It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas - and for most of us, this means some time off work, family gathering, and drinks with friends. The festive season can be such a joyous time of year, but for those of us that work hard year-round to maintain our health, Christmas can be an intimidating time when we are tempted by nutritional and lifestyle choices that are less than ideal.
This Christmas, however, you needn’t fear. At Kultured Wellness, we’ve got your back. We’ve been there and done all that worrying and self-sabotaging, only to learn that there are definite ways around it. Looking after yourself doesn’t mean deprivation, it means getting creative!
If you have Christmas drinks with friends, take a glass jar with your coconut water kefir and sip on that (it’s bubbly like champagne, but won’t leave you with a hangover the next day). Other fun ideas for festive drinks that don’t leave you relying on plain water include: lemon or lime juice with mint leaves in ice-cold water, iced herbal teas or the water out of a fresh young Thai coconut – refreshing and full of electrolytes. Also, if you know your weakness is canapes, try to have a snack before you arrive at an event (or at least sneak some nuts into your purse to nibble on while you’re there) so you don’t feel tempted to eat the party pies and sausage rolls.
When it comes to Turkey day (aka Christmas Lunch) the best thing you can do for your health is to make your own healthy dessert and bring it to along to the gathering. Let’s be honest, some roast turkey, veggies and salads aren’t the problem, especially if you also include a serving of vegetables that you’ve fermented with some of our coconut water starter (think a classic sauerkraut or colourful medley of grated carrots and beets). They will aid your digestion and help curb those sweet cravings so you don’t go overboard at dessert. It’s the cake, pudding and brandy sauce following the traditional meat and veg affair that leave you feeling lethargic later in the day. Something whole-food based, decadent and nutritious (like the cake below) will fit the bill, so you can have your cake and eat it, too.
When it comes to movement, all the festive commitments can make your normal exercise habits harder to stick to than normal. Counteract this by getting up early and going for a jog or walk. Also make family time, active time! Take the family to the beach for a paddle or propose a spontaneous family bike-ride or outing to the park.
Finally, just relax, stress can often be more detrimental to our health (particularly our gut health) than poor food choices or a lack of exercise. Make the experiences about spending time with loved ones and drop the focus on the food. Have fun and if you happen to indulge in something because you honestly just want to (which is totally fine as long as you’re making the empowered decision to do so), then recover by re-populating your gut with our potent starters. They aid in digestive and detoxification processes, helping you to feel awesome in no time.
Below is a cheeky recipe for an epic cheesecake made with our therapeutic potency coconut yoghurt, just to prove how delicious nutrient-density can be. We hope you make and enjoy it with those you love this Christmas.
Creamy Kultured 'Cheesecake'
For the base…
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil* or butter**, you may use a combination of the two if you’d like
- Salt and pure stevia, to taste
- 1 egg, beaten (preferably local, organic and/or free range)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then press into a springform tin.
- Place a sheet of baking paper on top of the base and weight down with grains of rice (this added weight will keep the base flat during the baking process).
- Bake in a moderate (180°C) oven until golden and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before adding the topping. You don’t want the heat destroying the beneficial cultures in your yoghurt.
For the filling…
- 2 cups coconut yoghurt (made from your Kultured Wellness Starter)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 1 Tbsp gelatin
- 3 Tbsp boiling water
- Combine the water and gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool, as once again, you don’t want to damage the yoghurt cultures with heat.
- When the mixture has cooled, add the yoghurt and vanilla bean powder and stir to combine. Pour on top of the cooled base and transfer to the fridge to set.
For the topping …
- 1 ripe avocado (must be really ripe or avocado will be lumpy)
- 3-5 Tbsp yoghurt
- Pure stevia, to taste (suggested 1/2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp raw cacao
- Combine the topping ingredients together and pour over set filling.
- Optional: serve with a sprinkle of shredded coconut for decoration and additional nutrition
*Look for organic virgin coconut oil – this is unrefined, pure coconut oil and is very beneficial for feeding your gut microflora. Melt gently on the stovetop as microwaving the oil will alter the chemical composition and may produce harmful toxins.
**Butter must be made from pure cream with no fillers. Margarine is not an adequate substitute and is laden with toxins and chemicals.