In the second instalment of our survival guide for the silly season, here we look at trying to avoid the sweet stuff with health tips from Lauren Glucina.

The Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, Certified Raw Foods Chef, Herbal Medicine student and face behind food blog ascensionkitchen.com, shared a few points for combating those annoying sugar cravings on and around Christmas Day:

  • Have some protein before you head out to keep you feeling full and less likely to snack on the sweet stuff – raw nuts and seeds are fantastic, you can also try some lightly roasted chickpeas, or vegetables with a hummus or tahini dip.
  • Get savvy with alternative sweeteners and you’ll be able to give practically any treat a healthy makeover. That way, you can prepare your own dessert to take to a function so you know there’s something healthy on the table. Try swapping refined white sugar for things like Medjool dates, 100% pure maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, coconut palm nectar, brown rice syrup, and even mineral rich blackstrap molasses if you’re after a festive gingerbread taste.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks and mixers – try making a goji berry lemonade instead (soak a small handful of goji berries in water to soften, then blend with water, ice, fresh lemon and lime juice and a little maple syrup to sweeten, strain and serve – extra additions like ginger and mint make it even tastier).
  • Keep a few antioxidant super foods up your sleeve – stress and alcohol can both lead to increased free radical damage and put you on the fast track to aging. Try spiking your morning smoothie with some fresh summer berries, a teaspoon of açai powder, or a small handful of goji berries.
  • Whip up a healthy ice cream in minutes – add a frozen banana, frozen berries and a dash of coconut milk to a food processor and blend for a minute or two. Serve with smashed nuts, cacao nibs or a sprig of fresh mint – a sure hit with the kids.

And if you really can’t stop the cravings, try making these raw food treats by Lauren: her delicious Lemon and Blackberry Cake and yummy Berry Slice. You won’t believe it’s not sugar!

Check out part three of Surviving the Silly Season, with fitness advice from Miss Nutrition aka Rhiannon Harris. Or jump onto part one for some helpful health tips from Dr John Barletta on how to stay in control of alcohol consumption and stress.