Christmas is approaching at record speed!! I though I’d share with you some thoughts on how to get through it in fighting form and some baking tips to help if you need to have those Christmas favourites.

I’m an old hand at this now so it’s not often I crave sweet things (I had to walk away from last nights treacle tart – there is no substitute!) but sometimes even I need something – I have settled on a paleo Christmas Pudding.  By substituting the dried fruit with frozen cherries and replacing the wheat flour with a combination of coconut and almond flour we can create a taste of Christmas that is delicious and a perfect vehicle for my (Devon born and bred) clotted cream!

Here are my baking paleo baking tips:

  • Very often a mixture of coconut flour and almond flour will simply substitute for normal flour
  • When making pastry, adding a small amount of xanthan gum to the dry mix will substitute of gluten, but be cautious – too much will turn your dough to gum!
  • ‘paleo’ recepies will often substitute a sweetener for sugar. I have tried a few and if I’m going to use it, I tend to go for naturally extracted xylitol. Whilst it won’t have an effect on insulin production I find I can’t deal with it too well, it can upset my stomach in the short term and in the long term it makes me crave sugar.
  • Monk fruit sweetener is also an alternative and I am experimenting with this at the moment. It doesn’t seem to upset my stomach but I think it still sets off my sweet tooth!
  • I will tend to sweeten with a very small amount of honey (raw) when bakinng.Always use more liquid when baking with coconut flour.
  • There really is no substitute for bread if that is what you are craving – the closest I have come is the coconut flat breads! This craving is a good one to use your willpower on!
  • Many people will use ‘fathead dough’ as an alternative, I have done this in the past and I can definitely see the appeal, what worries me slightly is the quality of the ingredients but I do think it makes a cracking pizza dough if that’s what you’re after!
  • Things seem to bake better on a slightly lower but longer.

Away from baking, Here are a few simple suggestions to keep you on track and stay well!

  1. Try to prioritise your sleep, if you can keep to your normal sleep patterns your body and brain will thank you and be able to cope with the excesses, stresses and strains much better. 
  1. When it comes to drinking there is no way to pretend that a hangover is anything other than toxic build up in your body, but there are ways of helping a hangover, the bottom line however is that drinking poisons your system. Here are a few tips:
      • The cleanest alcohol to drink is a clear spirits, the worst is beer. 
      • Drinking as much water as alcohol allows your body to eliminate the toxins. 
      • If you remember, you could take vitamin C with your water to help block the conversion of alcohol to aldeyhde. 
      • Try taking some activated charcoal after you have finished drinking this will help absorb the toxins and speed their removal from your system. 
      • Biohacking supplements like glutathione or other anti oxidants help the liver as it detoxes.
  1. Try intermittent fasting, the easiest way to do this is to skip breakfast and give your body a rest from food for at least 14 hours. Contrary to popular belief your system much prefers to have a rest from food, it gives it a chance to reset both your digestion and hormone production. You could choose not to have dinner, but as this is when the feasting takes place, I’d stick to breakfast. This is my normal daily routine anyway, I usually wait until lunch to eat but I still have my coffee!
  1. We often find ourselves in a state of fight or flight as we try to navigate our way through cooking, drinking and entertaining. This breath work tip is a way of quickly taking your body out of sympathetic mode and into parasympathetic mode.This is called box breathing:
      • Breath in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breath out through your mouth for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts then repeat, perhaps 5 times.
  1. Learn to say ‘No’ having boundaries make it easier to prioritise what is important and you end up investing your time where you want it rather than where you think it should go.

 

❄️ I wish you all a Happy and Healthy Christmas ❄️