Eating sugar at any time, but even more so through the holidays, often leads to depression, anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, outbursts of anger or violence, hyperactivity, irritability and more stress on top of the stress that naturally comes with this time of year.
Sugar is detrimental to our physical, emotional and spiritual health. This includes white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and even organic sugar. If it has the word sugar in it, it should be avoided.
Among other things, sugar weakens the immune system, destroys the endocrine system, interferes in proper neurotransmitter production and functioning and leads to a variety of debilitating health conditions like insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, hypoglycemia and all types of mental health and behavioral disorders, as well as sugar addiction. Keeping it out of the diet is of the utmost importance for maintaining optimal health.
Although, the holidays may be one of those times when you just can’t resist indulging in something delicious and sweet, you can replace those holiday recipes calling for sugar with healthier sugar-free alternatives like stevia, xylitol or chicory root.
Alternatively, you can make baked goods that are sweetened naturally with fruit or fruit juice. Apples, grapes peaches, pears and pineapples are great sweeteners.
Another excellent alternative is to throw together things like dates, figs, raisins, apples, apricots, pears, bananas or pineapples, mixed with nuts and coconut. A whole food sweet is always preferred and healthier than other sweets, not only that it fills you up and curbs the chance of overeating.
Nuts, dates, raisins, bananas, cherries etc. can be covered with unsweetened carob, for a candy bar alternative.
Nut butters, raisins and other dried fruits can be crushed together into a soft mixture and then cut with Christmas cookie cutters.
Take a fresh sweet potato and bake it like you would a regular baked potato. Then put organic cultured butter, sea salt and cinnamon on it. I find this is as delicious as a piece of pie. Make sure it’s a sweet potato and not a yam. Yams are orange in color and sweet potatoes are light yellow in color. You could bake a fresh yam as well if you prefer, but I find the sweet potato is much richer in flavor.
Slice some apples, peaches or pears and bake them in a dish with cinnamon, nuts and raisins.
For an easy and healthier fudge alternative, you can melt unsweetened carob chips and mix it with your favorite nut butter. You can then add peppermint, orange or vanilla extract or whatever flavor you desire. It can be shaped with Christmas cookie cutters as well. Plus you can decorate it with coconut, dried cranberries, raisins, chopped nuts etc.
Keep in mind that sugar-free replacements are a healthier choice, but even natural sweeteners should be eaten in moderation. Natural sweets eaten in excess can also impact our health negatively in the same manner. Try not to overindulge and keep their presence in your diet to an occasional treat.
By switching to sugar-free holiday desserts, you’ll have a healthier and happier holiday and feel better on the days that follow, instead of having a sugar hangover.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday,