So, it’s that time of year again when the shelves are full to the brim with sweet treats and festive versions of our regular favourites. I for one struggle to stick to my normal eating during Christmas because I have a massive sweet tooth! Chocolate is my nemesis pretty much all year round but at Christmas? My will power suffers more than normal.
This year I want it to be different. Since the start of March I’ve really looked at my nutrition and have lost 15kg mainly because I cut down on the treats (and daily Starbucks. Caramel Macchiatos are also my nemesis). I was already a gym goer and a runner, so it’s really my diet that has helped me drop some body fat which has helped my running no end (Seriously, I’ve beaten my marathon, half marathon, 10 mile, 10k and 5k times all in the space of 4 months).
With this in mind I decided to go on the hunt for some healthy versions of Christmas treats, and this is what I found …..
Cocoa + High Protein Chocolate Advent Calendar
Who doesn’t want an advent calendar every year?! Even as an adult I have to have one and I even take it home with me so I can continue to open it every day. I decided to find myself a healthy alternative so I can still enjoy opening those doors, and I particularly enjoyed this one as I got to open it before the 1st of December for the purposes of this blog!
The chocolate is surprisingly good! It’s quite dark and a little bitter (as all good dark chocolate should be in my opinion) but really creamy at the same time. At 26 calories a piece it won’t impact too much on whatever your daily routine might be. Each door even has a message for you giving you either a workout for the day corresponding to the number of the door (24 body weight squats on day one) or an idea on how to use the chocolate (day four suggests dropping your chocolate into your porridge. Yum!).
Ginger and Peach Christmas Puddings
I’m not a fan of normal Christmas pudding. Anyone who knows me will know that I hate raisins, so Christmas pudding is a big no from me. My dessert on Christmas day is normally some sort of syrup sponge. Not very Christmassy at all. These cute little Christmas puddings may just change all that!
These treats are totally handmade (and made to order), 100% raw and suitable for vegans. They’re also gluten free for anyone that suffers with a gluten allergy. They are packed full of goodness with almonds, apricots, dates, cacao butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, cashews, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, beetroot powder and spirulina.
I couldn’t wait to give these a try when I picked them up and they did not disappoint! If Christmas had a taste, these would be it! They are so delicious and taste a lot more indulgent than they actually are, which is always a bonus! If you have any friends or family like me who aren’t fans of a traditional Christmas pudding then you must get them a box of these. They will thank you for it!
If you’re local to Southsea, you can pop into Southsea Coffee near Palmerston Road and order these. If you’re not local, don’t despair! You can order these on Yumbles and have them delivered right to your door.
Sweetpea Pantry Gingerbread and Brownies
Who doesn’t love gingerbread at Christmas? That rich, warm smell that you get from this spice always reminds me of the festive time of year. And if gingerbread isn’t your thing and you prefer a bit of chocolate at Christmas, then you must try the brownies. These make at home packs have minimal ingredients and include lots of goodness like flaxseed, rye and barley. All you need to add is eggs (just egg white for the gingerbread mix), honey or agave and butter (you can choose to use coconut oil for the brownies).
Both packs were super easy to make and required minimal time in the oven so we had fresh treats in no time! The Super-Duper Brownie Mix (which is gluten free) tasted really chocolaty but my favourite was Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix. As soon as I opened the pack the lovely, rich smell of ginger hit me. You can tell that the ingredients are natural and the smell gets even more tempting once they start to bake in the oven!
Conscious Chocolate Essential Orange Chocolate Bar
Most stockings will have a chocolate orange left in it when Santa has visited. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate orange flavours but it’s something I associate with the festive period. Conscious Chocolate is another brand that that make raw products, so these bars are generally less processed and they’re organic too. Like Ginger and Peach, the bars are gluten free and suitable for vegans. The bars are naturally sweetened with agave nectar which is a great alternative to sugar.
Both Terry’s and Conscious weigh up pretty much equally when looking at calories. Each has an average (per 100g) of 537 calories, and they’re both pretty equal in protein content as well with an average of 5.65g. Conscious does have more fat but also less ingredients (less is more when it comes to ingredient lists), more fibre, less sugars (there’s an amazing 35.6 grams less sugar in the Conscious bar!) and less salt.
I’ve already said I’m not a huge fan of chocolate orange flavours but this bar could definitely change my mind! As soon as I opened the pack, I could smell the natural orange and I could’t wait to give it a try. The chocolate is creamy and the orange flavours are delicious and subtle. I’ll definitely be finding a bar of this to have in the cupboard over Christmas!
So there you have it. My take on trying to stay healthy this Christmas with a few healthy treat ideas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely be indulging (my Christmas morning routine usually consists of eating some of whatever chocolate I’ve been given, along with a glass of Bucks Fizz) but I don’t want to undo all my hard work. London Marathon training is right around the corner and the first week of January marks the start of another 16 week training plan!
I hope to stay on track this Christmas but I’m sure you will hear all about it if I don’t!