Zesty Raw Orange Christmas Pudding inspired by a Raw Chocolate Company* blogpost recipe (recipe here).
I’m a juicer, vegan and so-called ‘clean-eater’. That means I eat a healthy, plant-based diet: I don’t eat sugary, fatty, chemical-laden or processed foods (except the occasional vegan sausage or, at Christmas, a nut roast, but even these are organic). I don’t drink bone-harming fizzy drinks.
It’s not just good for me but also for the environment and the animals: fewer chemicals, less packaging, no cruelty.
Following years of pain medication and undiagnosed gluten-intolerance, I can’t digest many processed or starchy foods nor alcohol or coffee. And dairy makes me snotty! So even if I wanted to, I couldn’t have a Christmas blow-out – unless I was prepared to suffer weeks of pain afterwards and generally feeling yuck. So I make no apologies for refusing the flaming Christmas pud or sherry-doused trifle!
But that doesn’t mean that I dampen any joy my family and friends have in anticipation of festive foods and it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy myself over the holiday period. Far from it.
I have been juicing and clean-eating now for 3 years and have reaped the benefits of no longer having to use an inhaler, no more bloating or burning stomach pain, no itchy skin, better sleep, more energy and so on.
Why would I jeopardise all that for a couple of weeks of over-indulgence just because tradition, newspaper articles and advertising companies suggest that I am a killjoy if I don’t participate?
I read an article in The Guardian* decrying the likes of Deliciously Ella* for providing advice and recipes for clean food over the holiday season (see Comment is free). The writer calls them smug and suggests they promote poor eating habits. Personally, I am grateful to Ella, Tanya Maher*, The Raw Chocolate Company*, Laura at The Whole Ingredient*, Victoria at Caramelia Cakery*, Hanna at My Goodness Recipes* and all the bloggers who post their colourful, gluten-free, sugar-free, chemical-free recipes to inspire and enjoy.
It is always good to try other people’s culinary creations, most of us get bored with our own usual fare.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean boring, bland and brown! On the contrary. Check out Victoria’s Amazing Raw Vegan Christmas Cake on The Raw Chocolate Company Blog and Tanya Maher’s The Uncook Book!
Many of us have health conditions which means we would be foolish to ignore our normal regimen. Many don’t want all their hard work losing weight or controlling Type 2 Diabetes going down the drain through a couple of weeks’ boozing and bingeing.
I don’t like that bloated, heavy feeling, having to loosen my belt or undo the top button, collapsing on the sofa unable to move and then falling asleep while my poor body expends all its energy digesting it all. (See Post Thanksgiving/Christmas/Celebration Digestion – some suggestions to ease that overstuffed feeling)
But it doesn’t mean we can’t participate in festivities or indulge our tastebuds. I really enjoy having unusual meals surrounded by my family, sharing food successes and disasters, trying each other’s creations.
Do they have to be full of different forms of sugar, artificial flavours, colouring, or sweeteners? Do we have to drink so much alcohol we become sick, boring or even worse, abusive? Absolutely not.
Last year, my family of 13 all got together for a buffet lunch we prepared for each other, our Christmas gift to the family. There were vegetarian sushi, falafels, bharjis, pizzas, olives, salads, dips, filo parcels… The desserts were yummy and home-made and involved copious amounts of raw chocolate!
My daughter’s Vegan Sushi
This is the one occasion in the year when we are all able to be in the same place, and cooking for each other is our way of celebrating that fact.
One way juicers and clean-eaters can still join in but not suffer the negative impact of over-indulgence is to have a large green juice first thing in the morning. This provides all the nutrients your body needs for the day and as a result, you won’t feel the need to over-indulge. You can have a little bit of what you fancy and still feel good:-)
Clean-eating doesn’t mean juicing and/or eating raw all the time. Of course you can have cooked meals and treats. Colourful warming soups are my favourite. I merely choose to avoid the nasties and include as many healthful ingredients as possible. In any case, it’s a choice.
Don’t let anyone undermine your efforts to be the healthiest you can be, you haven’t come this far just for someone to question your sanity and persuade you otherwise, but you can enjoy yourself if you want to without worrying about paying for it in January.
And if you do find yourself succumbing to temptation remember, as Neil Martin (Natural Juice Junkie) says:
It’s what you eat between New Year and Christmas that counts, not just between Christmas and New Year!
In any case, you have the insurance of Jason’s Big January Juice Challenge* or The Natural Juice Junkie’s Juicuary Challenge* to get you back on the straight and narrow!
Have a lovely Christmas, however you’re spending it. I wish you all Peace, Health and Happiness and thank you so much for supporting my blogging efforts!
*https://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/ *https://deliciouslyella.com/ *http://betterraw.com/*http://www.thewholeingredient.com/ *http://www.mamababado.com/blog/ *http://www.mygoodnessrecipes.com/ *http://www.juicemaster.com/ *http://naturaljuicejunkie.com/
Copyright: Chris McGowan