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      Home | Nutrition | Your guide to surviving the holidays!
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      Trellis Updates

      Your guide to surviving the holidays!

      By Trellis

      Holiday eating does not have to be unhealthy! Sometimes a simple swap or two can make a big difference in terms of nutrition. Today I’m sharing my favorite healthy holiday recipes that #sleighallday, but also support a fertility friendly diet.

      General Tips for a Fertility Friendly Holiday Meal

      1. Cook with healthy fats. Replace canola oil or margarine with coconut oil, grass-feed ghee or olive oil. Fat is an essential component of a fertility friendly diet, but we want to make sure we choose the RIGHT types of fats.
      2. Lower the sugar. Try cutting the sugar in ½ or using nutrient rich alternatives like coconut sugar, dates, raw honey or maple syrup. Consuming lots of added sugars can lead to blood sugar imbalance, which can negatively affect your fertility hormones.
      3. Add plants. Holiday meals tend to be carb and meat heavy. Try adding a few vegetable-based dishes to help lighten up your meal. Fertility friendly diets include more vegetables than anything else! Vegetables help to support liver function, provide antioxidants and are naturally rich it fertility boosting nutrients.

      Most importantly, learn to switch things up. You probably have many wonderful holiday food traditions, but now may be a good time to create new healthy traditions. Use your extra free time over the holidays to experiment with new recipes and foods you have been wanting to try.

      Involve the entire family, by involving them in the cooking processes or doing a taste test.  Pick 1-2 of these simple swaps to bring to your next. holiday meal. Remember, you are not the only one that will benefit from the healthier alternatives!


      • Instead of Mashed Potatoes
        • This dish may be a holiday classic, but along with the cornbread, stuffing, biscuits the meal can quickly become a blood sugar bomb. Refined carbs digest quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar, which can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Cauliflower is a great alternative because of its nutrient density, low carb content, and flavor. But, instead of going completely cauliflower crazy on your family try this 50/50 mash, it still gives you that mash potato fix but with way less carbs! Potatoes often get a bad rep, but they are actually an excellent source of key fertility nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and B6…so including a little bit is totally okay!
        • The 50/50 Mash
        • Ingredients
          • 1 head of cauliflower
          • 1 lb russet potatoes (peeled and quartered)
          • 2 cloves garlic, minced
          • 2 tbsp organic grass-fed ghee
          • Chives, chopped
          • Salt and pepper
        • Directions
          • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender (~15 minutes); scoop potatoes out of the pot and set aside
          • Place steamer basket over pot. Place cauliflower florets into steamer basket. Cover, bring to a boil and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until very soft.
          • Transfer steamed cauliflower and potatoes to a food processor or blender along with the garlic, ghee, chives, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. You can also use a hand mixer for this step.
          • When ready to serve add extra chopped chives.


