Food! Food is everywhere! What is a healthy person to do in this jungle full of tasty treats, luscious chocolates, and delectable cuisines? Every time I turn around, people are offering things I love to eat, like yummy cookies, and bonbons.

When I worked in the hospital it was worse! Every nursing station was covered in fudge, caramel corn, cookies, and candy. The families of patients would bring in “gifts” for the nurses to get on their good side and get better care for their loved-ones. Of course, everyone profited – in more ways than one – adding to our calorie intake and energy storage.

nutrient dense dessert for the holidaysThere is so much sugar around at this time of the year, and it’s even easier to develop poor habits that continue throughout the year. But it’s not just getting fat for the Holidays, it’s about trying to remain healthy while being inundated with food.

In my family, my mother didn’t allow sugar in our house. We didn’t have ice cream, candy, or cookies… unless she made them, and with wheat germ and natural sweeteners! She was a real natural health enthusiast! Instead of chocolate milk, we had brewer’s yeast in milk. Our candy included peanut butter and molasses balls rolled in powdered milk. A big treat was when she baked a cake: whole wheat, sweetened with… you got it, molasses! She would hide wheat germ in everything! She knew how to get nourishment into her four boys through “tasty treats.”

And not just in the tasty treats, she would hide nourishing foods in everything! She would chop kale or Swiss chard into fried rice and soups. She would add garlic and onions to scrambled eggs (which I now enjoy, much to the chagrin of my family). And, she would give us only raw milk, buying sixteen gallons a week! We should have had a cow!

When we were out of the house, however, we were not limited in our choice of delectables. During Christmas, we loved to go to Grandma’s house because she liked to bake and had no limitations on sugar. She put marshmallows on her yam casserole, and not just a few. It was smothered in marshmallows!! She always had ice cream in the freezer and sweetened cold cereal for breakfast! Wow! My mom would cringe, but didn’t say anything to her mother-in-law… or her children. Grandma got to “spoil” us as long as we were there.

Now, however, I’ve grown-up and have come to see my mother’s point-of-view.

Counseling people every day with their health has shown me the wisdom of my mother: we nourish our bodies a little at a time. Click to Tweet.

There is no real nourishment in eating candy and taking a vitamin pill.

Vitamin pills contain isolated nutrients, whereas the food has synergistic nourishment. Click to Tweet.

For example, if you take a vitamin pill with vitamin E, you usually get dl-alpha tocopherol. This is a chemically produced form of vitamin E. The “d” is the active form of vitamin E, but when they synthetically manufacture vitamin E they also get the “l” form. The “l” form may actually block the proper use of the “d” form, rendering your vitamin E useless. In the wheat germ, however, there is only the biological “d” form. And not only that, there are multiple other forms called beta, and gamma tocopherols, and tocotrienes, which make the vitamin E much more effective when consumed through natural sources.

food for the holidaysSo, what do we do about all the holiday food!? I now find it easy to “mostly” make good choices.

  • I choose to eat the things that contain nourishment, avoiding the “fake” or processed foods.
  • I avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs, and limit sugar or sweet things to parties and get-togethers.
  • I make eggnog with real eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla – adding in lots of nutmeg. Spices are very nutritious!

You can even create a nutrient dense dessert to enjoy. Homemade versions made with ingredients like coconut oil and raw honey may actually help you stay healthy. Quality chocolate is especially high in magnesium, phosphorous and iron. (75% of Americans are deficient in magnesium alone!).

Try this amazingly delicious recipe for Healthy “Almond Joy” Bars from Home Cures That Work. They have all the flavors of the popular candy bar, including almond, coconut, and chocolate, but unlike their processed counterparts, they are naturally sweetened and loaded with fiber and healthy fats.

The key is to think of food as nourishment instead of flavor.

If the nourishment is primary and the flavor is secondary, it will be easy to navigate the sea of foodstuffs this Holiday Season. Click to Tweet.

Merry Christmas! May the joy of the birth of our Lord and Savior fill your heart and home! Over two thousand years ago wise men journeyed far to seek Him – and wise men (and women) still do!

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Dr. Scott Saunders, Home Cures That WorkDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: