Firstly, Merry Christmas to you all! I hope your holidays are filled with love, gratitude, happiness and lots of yummy food. May the new year bring you plenty of success, many fun times and all the good health you deserve (and if it doesn't, maybe you should consider seeing a Naturopath who can help you out).
Secondly, to make many of those things come true I would like to provide you with a few tips so you get to January 1st feeling fresh, fruitful and full of motivation to get 2015 right.
1. Stay hydrated - Christmas is the time where water turns to wine. We can also be running around too much to even think about drinking water. Hydration is key to staying focussed, energised and also cleanse the bad things that might have just snuck in. Carry your water bottle with you, invest in a bottle of coconut water for the days you doing the present-buying marathon and sit yourself down with a soothing cup of herbal tea before bed.
2. Nutrient-bomb your meals - Breakfast is a meal that is least affected by the Christmas calendar so put it to the test and make sure it’s full of all the good stuff. Add kale to your regular morning eggs, drink your greens in the form of a daily pressed juice or smoothie, sprinkle your muesli with flaxseed meal or add fresh berries to your regular yoghurt breakfast. Every nutrient is needed. Turn your sweets into more healthy treats (see recipe below) and opt for the summer fruits when dessert is needed.
3. Eat your B's - Want to make sure you don’t burn the stick at both ends. Look no further than your B vitamins. Responsible for converting your food into energy and supporting the energy production cycle, these vitamins are your best friend through busy periods when the demand is high. Look at including foods such as lentils and beans, whole grains, tempeh, nutritional yeast, meat and eggs in your diet leading up to Christmas. Both your nervous system and physical stamina will thank you for it.
At the end of the day it is all about moderation. Do not restrict yourself from that extra piece of pudding but at the same time it is important that you do not blow a gasket and reverse all the work you have put in over the last year. Sleep well, eat well, drink a little and laugh a lot. That should just about do it! Oh and bless your family and friends with a batch of these raw gingerbread balls. You can help them celebrate christmas in good health without them even knowing.
Now these balls sing christmas. They are loaded with ginger and cinnamon, two very 'christmassy' flavours. The other thing they sing is simplicity. They may be good for you nutritionally but I like to think these balls are good for your mind. Why? These balls limit stress build up. You're probably wondering what kind of magic ingredient is in these that can do that but it's really not that complicated. In fact, it is because these balls are so uncomplicated. You only need 10 minutes with your food processor the night before they're needed and you're in raw ball heaven. Just the way it should be a week out from Christmas when fuses can be short and time is of the essence.
These balls use whole, shelled almonds. In terms of meeting a low FODMAP diet, only one of these balls should be consumed at a time to ensure you do not react to the nuts. If you know your tolerance level then judge this accordingly.
To finish off, I would personally like to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who have made my last year in this cyber-world a very happy and fulfilling one. I have enjoyed sharing with you so much and I really appreciate your following and support. I look forward to the next year and what it has in store for both me and you.
In best health for the holidays and beyond,
makes 10 balls
1.5 cups shelled almonds (whole)
10 pieces of crystallised ginger
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tspn ginger powder
1/2 tspn cinnamon powder
2 tbsp coconut oil (not melted)
1 tbsp brown rice syrup
A sprinkle of rock salt
Dark chocolate, to coat
- place the almonds into your blender/food processor and blitz until it turns into a chunky meal (around 10 seconds)
- Add the remainder of the ingredients to the blender and blitz until the mix starts to comes together. You can check if it's ready by pressing some of the mixture together. If it holds, it's good to go.
- Roll the mixture into individual balls, place them on a tray and put them into the refrigerator overnight or in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
- Once the balls have hardened, melt some dark chocolate (such as Loving Earth dark chocolate) over a pot of boiling water. Once the chocolate is soft, dip each ball into the chocolate to coat half. Repeat this for each ball and then return them to the fridge to set.
- Not sure how to melt chocolate? Read here for more information on how to not turn your chocolate into a pile of mud
- If you are vegan, make sure you find a vegan chocolate to use in this recipe
- If you cannot find shelled almonds then use another white nut such as cashews or macadamia nuts. If you are in Melbourne, The Source Bulk Wholefoods in Prahran can help you with all your ingredient needs