Moth and Toad Apothecary

Herbalism, self-sufficiency, and low-waste living

Healthier Alternatives to Traditional Comfort Foods

In my last post, Gut Health for the Holidays, we explored some ways you can keep your body happy and healthy without completely avoiding your favourite seasonal treats. In today’s post, we’ll be exploring some alternatives to these kinds of foods. These options may be lighter, easier to digest, or otherwise healthier for you to be eating!

I recommend writing down your favourite fall foods; underneath these foods, write down their flavours, textures, and anything else you enjoy about them! Then, think about the ingredients that tend to make them unhealthy, heavy, or hard to digest. How can you replace these ingredients, or otherwise modify the recipe to suit your needs? For example, I love the flavour of pumpkin pie! However, I want to avoid excess sugar. To get my pumpkin spice fix, I instead make high-protein muffins using pumpkin pie spice! I still get the warm, delicious taste I associate with fall, but it comes without all the sugar.

For heavy foods you don’t want to change too much, try to sprinkle in a carminative herb. Carminatives bring blood flow and energy to the abdomen, which aids in digestion! Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, paprika, and cayenne can all help with digestion as carminative herbs. Alternatively, create a bitters tincture or grab some fennel seeds to consume before or after your meal to help stimulate digestive enzymes.

Don’t over-indulge in the foods you love or their “healthy” (or healthier) alternatives. Moderation is the key to success when it comes to eating rich, heavy foods, especially when it comes to maintaining a happy gut. Enjoy these kinds of foods at about one meal a week. Fill your diet with probiotic rich foods, leafy greens, and a variety of fruits, veggies, and lean protein at the rest of your meals and snack times! For heart health, consider eating about 6 ounces or less of red meat each week, too.

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