Part of every holiday tradition is based on enjoying a good dinner toast – we express our gratitude, rejoice over our family bonds, and look forward to a future filled with more such gatherings. Naturally, a glass of champagne or even something stronger is typical in such situations.
Then we have the boozy cocktails and eggnog as the mandatory ingredients of great holiday dinners. However, when one of your resolutions is to focus on your health, there are certain dos and don’ts of getting boozy this holiday season. Here are a few healthy alternatives to your traditional drinks, and a few ideas you can turn into your new family ritual!
A delicious tea selection
For mindful families wanting to celebrate with their health in focus, you can start a beautiful, calming tradition of sipping tea before your meals. With so many divine options, there’s no reason tea cannot replace an ordinary bottle of beer or your regular liquor.
Try offering an entire selection so that your guests can try more than one kind, and so that you can add kid-friendly options, too. Spicy apple tea with cinnamon is a beautiful option, while you can offer peppermint as a classic, as well as unusual flavors such as caramel, fruit mixes, and even the mulled wine flavor!
Gut-friendly mushroom coffee
Your gut health is affected the most by holiday dinners. But with the right swaps, you can prevent heartburn as well as digestive issues that could otherwise ensue. If you’ve managed to make your holiday dinners healthier, then it only stands to reason to do the same with your drinks!
Instead of your regular, caffeine-packed coffee, try sipping on a cup of mushroom coffee, instead. This is a great, antioxidant-rich option that will soothe your mind, prevent those jitters, and serve as a wonderful treat for your belly. Just in case, you can prep a gut-friendly remedy such as Glutashield to make sure that your digestive tract can handle the holidays.
Get creative with mocktails
Cocktails are a staple in so many holiday dinners that it’s hard to imagine a possible replacement. But with a few changes to replace the excess booze with flavorful, yet alcohol-free alternatives, and you will regret not introducing these swaps sooner.
- Use sparking water as the basis for your fizzy mocktails
- Go for a touch of freshly squeezed juices such as pomegranate, lemon, pineapple, and the like
- Add sparkly apple juice for even more pizzazz
- Lime juice and crushed ice add some jazz to every mocktail
- You can also infuse your mocktails with a few drops of essential oils that can be consumed – they’ll make your drinks truly outstanding
Tasty homemade chai mixes
A spicier, more flavorful take on tea, chai is a great holiday drink you can add to your family recipe book – it is bound to impress even the pickiest guests! Homemade chai is relatively easy to make, just be sure to prep enough for several rounds, because you won’t be able to stick to one cup.
- Use black tea as the basis for this recipe – it’s the original kind used in traditional masala chai
- Whole milk, or an alternative for your vegan/vegetarian guests
- Use cinnamon as the perfect spice for added flavor and warmth
- You can also offer other holiday-perfect spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla
You can crush and combine various spices (or pick just one you love most), bring to a boil in a blend of water and milk (in equal amounts), and then add the teabags to steep for up to 10 minutes. You can use some honey or other natural sweeteners for a sweeter taste.
Clean wine, anyone?
The need for more sustainable, Earth-friendly and healthy options has caused an avalanche of buzzwords to pop up around us. Some of them might be hard to understand, but perhaps the simplest of them aren’t buzzwords at all, but trends that are about to change how we perceive certain habits.
Take clean wine as the perfect example – it refers to organic, sustainably harvested grapes used in the production of wines that don’t harm the planet and without adding unnecessary sugars or preservatives.
A perfect homage to your love of wine is to invest in a bottle of top-notch clean wine that you can use to celebrate those important family moments. Fill up a wine glass and enjoy a guilt-free experience and just the right amount of alcohol for the right kind of buzz.
While things do get hectic for most families during each holiday season, the very least you can do is simplify your menu in favor of your wellbeing. These recipes and ideas can help you keep your holiday feasts more suitable for your health, but also serve as inspiration for more meaningful changes in your lifestyle. If you need guidance on that journey as we enter 2022, get in touch with us and we can create the perfect approach to nurture yourself with all the core principles of functional medicine in mind.