Cookies. Candies. Pie.
It’s a trifecta of holiday goodness. And, a whole lot of carbs to derail a year of healthy habits. It’s all about striking a balance between maintaining my weight loss and taking part in the festivities.
Family gatherings take place in the kitchen and celebrations revolve around food. Dessert is as much a part of the holiday traditions as Santa and stockings. So, what’s a carb loving girl to do when she goes home for the holidays?
This girl enjoys the carbs. In moderation.
Ah, Christmastime! From fond family memories to delectably sweet treats, this time of year holds a special place in many of our hearts. When I think of Christmas, one of the first things I think of is Christmas cookies.
However, the heavy emphasis on cookie recipes during this time of the year can be a disaster waiting to happen for those who prioritize healthy eating. On one hand, you don’t want to ingest all the fat, sugar and calories found in your typical easy cookie recipe. On the other hand, you don’t want to be a Grinch and thumb your nose at all that holiday cheer. What is a healthy eater to do?
Compromise, of course! This holiday season, you can have your cookie and eat it, too. When you make Christmas cookie recipes at home using wholesome ingredients like whole wheat flour, skim milk, all-natural margarine alternatives, you can make healthy cookie recipes perfect for the season. Here are my 10 favorite Christmas cookie recipes:
Gingerbread Men – What makes this recipe so great for your health is that it has no milk or eggs in it at all, plus it uses all-natural, no-calorie stevia instead of sugar.
Sugar Cutout Cookies – Sugar cookie recipes are usually the most dangerous baked goods because they are not filling at all. This vegan recipe uses whole wheat pastry flour and stevia to make it light and sweet, yet healthy.
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The first time I saw the commercial of people excitedly enjoying a healthy cookie that resembled America’s favorite sandwich cookie I knew something was too good to be true. It usually is. This time was no different.
WhoNu Cookies claim to have as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, as much calcium as an eight-ounce glass of vitamin D milk, as much vitamin C as a cup of blueberries, as much iron as a cup of spinach, and even as much vitamin E as two cups of carrot juice. However, WhoNu Cookies are not anywhere near as good for you as any one of these foods. Frankly, they are far worse for you.
Their website does a great job of luring you in with these flashy selling points, but fails to show you what the actual ingredients are. I was hopeful to find a box that included these ingredients… you know… the way mom will hide spinach in lasagna or cauliflower puree in macaroni and cheese. That was not the case.
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The phrase “Caveman Cookie” may sound like an oxymoron to those who know about the caveman diet, but the idea is pretty simple: dessert made from ingredients that humans have been eating for tens of thousands of years. You won’t find any milk, eggs, flour or refined sugar in these cookies, not to mentioned artificial additives. “Cavemen didn’t have refined sugar,” explained Stephanie Lester, the founder of Caveman Bakery LLC. The three flavors of cookies — Original, Tropical and Alpine–are made mostly from nuts and honey.
Lester began eating like a cavewoman in her junior year of college, using the plan laid out by Loren Cordain in The Paleo Diet. She found that she had better energy and that her skin improved. “Back in college I already started making some cookies that people liked,” she said, but would have never anticipated that her baked goods made from hunter-gatherer ingredients offered a potential career path. She went on to earn a law degree, but found that practicing law wasn’t for her. Lester started her bakery while working as a trusts and estates attorney, and soon left her firm to dedicate her full energy to Caveman Cookies. Today, Lester and her husband both follow the paleo diet, but allow themselves modern food on occasion.