Mood-lifting healthy meal ideas for Christmas
Our diet and nutrition plays a huge role in both our physical and mental wellbeing. A healthy and nutritious diet, enables us to maintain focus and improves brain function, reduces stress and anxiety, assists with healthy sleep patterns and improves our mood. Christmas is a time of year where many will typically ignore their eating habits and over-indulge on unhealthy snacks and drinks to celebrate. However, making positive choices doesn’t mean that you have to miss out – it is possible to still enjoy the festive season while still eating mood-lifting healthy alternatives meals and snacks. Below we discuss some healthy meal ideas for Christmas. Let us know what you think!
Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Mash. Instead of white potatoes mashed with butter and cream, roast cauliflower and sweet potatoes and mash them together with just a small amount of butter instead.
Brussel Sprout Salad with Couscous, Lemon and Almonds. Instead of frying with bacon, steam the sprouts, chop in half and mix with chopped lettuce, cucumber and grated carrot, whisk olive oil and lemon juice and toss the salad, then top with roasted almonds and dried cranberries.
Roasted Salmon with Winter Vegetables. Want a healthy alternative to beef, pork or turkey? Chop carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and brussel sprouts, toss in olive oil with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Season the salmon and place on top of the vegetables, then roast for a further 10 minutes until the salmon is opaque. Drizzle with lemon juice.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Quinoa. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, and roast for 30 minutes. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the packet. Lightly fry onion, mushrooms and sage until soft. Drain the quinoa, combine with the vegetables and then scoop out some of the butternut squash and add to the quinoa mixture. Place the quinoa mixture into the roasted butternut squash, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Christmas Dinner Pizza. Spread pre-bought puff pastry on a tray, top with a thin layer of passata, then add your turkey, fish and vegetable leftovers. Add some small dollops of ricotta throughout for that extra flavour!
Christmas Salad. Chop and roast sweet potato cubes, wash and steam spinach until it is starting to wilt, then toss with strips of leftover turkey, chicken or salmon. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and enjoy!
Green Beans with Garlic and Sesame Seeds. Boil fresh green beans for a few minutes. In a separate pan, saute chopped garlic in olive oil for a minute, then add the beans and stir gently. Once removed from the pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Homemade Dips. Blend avocado, olive oil, garlic, chopped onion, coriander and a deseeded chilli to make a healthy guacamole. Blend chickpeas with water, garlic, lemon and tahini to make your own hummus.
Want to find out more about nutrition and how to improve your diet? At Wellbeing in Your Office we offer numerous nutritional programmes and Nutrition Therapy, available both in office and online.
Get an introductory workshop to nutrition covering fundamental nutrition aspects and how they influence our mental and gut health with Nutrition for wellbeing https://wellbeinginyouroffice.com/wellbeing-services/nutrition/, A more in depth look about what our food is doing for our brains and importantly how and why we make certain food choices with Food for thought
To find out all of our nutrition programmes, visit our website here: https://wellbeinginyouroffice.com/wellbeing-services/nutrition/