Surviving the Holidays
Dare to break old holiday traditions. Start a new tradition for you and your family; a tradition of health. Health is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our family. Let your children grow up with healthy holiday traditions and they will pass those traditions on to their children; a gift that literally keeps on giving for generations.
Since I decided to become healthy, family and friends who come to my house for the holidays eat only healthy food and never go away hungry or unsatisfied. My meals consist of beautiful meats, salads, vegetables, and believe it or not delicious desserts sweetened with healthy sweeteners such as unrefined coconut sugar, honey, 100% pure maple syrup, or sucanat. My meals are free of processed foods, nothing with processed or enriched flours, processed sugars or high fructose corn syrup. This isn’t a fad diet or an unmaintainable diet. This is just plain healthy eating. It’s just you, instilling good habits and making new traditions for your children.
I’m going to include some ideas and recipes to help empower you. To help you make your holiday a healthy success!
GOING SOMEWHERE BESIDES HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
If you are going to family or friends for the holidays, it’s going to take some prior prep and planning on your part to keep you on track. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask what the main course will be. Simply tell them you want to make something to compliment the main course as your contribution to the meal. Don’t tell them it’s because you don’t want to sabotage your healthy eating, or they may try to sabotage you as well. Success will require you to take a legal appetizer such as veggies and dip, or guacamole and corn chips. Next take your wine (not a sweet wine) or beer if you will be drinking alcohol. Now consider a side dish or vegetable such as sweet potatoes cut into chunks and baked with 100% pure maple syrup and cinnamon, instead of the ones laden with sugar and topped with marshmallows. Or, green beans fried with bacon is always a big hit, and it’s legal as well. Then dessert. I will send my favorite brownie recipe. I then make my own whipped cream and flavor with vanilla and sweeten with 100% pure maple syrup. Oh my, you have never tasted anything quite that good. But you can always google Paleo or Keto desserts, however Keto likes to use some artificial sweeteners that I’m not fond of like Xylitol or Erythritol, so make sure you find recipes that don’t contain either of those.
Staying Home for the Holidays?
I don’t even make anything that isn’t legal. We usually have a turkey or prime rib, mashed potatoes with gravy thickened with corn starch, veggies, a shrimp salad which just consists of romaine lettuce, a can of shrimp drained, green onion diced, a lemon squeezed over it, toss with mayo and salt and pepper,
I’m also going to make my dressing and used sweet potatoes instead of bread cubes, and then I make French Silk Brownies with home-made whipped cream sweetened with 100% pure maple syrup. The macadamia nut bread is delicious as well. I added a couple recipes to try out to see if you like them.
Decorate your table, decorate your house, enjoying all those beautiful decorations can take some of the focus off of food.
Healthy Egg Nog (reduced sugar, loaded in healthy fats and nutrients)
Ingredients (makes approx 4 servings)
1 cup heavy cream (pasture-raised preferable, or organic at least; Organic Valley and Kalona are great grass-fed brands we’ve found)
1 cup of any milk (either organic non-homogenized milk, or almond or coconut milk if you prefer. If you’re lactose or casein intolerant, you might try the mix of heavy cream and almond or coconut milk as the best option, and avoid using cows milk. I personally used a raw pasture-raised goat milk here that I got from a local farmer)
3-4 egg yolks
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp REAL maple syrup (organic and grade B preferred due to higher nutrients than grade A; Can also use 2 tbsp coconut sugar if you prefer instead of maple syrup)
2-3 packets of stevia or monk fruit to desired sweetness (If you want this recipe to be Keto, omit the maple syrup and use any stevia blend or monk fruit sweetener blend to taste)
1 scoop of your favorite naturally-sweetened vanilla protein powder (not sweetened with artificial sweeteners)
Some recipes call for you to cook the egg nog, and other recipes just do a raw egg nog. I chose to make this one raw, because I’m personally not afraid of raw egg yolks, and have never once gotten sick in my entire life from raw egg yolks, as the risk of pasture raised egg yolks containing salmonella is very slim compared to factory farmed egg yolks, which has a higher risk, although still low.
Plus, when you cook egg yolks, you oxidize some of the cholesterol, making it a little bit less healthy, so that’s another reason we chose to make this egg nog raw instead of cooked. Honestly, the taste is better raw in my opinion too.
However, if you’re at all concerned about eating uncooked egg yolks, you can always follow any recipe for egg nog that cooks the egg nog, but just use these ingredients I show in this one.
