This is undoubtedly the time of year that many people throw caution to the wind when it comes to their diet. And I don’t just mean for weight-loss goals, but a healthy diet in general. No matter where you go during the holidays, there are goodies staring back at you. Whether in the form of cookies, cakes, pies, or puddings, those sweet treats trick our brain into believing we shouldn’t resist their scrumptious taste.
It’s one thing to indulge periodically so you don’t feel totally deprived, however, that’s usually not the case. There are plenty of folks who give themselves carte blanche for the entire period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, which can spell disaster in more ways than one.
The Downside of Holiday Confections
The most noticeable consequence is unwanted weight gain that will take a lot of effort to lose. From my perspective though, it’s what’s going on under the skin that is of greater concern.
Your body doesn’t care what season it is, and overconsumption of sugar is one of the worst ways to disrupt your health. Even though in the moment a sweet treat tastes amazing as it lights up your brain with the “feel good” chemical dopamine, it’s going to cause a spike in your blood sugar, followed by a crash a few hours later. When that happens, you’re likely to feel more fatigued, irritable, anxious, or moody. So to set yourself back on course, your brain is going to prompt you to FIND SOME MORE SUGAR!
Also, sugar is one of the biggest contributors to inflammation, which is the basis for many serious diseases. I’m not trying to scare you (well maybe a little bit), but I believe it’s important for you to know this so you can make decisions around food that support your best health.
Now for the Good News!
Holiday treats don’t have to be an all-or-nothing choice, and you don’t have to eat “natural” substitutes that taste like cardboard. What you can do though is to switch out the sugar-laden treats for delicious desserts that are chock full of healthy ingredients that won’t interfere with your weight and blood sugar or cause other problems. What’s even better is that because they taste so great, the kids won’t know how nutritious they really are.
3 Healthy Dessert Recipes Your Family Will Love
To help you understand how easy and rewarding it is to swap out unhealthy treats for healthy ones, I want to share with you some of my family’s favorite dessert recipes that we always enjoy during the holidays.
- Choco-tentment Mousse is one of my favorites and has an incredible texture that comes from including fresh coconut in the recipe.
- Sugar-LESS Cookies are an essential holiday snack in our kitchen. The kids can grab a few to nosh on and I know they won’t get cranky from a drop in blood sugar.
- Fabulous Fruit Fondue is really fun to make. I get the kids to help by cutting up the fresh fruit while I put together the chocolate fondue.
Even though these recipes may contain ingredients you haven’t tried before, I think you’ll love them not only for how tasty they are but for how healthy they are for your brain and body! If you’re like me and love a new adventure in the kitchen, you’ll have fun creating these and really appreciate how simple it can be to stay healthy and make good choices throughout the holiday season.
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If you’re struggling and need professional help, Amen Clinics is here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.