Hello all and Merry Christmas! Only a few days to go until the big day, so I thought it would be the perfect time to chat about the way I approach Christmas from a keto point of view, and my tips and tricks to keep the sugar content down on the most sugar-coated day of the year (perhaps excluding Easter!)
The first thing I want to say is that Christmas for me is still about indulgence, joy and sharing delicious food with family and friends - I’m not about to chat restriction and dieting with you! Even if we have healthy goals for ourselves most of the time, I do think it’s important to remember that food is about love and joy as much as it is about nutrition and health, and Christmas is a perfect example of that.
I do, however, have some tricks up my sleeve because I don’t want to collapse in a sugar coma by 3pm, I want to be alert and able to enjoy and participate in the day. So, here are my Christmas Keto Hacks:
1. Where you can make a swap, do
The reason I say ‘can’ rather than ‘should’ is because what I really don't want at Christmas is any compromise on flavour or deliciousness! My Keto Eggnog is a fantastic example as it uses xylitol rather than sugar. Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol (which is coincidentally very good for dental health) that doesn't raise blood glucose levels in the same way as table sugar does. If there’s anything I don’t want on Christmas day (aside from another festive jumper) it’s that feeling of being on a blood sugar roller coaster - up and down like a yoyo.
Other simple and effective swaps are things like cauliflower mash instead of mashed potato, swapping high carb veggies for lower carb ones (fried brussel sprouts with bacon and chestnuts are lower carb, for example, and utterly delicious), make a Keto stuffing with veg and 8Foods Keto Bread and whip up Keto desserts, like the Keto Trifle below.
Keto Trifle Recipe
Although it’s tempting just to drink champagne and eat croissants for breakfast, if you make sure you get protein and fat first thing, then your energy will be more stable throughout the day, and you’ll keep sweet cravings at bay as protein and fat help balance blood sugar. Similarly, at your Christmas lunch, make sure you get enough protein and fat in order to avoid needing to fill up on carbs alone.
3. Consider your drinks
Alcohol is one of the worst sugar culprits, especially prosecco! If you want to keep it keto, stick to vodka and gin-based drinks and low carb mixers. Spice it up with some angostura bitters. It’s also a good idea to have some alcohol free aperitifs as well, no one wants a hangover on boxing day! I love Pentire botanical gin mixed with tonic water and a sprig of rosemary, and Mother Root’s Ginger Switchel with sparkling water and a twist of orange zest.
And a few last tips for you:
- Get prepared: have Keto snacks ready to go, crudités, spiced nuts, devilled eggs, hunks of cheese, smoked salmon with capers.
- Prime your host: if you’re being hosted then suggest to the host that you bring some dishes that are Keto friendly.
- Keto treats: make Christmas fat bombs or biscuits to have on hand when you need something indulgent.
- Swap milk chocolate and Quality Street for good quality dark chocolate truffles.