Healthified Holiday to All!

Cold breeze, bright lights, melodious carols, fancy decorations… these are the signs that the season for merriment has officially started. We are now down to the most awaited time of the year! Here in the Philippines, we usually celebrate Christmas season longer than the rest of the world. As soon as ‘-ber’ month starts, we can already feel the festive atmosphere that Christmas brings.

And of course, what festive activity wouldn’t include a parade of delectable dishes? It is also at this time of the year that we tend to put behind our health consciousness to indulge in various mouth-watering meals. But have you realized that being healthy need not be unpleasant? Here are some ways to health-ify your holidays!

  1. Substitute low fat or skim milk instead of whole or heavy cream – This is a great way to keep your calorie intake in check because whole milk and heavy cream is loaded with unnecessary calories from fats. You can still enjoy your dairy and get your protein requirement from low fat and skim milk.
  2. Instead of using only white flour in baking, use half white and half whole-wheat flour – When baking, try incorporating additional fibre to your diet by adding a dose of whole grain goodness to your baked goodies.
  3. Choose dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, or cherries, as ingredient for dessert instead of adding chocolate chips or candies – while chocolate and candies indeed add a twist to your dessert, using dried fruits as ingredient for your dessert seems to be a better choice. Not only does it contain the sweetness that you crave for, it is also laden with antioxidants and fibre.
  4. Use extracts or herbs when cooking – Instead of adding too much salt or butter, it is better to make the most of our herbs and spices such as garlic, onion, pepper, rosemary, dill, thyme, ginger, and cloves.
  5. Take note of the mode of cooking – The goal is to cut off those unnecessary calories during the season. Baking, grilling, or steaming definitely helps cut those calories off compared to frying.
  6. Use whole-grain breads, rice and pasta – it wouldn’t hurt to be conscious of the amount of fibre you consume even during holidays. Remember that fibre helps in controlling your blood sugar level as well as your cholesterol levels. Moreover, fibre also helps you maintain a healthy tummy. Good thing that Gardenia offers various healthy bread options such as Gardenia High Fiber Whole Wheat Bread, Gardenia High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf, Gardenia Slim ‘n Fit Wheaten Bread, and Gardenia Wheat Cranberry Loaf. These breads are not only rich in whole-grain goodness but are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

And since it is Christmas time, it is also a good time to try creative recipes using these healthy breads. You can try Gardenia Wheat Raisin Ham & Jam Sandwich which is perfect with your Christmas ham. For dessert try Gardenia Berry Surprise. Both recipes provide a healthy calorie count of less than 350 calories per serving! Now you can enjoy a delectable and yummy dish, guilt-free.

Gardenia Wheat Raisin Ham & Jam Sandwich

 (Carbohydrates: 47g Protein: 12g Fat: 11g Fiber: 18.3g Calories: 335 kcal)



4 slices          Gardenia High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf

2 slices cooked ham

2 tsp   cream cheese spreadable

2 tsp   sugar-free strawberry jam

Lettuce leaves



  1. Spread a teaspoon of cream cheese on one side of the bread and a teaspoon of sugar-free strawberry jam on the other piece of bread.
  2. Top with ham and lettuce leaves.
  3. Cover with another slice of bread.

You should also take note that while it is a holiday season, you shouldn’t forget to stay physically active to have a healthy energy balance. Remember, energy in equal energy out. If you don’t move it, don’t be surprised to see those extra pounds on your waistline. As per the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) it is recommended that an average adult engage in 150-minute of moderate activity per week, such as brisk walking. So go for an afternoon or evening walk, jog, or run. It’ll be more fun if you do it with your family. Eating healthy and being active may take effort but this will increase your likelihood of celebrating more Christmases and holidays with your loved ones. So be healthy and have a happy holiday!


American Heart Association. 2016. Healthy for Good. Pages 7-14 accessed December 20, 201