Forks digging into tender turkey pieces dripping with gravy. Handfuls of tiny, sweet treats left over from trick or treating. It is holiday season and our calendars are overcrowded with upcoming holiday parties. With all of the food we eat this time of year, some of it sugary and fatty, we can suffer from digestive distress, fatigue, moodiness and a general overall feeling of “blah”.

Here are 3 suggestions to stay well and not finish the season with a few extra pounds around the middle.

#1: Stay Mindful

A lot of eating is mindless. Without much thought, we reach for the second serving of dessert, we walk over to the fridge to look inside and we polish off the entire bag of chips.
Why? Because we didn’t stop to think. Left on autopilot, your brain will tell you to keep consuming, whether you need it or not.
Surviving the holidays requires that you take the time to experience your food and check in on how you feel. By practicing the art of mindful eating, you can dramatically improve your eating without feeling deprived.

#2: Stay Nourished to Feel Great

When you’re undernourished, your body feels sluggish and cravings keep sending you back to the snack bar.
On the other hand, eating lots of quality nutrients helps to keep you energized, full and satisfied. When your body has what it needs, it can do amazing things–like feeling great.
Eating a variety of vegetables is difficult during the winter, but it’s important to get as many as you can. Don’t settle for just potatoes, carrots and squash because they’re easy and available. Go for the rainbow! (Don’t worry; we have a solution if you’re finding it difficult).

#3: Stay Full to Fight Cravings

Avoid weighing-in this holiday season with the help of fiber. It can help make you feel full and satisfied because it adds bulk and takes longer to leave your digestive tract. Plus, it traps fat and sugar so they leave your body without being absorbed.
You should also reach for high-quality sources of protein, such as whey protein and plant-based proteins (brown rice, yellow pea). Your body digests it slowly, causing you to feel full for longer.
Feeling full and satisfied from protein and fiber can help reduce the amount of calories you eat. This is helpful when the cupboards are full of snack-sized candy bars and the boardroom is stocked with holiday cookies.

Shake It Up for Healthy Holidays

If you haven’t yet embraced smoothies, there is no better time of year than this. Putting nutrients that promote health into the blender is an easy and convenient way to start the day, or enjoy a healthy meal quickly mid-day.
You can make a smoothie by simply adding a pre-made smoothie mix in water or juice. Or, you can create a smoothie in your favourite flavour, have it be banana, vanilla, strawberry, peanut butter or even maple syrup, by using an unflavoured smoothie mix.

All the Goodness in Just One Scoop

Looking for all of these helpful holiday nutrients in one place? Check out Progressive’s All-in-One product: VegEssential™. It combines the benefit of an entire cupboard full of supplements with the ease of consuming a single smoothie.
VegEssential™ embraces the wisdom of consuming an alkaline-forming, whole-food diet. It draws on almost 100 plant-based ingredients to deliver an incredible spectrum of both micro (antioxidants, B-vitamins, minerals) and macro (protein, fiber, omega-3 plant oils) nutrients. VegEssential™ is made with a handful of plant-based proteins and a wide array of green foods (6-8 servings of vegetables per smoothie).
VegEssential™ is also convenient and delicious. It’s an “all-in-one” smoothie that is packed with healthy benefits. It enhances lean muscle growth, strengthens immune function, helps to detoxify and alkalize the body, assists with healthy liver function, and supports healthy skin, eyes, bones and teeth.
Fill your blender with quality nutrients to keep you feeling energized, improve digestion and reduce stress. Here’s to hoping you and your family enjoy the holidays, get to eat lots of good food, and live young.

vegessentialsbrownieVegEssential™ Raw Brownies

Filed Under: Heart Healthy Recipes, Recipe
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: N/A

These no-cook brownies are dairy-free, vegan and, most importantly, delicious! Try them as a dessert or as a snack when you’re on the go.

¼ cup Progressive VegEssential™ (Chocolate)
¼ cup any nut flour (almonds, cashews etc.)
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2–3 tbsp. xylitol or coconut sugar
2–3 tbsp. water
Pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until combined. Texture should be not too dry nor too wet. Press mixture into a 8 or 9 in. square pan or a muffin pan. Refrigerate until set.