6 Tips

One holiday down, lots more to go!  Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean your healthy habits have to be completely thrown out the window.  You can still enjoy all that this time of year has to offer without compromising your health.  Here are a few tips to help you.

1. Try to practice balance as much as possible when it comes to eating during the holiday season.  Balance out the more indulgent meals with lots of salads, fruits, veggies, lean meats, healthy fats and whole grains.    Fill up with nourishing foods when possible so you feel well throughout the winter.  Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to completely let go of your healthy habits.

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Sausage Kale and White Bean Soup

Today’s recipe is perfect for cold fall days.  It’s made with smoked sausage, in-season kale, and white beans.  To boost the nutrition I also added in some onion, carrots, and celery.  This soup is super simple to throw together. Start by browning some smoked sausage slices, such as kielbasa or even andouille if you prefer a little spice.  (I used Kroger’s nitrate free Simple Truth brand kielbasa.)  Set aside the sausage and, in the same pot, simmer some kale and veggies in chicken broth. After the kale has wilted, add the beans and sausage back to the pot, season, and cook until heated through. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan on top, if you wish. Warm, filling, healthy, and delicious!

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dark chocolate peanut clusters

Several weeks ago the boys noticed a picture of peanut clusters on Pinterest and they declared that we needed to make them for an after dinner treat.  (Yes, we do scroll through pictures of food on Pinterest together.  :-))  You may have noticed that I have a special affinity for dark chocolate and nuts so of course I was completely on board with their request.  The recipe they saw was actually made in the crockpot and used milk chocolate.  But I knew I could make it without having to pull down our crockpot and I could use dark chocolate, which would make it a teeny bit more healthy.  This may be the simplest recipe I have ever shared.  And it’s delicious too!

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Pumpkin Coconut Cashew Bites

I’m back with another pumpkin recipe today.  I just can’t stop making foods with pumpkin.  It’s one of my favorite ingredients!  It’s always a plus when something you love is healthy too.  I adapted these from a favorite “cookie dough” ball recipe that’s made with cashews, oatmeal, and coconut.  I just added some pumpkin for a little fall flavor.  These pumpkin coconut cashew bites are full of healthy fat, protein, and fiber, which makes them the perfect snack in my book.  I keep ours in the freezer and pull one or two out in the afternoon when I need a pick-me-up.  They are just slightly sweet so if you are wanting them for more of a “treat” I’d suggest upping the amount of honey and adding in more chocolate.  I wanted them to be more of a heathy snack so I kept the honey and chocolate to a minimum.  But they are still delicious as is.

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