Healthy Eating for the Holidays
Is it December already? What an extraordinary year we’ve had. I don’t know about you, but with the holidays upon us, it seems to me like people are really making an effort to enjoy the season. We’ve all needed something to look forward to, something to concentrate on besides the day-to-day onslaught of news that can bring us down. It’s time to celebrate the holidays, even though our celebrations may look a little different this year. Please remember to celebrate responsibly, and to follow all local guidelines regarding gatherings.
As a chef, I love any time of year that celebrates food. What says food better than Christmas? The variety of holiday favorites and goodies is endless, so while we look forward to enjoying them, we also need to remember to not go overboard on foods that will aggravate our neuropathy.
Sugar is a big culprit here, so try to avoid it as much as you can. Alcohol can also be a catalyst for increasing your pain, so if you do imbibe please do so in moderation. What CAN we enjoy?
Veggies can be special too!
The first thing I always suggest is vegetables. They provide fiber, antioxidants, and can reduce inflammation – and for those of us with neuropathy that is crucial.
Since it is Christmas and it only comes once a year, I try to have dishes on my holiday table that aren’t my normal staples, so we can make the holiday special.
For this holiday season, I’ve chosen a favorite vegetable that I make in a variety of forms throughout the year, baby bok choy. If you’re familiar with regular bok choy it is very similar, just smaller. Being smaller it makes the leaves more tender, and it’s easier to cut up. Standard sized bok choy can be cumbersome, so try and find these at your local grocer. In general, they are readily available. If you are unable to locate them go ahead and purchase the regular bok choy.
Try Baby Bok Choy!
Bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable from the cabbage family. Bok choy contain sulforphanes, which reduce inflammation by encouraging the liver to detoxify. This recipe calls for broiling them, but you can always toss them on the BBQ grill if you are so inclined. There is little preparation and few ingredients, making it the perfect dish for a busy holiday kitchen. Finally, serving them cut in half lengthwise gives the dish a little dramatic effect.
More about Bill
Bill Nolan, a professionally trained chef and current owner of Nolan Hospitality, a food-focused company based in Darien, Illinois, has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant and education industries. Passionate about food and health, Bill believes in the diet-lifestyle-health connection and loves to share his knowledge with others through writing, classes, and presentations.
Bill will be offering us tips and recipes on a regular basis. Keep checking in for more ideas!