The Holiday season can prove difficult for those trying to watch their weight and keep a diet.

Every year, it’s the same question – but what about my diet? What about the gluten that I try to avoid? Can I eat traditional pierogi or do I have to make something that’s more dietetic? It’s hard counting calories on a daily basis, so what about Christmas Eve? There’s a simple answer: you don’t need to count your calorie intake, all it takes is some common sense.

 

How to ensure that the Holidays are a relaxing time spent together with your family – without needless feelings of guilt, overeating, but also without denying yourself a few pleasures?

Start by planning your Christmas menu in advance. If you’ll be visiting family over the Holidays, why not make a few dishes yourself?

There’s plenty of recipes for healthier versions of cheesecake or a poppy-seed roll online. I’ll even add a recipe for a gluten-free gingerbread carrot cake 😉 I’m sure someone from your family would love to try it. But it’s not just cake that we’ll be eating over the Holidays.

 

Pick out the dishes you like most. For me, it’s definitely borscht and pierogi. Of course, home-made borscht is best; you’ll be sure that it doesn’t contain any preservatives and flavor enhancers like those found in stores. If you feel bloated after eating wheat and mushrooms, then limit the number of dumplings you eat or try making them with rice flour.

 

Eat small portions and don’t sit down to enjoy a meal on an empty stomach. A huge appetite won’t help in limiting the amount of food you eat, and eating a too large a portion will cause you to feel full in a moment’s notice. And the festive meal just started. Don’t force yourself into eating too much and saying that it’s an exception.

 

Don’t eat anything you do not feel like eating. Nobody’s going to be upset you didn’t try the herring.

 

Do not forget about physical activity! Going for a walk with the family, playing with children – that’s the kind of physical activity you should be thinking about during Christmas. Sitting down all day won’t help our digestion nor our well-being!

 

Remember to drink enough fluids. In the morning, drink a glass of warm water with lemon juice or apple vinegar to aid digestion. Apple vinegar and water can also be taken before eating a meal during the day. If you have a delicate stomach, replace the vinegar with herbal teas such as mint, fennel or chamomile.

 

Christmas is a time when we don’t have to stick to our diets. Having said that, it also isn’t a reason to stuff ourselves every day and night. A little common sense is the key to feeling good and not feeling guilty.

 

Recipe:

Gluten-free gingerbread carrot cake

400g of peeled carrots

150g rice flour

3 whole eggs

2 tablespoons of rice oil

150g walnuts

150g dates

2-3 teaspoons of sugar-free gingerbread spices

 

Pour boiling water over the dates to make them softer. Peel the carrots and cut them up into smaller pieces. Either grate the carrots on a coarser mesh of throw them into a blender.

Add the drained dates to the carrots. Mix. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the walnuts). Mix well. Then add the nuts to the mix and gently combine all the ingredients together. Pour the mix into a circular pan and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for about 50-60 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE IN 8 PORTIONS: 2316 KCAL PROTEIN 55.30 FAT 132.94 CARBOHYDRATES 287.10

NUTRITIONAL VALUE IN 1 PORTION: 290 KCAL PROTEIN 6.91 FAT 16.62 CARBOHYDRATES 35.89