To make this raw egg nog is very simple…
Place all of the ingredients above in a blender and blend for about 30-60 seconds. You’re done! It’s incredibly delicious and as you saw in my description in the intro of this blog, it’s actually loaded with beneficial nutrients, lower in sugar than most egg nog, and higher in protein!
Here’s a couple more great recipes from the Paleohacks blog if you’re looking for more awesome ideas for healthy treats:
> Paleo egg nog cupcakes recipe (whoa this is good!)
Paleo Coconut flour shortbread cookies (wow, soooo tasty!
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Fluffy and spiced, these sweet potato pancakes are just waiting to be smothered in grass-fed butter and maple syrup!
Boiling pot Large mixing bowl Whisk Large skillet
Ingredients 1 small sweet potato (about 1/2 cup mashed)
3 T almond flour 2 eggs 1/2 t baking powder 1/4 t cinnamon Grass-fed butter (or ghee), for cooking and serving Pure maple syrup, for serving
Begin by boiling 1 small sweet potato in water until soft. Remove skin. Mash smooth with a fork.
Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add sweet potato, almond flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Whisk with a fork until smooth.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter. Scoop 1/3 cup of pancake batter and pour into skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip and cook an additional 3 minutes. Serve hot with extra butter and maple syrup.
Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
• 8 large brussel sprouts
• 4 slices of nitrate-free bacon
• salt & pepper taste
How To Make It
1. Preheat oven to 375 °F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
2. Roll each Brussels sprout in half a slice of bacon. Secure the bacon with a toothpick and place on the baking sheet.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bacon reaches the desired crispiness.
FRENCH SILK BROWNIES
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
3 ounces unsweetened Chocolate, melted
1 cup Neutral Oil (we use grape seed oil)
2 1/2 cups Coconut Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Natural Butter Extract (optional)
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Cocoa
2 Tablespoons Almond Flour
3/4 cup Soy-Free Earth Balance Butter, softened or Organic Butter
1 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar (please do NOT substitute this for any other sweetener!)
5 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
3 Large Organic Fresh Eggs (if the eggs used are small or medium, increase to 4 or 5 eggs)
3 drops Fresh Lemon Juice
Vegan Whipped Cream or regular Whipped Cream (optional, but recommended!)
2 Tablespoons Chocolate Curls or Shavings (Optional)
Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine the melted chocolate, oil, and coconut sugar. Slowly add eggs and mix. Whisk in the extracts, salt, cornstarch, cocoa and flour together. Pour mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding the chocolate mousse.
In an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter and coconut sugar on high speed until completely smooth and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. If the mixture is not fluffy, the butter was too soft. Be sure to beat until the coconut sugar is completely dissolved. Add the cocoa, vanilla and salt and mix until combined. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating 4-5 minutes with each egg. Add lemon juice with the last egg and beat until totally smooth and fluffy.
Spread mousse on cooled brownies and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer, cut into squares and garnish with cream and chocolate shavings. Store covered in the fridge.
The lemon juice is added to the chocolate mousse due to the raw eggs. You can’t taste the lemon juice, but the lemon juices acidity neutralizes the eggs making it safer to consume. Please use caution for the pregnant, ill or elderly.
Tuscan Avocado Salad with White Beans
1 can (15 oz.) white cannelli beans drained and rinsed
1 small red onion sliced thinly
2 stalks of celery washed and sliced
½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
¾ cup slightly firm avocado diced into ½ inch pieces
3 TBS. or more red wine and olive oil vinaigrette dressing,
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until everything is coated with dressing and salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
Keto Macadamia Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories per serving: 262
Fat per serving: 23g
Carbs per serving: 4g
Protein per serving: 12g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Sugar per serving: 1g (added sugar: 0g)
Sodium per serving: 417mg
• 1 cup macadamia nuts
• 1/4 cup almond flour
• 2 scoops grass-fed whey protein powder
• 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 3/4 tsp himalayan salt
• 4 eggs
• 2 egg whites
• 1/4 cup grass-fed ghee, melted
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Rub the bottom of your loaf pan with ghee or extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking.
2. In a food processor, pulse the macadamia nuts for about 30-45 seconds or until it creates a flour consistency.
3. Add the almond flour, whey protein, flax seeds, baking soda, and himalayan salt to the food processor. Continue to pulse until ingredients are mixed well.
4. In a medium size bowl beat eggs, egg whites, melted ghee and apple cider vinegar with a whisk.
5. Fold in dry ingredients.
6. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
SPICY LOBSTER SALAD
SERVES 4 / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
1. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sriracha, tarragon, and salt.
