Holiday Healthy Eating 101

After all, we have been through this 2020, we are now down to the most awaited time of the year! Here in the Philippines, we usually celebrate the 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 are 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 fiber 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 an 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 an ingredient for your dessert seems to be a better choice. Not only does it contain the sweetness that you crave, but it is also laden with antioxidants and fiber;
  4. Use extracts of 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 bread, rice, and pasta – it wouldn’t hurt to be conscious of the amount of fiber you consume even during holidays. Remember that fiber helps in controlling your blood sugar level as well as your cholesterol levels. Moreover, fiber 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, and Gardenia Wheat Cranberry Loaf. These loaves of bread are not only rich in whole-grain goodness but are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Since it is Christmas time, it is also a good time to try creative recipes using these healthy loaves of bread. You can try Gardenia Mango and Shrimp Quesadilla, a recipe made with Gardenia Wheat Raisin Loaf. Now you can enjoy a delectable and yummy dish this holiday season.

Gardenia Tuyo Sardines Pate

Per serving: Carbohydrates: 46.8g, Protein: 19.5g, Fat: 24.2g, Calories: 483 kcal


  • 2 slices Gardenia High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf
  • 3 pcs Tuyo sardine
  • ¼ cup Cream cheese
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Hot sauce
  • Parsley, for garnish




  1. Slice the Gardenia Wheat Raisin Bread into 4 slices then toast it, set aside.

To make the Tuyo Sardines Pate

  1. In a bowl, mash 3 pcs tuyo sardines. Add cream cheese, all-purpose cream, tomato sauce, hot sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated.

To assemble:

  1. Spread 1 ½ to 1 Tbsp of the Tuyo Sardines into 1 slice of toasted Gardenia Wheat Raisin Bread
  2. Garnish with chopped Parsley.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

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 engages in 150-minute of moderate activity per week, such as brisk walking. Regardless of your age, some physical activity is better than none. So go for an afternoon or evening walk, jog, or run but still observe safety measures (e.g. wear facemask, proper social distancing) since we are still at the middle of the pandemic. It’ll be more fun also 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