I am, without a doubt, someone who wholeheartedly embraces the modern sense of Christmas and the general festive (feast-ive?) season. The family time, the gifts, the time out of the daily grind, the long lies, the movies, the make-up free/leggings/cosy jumpers, the permission to pause, the reflection time, and of course, the food and drink.
What’s Christmas without champagne? And roast potatoes? And cheese? And red wine? And desserts? And mince pies with cream? And mulled wine? I could go on. While I hope to subscribe to a healthy, clean (paleo) lifestyle the majority of the time, I couldn’t ever do it permanently. Some food and drink is just too good to say no to. There’s no way I could sit there on Christmas day while everyone tucks in goose fat roast potatoes and I chow down on sweet potato. Or watch everyone tuck in to a beautiful stilton with crackers and port, as I sip a herbal tea or sparkling water and treat myself to choco nut bites, as tasty as they are. No siree. That’s not for me. And I love nothing more than making tons of leftovers dishes, some completely free of the reins of paleo-living, some in keeping with it, that I know I will enjoy well in to January when I stick my head in the freezer wondering what there is to eat during my health kick. (By the way, we had to most ridiculous amount of Christmas turkey and ham leftovers! We will be eating it until April!!)
That being true there’s something to be said for balance. I am a Libran after all. I tend to hate people saying ‘everything in moderation’, as I don’t believe it’s true generally. But at this time of year, when I know I will indulge guilt-free in my favourite foods and drinks, I try to balance it out with some uber-healthy (which usually means veg-filled) foods.
I mentioned in my last post (a wee while ago… sorry! I’ve been busy :)) that I had bought a juicer and started to see where that might take me. And I have to say I like it. It hasn’t (yet) been a gadget buy that’s been used a few times then left to gather dust. Despite the festive food being in full swing I’m still managing to fit in juices here and there most days, which at least means I’m getting a good dose of the right stuff.
It’s not all plain sailing though. Aside from the obvious downside of an expanding waist-band at this time of year (thank the universe for leggings), the fella and I have both gotten colds. Mine came first, which inevitably made it’s way over to him. I haven’t had a cold for about a year and a half, so it felt like the obvious culprit was the switch to a less-than-healthy diet. I ramped up the juices again a couple of days ago in an attempt to aid our recovery. I have no intention of going full health-z0ne until after I return from a post-holiday business trip. Changes will start to make their way in again, but the full clean-kick will have to wait until mid-January. Until then I’ll continue to enjoy a combination of my favourite foods, along with some clean, healthy stuff that gives me all the nutrients I need.
If you’re looking for some inspiration though that uses up the leftovers whilst conforming to the best way of looking after yourself, check out the turkey chilli dish I made today.
Here’s some of what I’ve been enjoying…
Lamb steak with green beans and dauphinoise potatoes. All very clean until you get to the tatties 🙂
Salmon and spinach tart (with double cream and egg custard). All very bad, but very, very good 🙂
Gin and tonic. Only two at the most of these can be drank at a time as my stomach hates them. My taste-buds think differently.
A mountain of leftover turkey to form in to many guises.
…Including a very healthy (except for the tatties) and economical bubble and squeak or breakfast hash (whatever you want to call it) which used up leftover veg too. Yum!
Mountains of leftover baked ham.
Also in a breakfast hash among other things!
They both started out life like this. Well not quite, they were raw at one point. I know the ham looks burnt, but trust me, once you carve in, there’s juicy loveliness inside. And the burnt bits are the best bits, or so my brother tells me 🙂
My sis-in-law and nephew’s home-made desserts of chocolate pavlova with cream and chocolate cheesecake looked like snowmen when you put them together. Individually they tasted awesome.
I also enjoyed these. They’re mini cheeses! Wrapped up like little chocolates! On my word! How bloody great?!?!
My Christmas dinner table looked lovely before dinner.
But it looked much better like this with lovely family around it enjoying themselves and the food. Awwww!
I end with a photo of a great, healthy, paleo (99.9%!) turkey chilli recipe which I adapted from Jamie O. Uses a ton of leftover turkey, although I still have loads left!
Best wishes of the season to you all, and a happy, healthy 2014 to come! 🙂