Take a minute to ask yourself how you are you feeling. Is the festive season stressing you out? If so, why? If you are one of the lucky ones feels relaxed and enjoys this time of the year, appreciate it. Unfortunately, for most people, the holidays don’t bring holiday cheer, but instead a lot of stress and anxiety.
The danger of unrealistic expectations
Setting high, unrealistic expectations are the main cause of our stress and anxiety. We want everything to be “perfect.” Before stressing out, take a moment to ask yourself what’s really important to you? You will probably realize that what matters most isn’t matching your cutlery to your plates, or whether you got your significant other the right present, but about enjoying valuable time with loved ones.
When it comes to food expectations, we pressure ourselves to dress the roasted turkey perfectly and recreate grandma’s famous cranberry sauce. If that wasn’t difficult enough, we also challenge ourselves to pair dinner with the most festive wine, a large helping of Christmas pudding and a selection of cookies.
After meal preparations are complete, it’s time to feast and, unfortunately, all of the sugar and fat overwhelms our bodies. When the big binge is finally over, we don’t feel energized or relaxed, but rather tired and stuffed. Maybe we even notice that our scale hits a number a little higher than the day before.
Challenge yourself: Try something new
First, make the holidays more fun by relaxing a bit. Don’t pressure yourself to create the “perfect” day or the “perfect” meal you have in your head. Yes, grandma’s stuffed turkey and cranberry sauce are delicious, but let yours be different, unique and maybe healthier, too! Healthier recipes will give you energy and help you keep the weight off this holiday season.
Scroll down for our 8fit turkey recipe with delicious raspberry coconut lentils on the side. Then, make some healthy holiday cookies to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
Servings: 6 people
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 medium red onions
- ½ chili pepper
- 2 branches of sage
- 2 Tbsp butter (preferably organic)
- 28 oz turkey breast (either slice thick breasts in half or beat breasts until thin and wide)
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp mustard
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 trussing strings. Double the length of the turkey.
For the creamy lentils:
- 1 ½ cups red lentils (~ 11 oz)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ¾ cup coconut milk (~ 150 ml; alternatively cream)
- ½ lemon (preferably organic)
- 4 oz raspberries
- 3 branches of thyme
- Peel and chop garlic and onions.
- Deseed chili. Cut both chili and sage into strips.
- Heat a pan over medium to high heat. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter and fry garlic and onions until translucent for about 5 minutes. Add sage and chili. (Set aside 1 Tbsp of onion mixture for the lentils).
- Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Place the turkey evenly on top of the 3 trussing strings.
- Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Spread mustard evenly on turkey and sprinkle half of the onion mixture.
- Roll the turkey carefully and tightly tie with trussing strings.
- Add ¾ cup vegetable or chicken broth to a casserole dish. Place turkey in the middle and sprinkle the other half of onion mixture on top and around the turkey. Pour ¼ cup of broth on top of turkey and one Tbsp of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Place casserole in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, add lentils with 1 Tbsp of onion mixture, bay leaf and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a pot heated on medium heat. Fry for 3 minutes. Next, pour in 2 cups of vegetable broth and ¾ coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Grate the zest of lemon and mix together thyme and freshly squeezed lemon to lentils.
- Place lentils in a big bowl and add raspberries on top.
- Take turkey out of the oven. Remove string and slice into pieces. Serve with raspberry lentils and enjoy.