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Clink your glasses to a healthier holiday drink with less fat, sugar and calories using these 8 helpful tips. We put a healthier twist on all your favourite holiday drinks to ensure a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year.
‘Tis the season - the holiday drinks season that is! When flavour notes of cocoa, gingerbread and peppermint fill our cups (and our noses!), giving us those much needed warm hugs with every sip on a chilly winter's evening.
But we all know that as delicious and tasty as these festive holiday drinks can be, they’re usually loaded with sugar, artificial flavourings and jam-packed with fat and calories.
If only there was a way that one could enjoy these tasty treats, but not feel guilty with every sip. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can use to make these seasonal staples healthier, without sacrificing the taste of the holidays! Consider this a Natura twist on your favourite holiday drink classics!
1. Read the ingredients list before you order your holiday drink
Depending on your diet and/or lifestyle choices, reading the label is something that is probably fine-tuned into your shopping experience. If you’re on Keto you’re already being mindful of your sugar intake, or if you’re Gluten Intolerant you are cautiously avoiding products with gluten, but while these may not be your specific dietary concerns, it never hurts to be mindful of the ingredients, nutritional labels and preparation instructions when making a choice of what to put into your body. Things like keeping an eye out for coffee that is organic, options to replace dairy with non-dairy milk or non-dairy creamer, or opting for sugar-free syrups, are all ways to help make your piping hot cup of cacao or latte much healthier!
2.Substitute healthier add-on options when you can
Treating yourself here and there to a whipped cream topping or a chocolate drizzle at Starbucks isn’t going to hurt! But if you’re the kind of person who loves to sip on a hot chocolate or a warm gingerbread latte every day of the holiday season, substituting for a healthier alternative can make a big difference in terms of calories, sugar and fats.
Tip: If you craving all the fixin’s, here are some ways to enjoy them in a healthier way:
3. Be aware of the sup Size of your holiday beverage and quantity of ingredients
Cup sizes can be deceiving. What is considered a large drink, might be more than your recommended daily intake of caffeine or way over the amount of sugar you wish to consume in a day! Always be mindful of the cup size when ordering or even making it at home. Since these drinks are typically rich, thick and sweet, we often don’t need a mountainous cup to feel satisfied. Opt for a smaller cup size, it’ll taste just as delicious we promise!
Here’s a tip: Next time you’re ordering, inquire how many pumps of liquid sugar or syrup they put in your drink and inquire if they can make it half sweet! Oftentimes they put more flavouring than needs to be and the drink can still be quite tasty at semi-sweet! Or ask what kind of sugar-free syrups they offer and try a “skinny” holiday drink instead!
4. Make festive drinks from home when you can
This is one of the best ways to ensure that you know what is going into your drink and how much! Make your eggnog latte or hot cocoa at home, using products you can find on Natura Market’s website.
What you’ll need for the classic holiday drink recipes:
5. Avoid sipping on holiday drinks at night
It is best to enjoy a cup of the holidays midday and avoid drinking sugary or caffeinated drinks at night.
But if the craving for something festive or sweet occurs, opting for a tea such as peppermint or ginger, both are caffeine-free and flavour notes of the holidays that can help to satisfy your sweet tooth! If you’d like to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or a coffee late in the evening, opt for a decaffeinated coffee or to flavour with sugar-free syrup, a sugar-free vegan “hunny” or sugar-free creamer instead.
Here’s a Tip: Nutpod Dairy-Free Creamers come in a variety of flavours, including cinnamon swirl and french vanilla! Splash a little into your cup for a keto-friendly, low calorie, tasty holiday-inspired drink that will ensure you still get a good night's rest.
6. Top off your holiday drink with a dash of spice!
Spices can add tremendous flavour to a festive drink, without adding excessive calories or sugar. Things like cinnamon and nutmeg already are flavour notes found in many holiday drinks, dishes and baked goods! Not only do these spices add a tasty kick, but consuming them also has a wide variety of health benefits as well.
7. Try out a dairy-free option!
You don't need to be vegan or dairy-free to enjoy nut milk or dairy-free latte! Choosing to be mindful of your dairy consumption on a daily basis is a great habit to have. Overconsumption of dairy products has been linked to high cholesterol, diabetes and can cause digestive discomfort or a potential intolerance to lactose. Limiting your consumption and choosing dairy-free milk alternatives for your holiday drinks (and after the holidays are over) can help to maintain good health!
8. Add a health boost to your coffee cup
As we age, our collagen production decreases, which leads to signs of ageing, loss of skin elasticity, dryness and wrinkles. Sneaking in collagen powder or a collagen creamer (both made and safe for consumption) to your morning joe can help to alter these effects and signs of ageing!
Depending on your health or lifestyle restrictions, you may need to incorporate more protein into your diet! Adding protein powder to your holiday drink can help to make you feel fuller longer (as many of these drinks are caffeinated and filled with sugar, we often crash shortly after drinking them). Protein powder’s benefits also include reducing blood pressure, building muscle, repairing tissue and providing added nutrients to the body.
MCT oil (Medium-chain triglycerides) is a supplement extracted from coconut oil that can offer a source of energy, prevent obesity and aid in the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Adding a few scoops of MCT powder can give your holiday drink the health boost it needs!
Wrapping it up...
Seasonal holiday drinks may have a bad rep in terms of calories, sugar and fat, but they don’t have to be! These helpful tips allow you to still sip your way through the season without losing the taste of the holidays. Keeping in mind that you can continue to make these modifications, like opting for sugar-free syrups or substituting for a dairy-free creamer, even after the holidays are over to truly reap the rewards and health benefits longer term!
Seasons Greetings from Natura Market!
TIP OF THE WEEK
Plants can be a great source of protein and energy! And eating plant-based protein rich foods can increase your fiber intake, be beneficial to your heart and gut health, reduce your risk of obesity and also has a lesser impact on the environment than meat-based proteins.
Here are some delicious, high in protein, plant-based foods to try out:
Chickpea Pasta: Switch things up for pasta night with a high protein, gluten-free chickpea pasta! High in nutrients and with 23g of protein per serving, you might not be able to tell the difference in the change, but your body will!
Plant-based burger: Rich in plant-protein, this plant-based burger mix is a high-flavour, tasty way to increase your fiber and protein intake with plants - and makes for easy meal prepping for the week!
Vegan TuNAH: Made from soybean protein, which is cholesterol-free, this vegan tuNAH contains 18g of plant protein per can - and tastes great in a sandwich or on a salad!
Whether you’re looking to increase your protein intake, eat more plant-based meals, or just trying to live a more healthier lifestyle - incorporating more plant-based, protein-rich foods into your diet is simple and easy!