2. Stir in the lobster and celery until well mixed. Serve.
PER SERVING: CALORIES: 91; TOTAL FAT: 9G; SATURATED FAT: 1G; PROTEIN: 2G; CHOLESTEROL: 6MG; CARBOHYDRATES: 2G; FIBER: 0G; NET CARBS: 2G
FAT: 85% / CARBS: 7% / PROTEIN: 8%
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sriracha
11⁄2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
Pinch sea salt
1 cup frozen precooked Maine lobster meat, defrosted overnight
in the refrigerator
1⁄4 cup chopped celery
CHORIZO-STUFFED RED PEPPERS
SERVES 4 / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / COOK TIME: 40 MINUTES
4 red bell peppers, tops cut off, seeds and membranes removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup chopped onion
1 pound bulk Mexican chorizo
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground paprika
1⁄4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded organic Cheddar cheese, divided
INGREDIENT TIP There are two types of chorizo. The Mexican version is uncured, spiced ground meat, whereas the Spanish chorizo is dried, cured, and usually sold in
Spicy chorizo infused with onion, cumin, and paprika is tossed in a parade of cilantro leaves and baked in a red bell pepper. Comfort food at its best.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Sit the red bell peppers, cut-side up, on the baking sheet.
4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. When it is hot, add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the chorizo, black pepper, cumin, and paprika and cook until the meat is browned and cooked all the way through, stirring to break up any clumps, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
6. Spoon the chorizo mixture into the red bell peppers and top each with 1⁄4 cup of Cheddar cheese.
7. Bake until the peppers are soft, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
PER SERVING: CALORIES: 702; TOTAL FAT: 57G;
SATURATED FAT: 23G; PROTEIN: 36G; CHOLESTEROL: 129MG; CARBOHYDRATES: 11G; FIBER: 3G; NET CARBS: 8G
FAT: 73% / CARBS: 6% / PROTEIN: 21%
PORK AND GREEN BEAN ALFREDO CASSEROLE
SERVES 4 / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / COOK TIME: 40 MINUTES
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 white onion, chopped
1 pound free-range ground pork
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package organic cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup organic heavy (whipping) cream
1⁄4 cup Golden Ghee (page 224), melted
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1⁄4 cup grated organic Parmesan cheese
4 cups trimmed green beans
2 cups shredded organic Cheddar cheese
This casserole is easy to toss together, but it feels like a special occasion. Sweet green beans are high in fiber; here they are tossed in a rich cream cheese Alfredo sauce on top of a savory pork base.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the pork, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Brown the sausage until cooked through, stirring to break up any clumps, about
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese, heavy cream, and ghee into a light cream sauce. If necessary, microwave the sauce in 15-second intervals to achieve a smooth consis- tency. Stir in the garlic, garlic salt, and white pepper. Then stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add the green beans to the bowl and toss to coat them with the sauce.
4. Transfer the cooked pork to a baking dish and top it with the green beans and sauce. Sprinkle the Cheddar cheese over the top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
PER SERVING: CALORIES: 904; TOTAL FAT: 73G;
SATURATED FAT: 42G; PROTEIN: 54G; CHOLESTEROL: 283MG; CARBOHYDRATES: 12G; FIBER: 4G; NET CARBS: 8G
FAT: 73% / CARBS: 3% / PROTEIN: 24%
NO-BAKE PUMPKIN PIE MUG CHEESECAKE
SERVES 1 / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES, PLUS 3 HOURS TO CHILL
2 tablespoons almond meal
41⁄2 teaspoons unsalted grass-fed butter, divided
1⁄4 cup organic cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons organic heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 Tbs. 100% pure maple syrup
1⁄8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Though this recipe serves one, you can make multi- ples for dinner parties where you need a keto-rific dessert idea. This creamy pumpkin cheesecake tastes like what would happen if spicy pumpkin pie and sweet cheesecake had a love affair.
1. In a microwave-safe mug, combine the almond meal and 11⁄2 teaspoons of butter and micro- wave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the butter and almond meal together and use a spoon to flatten the mixture into the bottom of the mug to form a crust.
2. In a small bowl or single-serving blender, cream together the cream cheese, heavy cream, pumpkin, sweetener, pumpkin pie spice, and the remaining
3 teaspoons of butter.
3. Pour the mixture into the mug, sprinkle it with a little nutmeg, and refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
PER SERVING: CALORIES: 475; TOTAL FAT: 49G; SATURATED FAT: 27G; PROTEIN: 7G; CHOLESTEROL: 131MG; CARBOHYDRATES: 5G; FIBER: 2G; NET CARBS: 3G
FAT: 92% / CARBS: 2% / PROTEIN: 6%