      • Instead of Green Bean Casserole
        • While this dish does contain vegetables, it is definitely a far cry from being considered healthy. The traditional recipe is loaded with processed ingredients and unhealthy fats, which have been shown to negatively impact fertility health.
        • Instead, make a new holiday tradition with this brussel sprout dish that is so good it is sure to make you forget all about skipping the casserole.
        • Best-Ever Brussels
        • Ingredients
          • 1 lb of brussel sprouts, bottoms trimmed, thinly sliced
          • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
          • 1 lemon
          • ¼ cup walnuts
          • ¼ cup pecans
          • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
          • 1oz grated organic parmesan cheese (optional)
          • 3 tbsp olive oil divides
        • Directions
          • Trim the bottoms of the brussel sprouts and thinly slice (either by hand or using the slicing attachment on your food processor
          • Heat 1 tbp of olive oil in a pan with the garlic. Cook the garlic until golden brown and fragrant.
          • In another pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil with walnuts and pecans. Stir until lightly toasted.
          • Add ½ the sliced brussel sprouts and cook until golden brown but still crunchy. Add to the serving dish and repeat the process with the remaining sprouts.
          • Add lemon zest and juice of ½ lemon to brussel sprouts. Then add toasted nuts, diced apple and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
      • Instead of Honey Baked Ham
        • Eating a plant-based diet helps to support enhanced fertility. Most conventional meat contains added hormones, antibiotics and other endocrine disrupting chemicals that mess with your body’s natural hormone balance. However, just simply swapping your honey-baked ham with a tofurkey isn’t what we want to do either. Many of these vegan substitutes also contain lots of unhealthy processed ingredients. Instead, swap in a “meat-free” main made from whole, unprocessed foods like this stuffed squash recipe.
        • Stuffed #Squash Goals
        •  Ingredients
          • 4 butternut squashes
          • 4 tbsp olive oil — divided
          • ¼ cup maple syrup
          • ¼ tbp apple cider vinegar
          • 1 tsp cinnamon
          • 2 cups of lentils
          • ¼ cup green onion
          • ¼ cup chopped dates
          • 3/4 cup millet
          • 1 1/2 cups water
          • 1 bunch kale (stems removed and chopped)
          • Salt and pepper
          • Zest of 1 orange (plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice)
        • Directions
          • Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, then arrange the halves on a baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until the squash is brown and tender.
          • While the squash is baking, make the millet per instructions.
          • In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low. Stir in the lentils, orange zest, orange juice, cooked millet, and dates.
          • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the remaining extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and remaining salt. Fold in kale, millet, lentils, green onion, dates.
          • Once the squash is cooled, stuff the filling into the squash halves, then return the squash to the oven. Bake at 375 degrees until hot, about 5-10 additional minutes.
      • Instead of Egg Nog
        • Alcohol is a pretty common aspect of the holidays (fizz the season am I right?)… but when it comes to a healthy diet, it’s always better to eat our calories not drink them. 1 cup of eggnog contains 439 kcals and 19g of fat… seriously, you’re better off eating a slice of pumpkin pie….Swap your after dinner drink for herbal tea or try this spicy hot chocolate to satisfy a sweet, comforting craving while boosting your fertility health. Raw cacao and honey contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help to reduce overall body inflammation, while spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and clove help to stimulate blood flood, delivering nutrient rich blood to the uterus.
        • In love with the Cacao
        • Ingredients
          • 8oz Unsweetened vanilla nut milk
          • 2 tbsp raw cacao
          • 1 tsp raw honey
          • 1 tsp ginger
          • 1 tsp cinnamon
          • 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
          • 1 tsp nutmeg
          • 1 tsp cloves
          • 1 pinch cayenne (optional)
        •  Directions
          • Warm milk on the stove or in a microwave safe mug.
          • Add cacao, raw honey and spices.
          • Mix using a fork or whisk.
          • Curl up by the fire and enjoy!
      • Instead of Pecan Pie
        • Up there which Cheesecake as one of the worst holiday offenders. Pecan pie contains 456 kcals and 21g of fat. Yes, nuts are fertility friendly foods, but not when they are loaded with excess sugar, and processed fats. Your best bet is to opt for a ½ portion of your favorite dessert (remember the first 3 bites are the most enjoyable anyways) or try these tahini cookies for a fertility friendly alternative. They contain all kinds of fertility friendly ingredients—almonds, tahini, coconut, gluten free oats and eggs, hey even chocolate! Plus they are packed with plant based protein and healthy fat, which helps to balance out the sugar so you won’t get that post-meal crash and burn.
        • Tahini Sweetie Cookies 
        • Ingredients
          • 1 cup almond flour
          • 1 cup tahini
          • ½ cup maple syrup
          • ½ cup coconut flake, unsweetened
          • ½ cup gluten free oats (optional)
          • 1 egg
          • 2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chunks, or chocolate chips ( I like enjoy life brand)
          • Maldon sea salt
          • 1 tsp vanilla extract
        • Directions
          • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
          • In a bowl, mix together almond flour, tahini, maple syrup, coconut, oats and chocolate chips. If dough is not thick enough add extra almond flour.
          • Place in fridge for 30 minutes
          • Preheat oven to 350 F
          • Remove dough from fridge and add the egg and baking soda.
          • Form the cookies into rounds using an ice cream scoop, or your hands. Bake for ~10-11 minutes (it is okay for them to be soft when you take them out of the oven).
          • Remove from the oven, sprinkle cookies with a bit of Maldon sea salt, and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.



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