Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la- wait. But I don’t want to be jolly, at least, not like Santa Claus-sized jolly…especially with the New Year around the corner!!

There is no doubt the winter season is one of the most dangerous seasons for our tummies. While there are many of you who may be perfectly fine even after stuffing your faces with holiday cakes, mashed potatoes, and all things buttered and creamy, there are those of us (points to myself) who seriously struggle during this time of year. Even with ample exercise, there are just too many temptations during the holiday seasons. Think about it, you have the holiday cookies decorated with pretty icing, red and white peppermint barks, soft cupcakes with gorgeous frosting swirls and holiday themed sprinkles… that’s just 3 of the most common desserts, I didn’t even get to describing the holiday parties and potlucks and leftovers, galore!

With all of these temptations, it’s nearly impossible to avoid them all. So, I’ve decided to accept these temptations, graciously, into my life and learn to live with them, harmoniously, in my tummy.  After all, this is the season, right? Here are some tips & tweaks I’ve learned to embrace for an almost guilt free season of joy and holiday cheer. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

1. Start the day off with a refreshing smoothie.

Smoothies come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of whether you want a fruit based or a vegetable based smoothie, starting the day off with the right nutrition can only be beneficial for your body. Check out our guide on The Art of Making Smoothies to create the healthiest blend fit for your tastes with ingredients retrieved directly from your fridge.

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2. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of Pure Moringa Powder in dips, spreads, and sauces.

From guacamole, hummus, to pesto, we have recipes for it all. Though we don’t have published recipes on Moringa Peanut Butter Spread and Moringa Nutella yet, don’t let it stifle your moringa inspirations. Trust me, Moringa Peanut/ Almond Butter is tried, tested, and delicious. Most call for your typical base recipe with an extra tablespoon or two of moringa powder. Feel free to use your own favorite dip or sauce recipe and tweak it by just a tablespoon of moringa that will make all the nutritional difference.

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3. In desserts or bread, substitute 2 – 3 tablespoons Pure Moringa Powder for 2 – 3 tablespoons of flour in any baking recipes.

With the moringa in the dough, the dough turns into dashing shade of holiday green packed with 2-3 servings of vegetables. With chocolate recipes, you may be able to substitute upwards of 1/2 cup of Pure Moringa Powder depending on personal preference and taste. Since 1 tablespoon of moringa powder contains 50% of your recommended daily intake of Iron, your green holiday cookies would be the healthiest of the bunch.

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4. Consider the outdoors. Bring the family lunch outside for short hike and a picnic.

The weather might be chilly, but bundle up and set the pace for a brisk walk to get the blood flowing. Studies repeatedly show that exposure to nature reduces one’s stress and improves well being. And if holiday parties, in-laws visiting, and excited children are just a little too overwhelming, maybe getting a breath of fresh air is just what you need. Bring along a small snack or to-go baggies with squares of these chewy granola bars and don’t forget to stay hydrated! Try this chex mix variation, for a mess-free, fun, and sweet snack.

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5. End the day with a relaxing, hot cup of tea.

Even on the most uneventful day, our bodies need to unplug and relax before bed time.  You’ve heard the news before, so isn’t it time to finally put the phone or the iPad away at least 90 minutes before you sleep? Poor quality sleep have been linked to chronic health issues such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mood problems down the road. There are a variety of activities pre-bed time that can keep you busy. Stretch out tight muscles and joints with some easy, calming yoga or settle down with a hot cup of moringa tea and a real book. If that’s not your cup of tea, try what I do, invest in a coloring book and zen out to soft nature or beach sounds while filling the pages with vibrant colors.

screenshot-www.kulikulifoods.com 2015-12-15 15-50-16You can find many more yummy moringa recipes on our blog!