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How to enjoy the Holidays while also sticking to holistic healthy habits!

How to enjoy the Holidays while also sticking to holistic healthy habits!

Is it impossible to celebrate the holidays – with parties (small ones, at home this year), big dinners, drinks by the fire, and cookies, so many cookies  – and at the same time stay true to our holistic healthy living? No, it’s not! Can we find a way to AVOID falling into such a deep hole in December that we feel like we start from scratch in January? At Optimum You, we say “Yes we can”!

Throughout the month of December, we’ll be looking at ways to ‘square the circle’ of celebrating the holidays but sticking with healthy habits … all in the name of making 2021 not just better than 2020 (not too hard!), but our healthiest year ever.

Make 2021 Your Year of Holistic Healthy Habits!

Each week, I’ll have some practical holistic healthy living tips to support you. For example, one of THE biggest health challenges during the Holidays is keeping our sugar consumption under control. Think of some of our favourite Holiday traditions: Glühwein (mulled wine, so treasured in Germany!), chocolate, and again, cookies.

And – sorry to break it to you all: from a nutritionist’s point of view – there is truly nothing good about added sugar (or white, refined flour for that matter). It is addictive, it raises inflammation, it depresses your immune-system, it is an anti-nutrient, it makes you fat… Not what we need for optimal health and wellness.

And while I don’t want to force anybody to completely stay away from it (especially during this season) – I’d like to support you all in keeping that sugar intake down and indulge with awareness.

So, this week, we start off with some of my favourite cookie recipes from my austrian Mama – with a twist. These cookies have stood the test of time! And I have adjusted them to be gluten-free (needed in this house) and in addition at least be a little bit lower in sugar/white flour – and delicious at the same time. I used more freshly ground almonds, more almond flour (and less white gf flour) – plus – less sugar in general plus substituted some coconut sugar (lower glycemic). I used lots of butter and eggs. So – nothing low calorie here, quite the opposite (please be clear on that!), but an attempt to dial down the sugar shock a bit and give you some options to test.

See below for recipes for two of our absolute favourite Holiday cookies:

Vanille-Kipferl and Bärentatzen. YUM!

End 2020 strong, look forward to our holistic healthy habit course in January 2021

The better you can make your December, the more enjoyable and successful the start to your great 2021 can be. And Optimum You will be waiting for you with the launch of our signature holistic healthy living course, “Your Thrive Formula” (more on that in coming weeks).

Be well,

Barbara

Holiday Cookie Recipes with a healthy twist

Vanillekipferl (glutenfree)

  • 200grams/ 1 ¾ cups GF Flour
  • 200grams/ 1 ¾ cups Almond Flour
  • 20 grams/ 1/8 cup coconut sugar
  • 40 grams/ ¼ cup sugar
  • 180 grams/ ¾ cup butter
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt

Mix well and knead thoroughly with your hands. Roll into 2 dough rolls, let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Cut into little slices. Roll those pieces into little rolls with pointy ends and shape them into little half moon shapes (“Kipferl”) and set them onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Put back into the fridge for a bit and then bake them at 180 degree/360 degree F for about 15 minutes.
Let them cool down briefly and once they are holding up – but still warm – roll them carefully in some powdered sugar.

Bärentatzen (glutenfree)

  • 150g/ 3/4 cup butter
  • 65g/ ½ cup whole almonds – to grind
  • 70g/ ¾ cup almond flour
  • 70g/ ½ cup gluten free flour
  • 40g/ ¼ cup sugar
  • 40g/ ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TSP baking powder

Grind almonds. Mix all ingredients together. If consistency is too soft, add a little more almond flour. Use 2 small spoons to spoon little piles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Use a fork to press them down a bit. Put them into the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 180/360 degrees. After they cool, melt some chocolate and dip one half into the chocolate. If you want to make them even more delicious, stick 2 together with some strawberry jam and dip in chocolate…. YUMMY!! (and hello, sugar!)

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