrate, all helping to keep hunger at bay. Bonus: drink tea while you cook to avoid over snacking before your meal.
Your body is brilliant, intuitive and aims to tell you what you are needing at any given time. Instead of thinking of overeating as a negative thing, shift your perspective to seeing it as the message your body is trying to convey and use these tips to overturn overeating in a productively holistic way!
To our soul-food Sundays,