- Christmas brunch recipe that’s easy and GOURMET
- souped-up avocado toasties that are for EVERYBODY (I ❤️ vegans)
- why this Christmas brunch recipe unlocks your HAPPY weight
Christmas was a super-stressful time for me over the 10 years I was overweight.
Especially when I’d come home from university to visit family and friends.
Not only did I feel fat… but when I got the usual interrogation over appetizers—questions, like:
–>Will you be doing a post-graduate degree?
–>Are you seeing anyone special?
–>You were always such a great runner. What sports are you doing now?
I’d balance my Christmas-themed party plate in one hand (that had cucumbers slices, carrot sticks and other assorted raw veg) and water in the other (I was too scared to try alcohol… I couldn’t even control my diet coke consumption), and give answers that didn’t feel like they belonged to the real me.
I was living no where near my potential.
Over those years I fantasized about what those holiday gatherings would’ve been like if I wore a cute Christmas dress I felt comfortable in and wasn’t worried about my future.I was desperate to live life without a complicated relationship with food.
(Truth be told, I LOVE me some sequins… Green? Even better! But I can’t really pull off a hand-on-the-hip-take-my-pic pose.)
I would’ve been afraid to eat this Christmas Brunch Recipe
On top of hating how I looked on the outside and being ashamed of who I seemed to be on the inside (where did my willpower go?) the food situations at Christmas added a whole other level of anxiety.
You know… everywhere you go people are giving you big meals and cookies and you feel bad saying “No.”
And there were only so many times I could make self-deprecating jokes about being on a diet.
The holiday season is difficult for anyone trying to lose weight.
But it shouldn’t be!
Can someone give me a Hallelujah?
“Hallelujah” the church bells ring
“Hallelujah” the angels sing
And “Hallelujah” from ev-er-y-thing...
Looking back… fixing my complicated relationship with food would’ve had a positive domino effect and helped every other part of my life fall into place—from:
Turning my NO to a YES when answering: Seeing anyone special?
Being totally present with my grandparents instead of worrying about calories.
…I don’t even want to think about how much I spent on diet food, magazines promising weight-loss tips and ugh… bingeing.
And that’s why I write this blog.
I want you to get the food stuff straight so you can throw your whole self into:
being a great mom
recording that album you’ve written half the songs for already.
Or whatever else you’d be excited about sharing when someone asks you questions at a Christmas Party.
Here’s how I unlocked my H 🙂 PPY weight and made food a non-issue…
I lost 30 pounds eating food like this Christmas Brunch Recipe
After 10 years of:
- grazing on bits of food all day
- exercising every morning; it didn’t matter if I had the flu, was going to be active all day (like on a family hike) or if it was Christmas morning—I jumped on my trusty Nordic Track
- eventually getting so hungry I’d overeat
things got so bad I finally said:
Then I began:
Eating ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of natural food,
& exercising more moderately.
And that’s when I lost 30 pounds for good.
Oh, and by roughly balanced meals made mostly of whole foods I’m talking about this Christmas Brunch Recipe.
It’s perfect if you’re wondering what to serve up on your pull-out-of-your-cupboard-for-special-occasions platter, like the one I’m holding in the first photo.
Gourmet Christmas Brunch Recipe
I love this one-ingredient food added to one-ingredient food Christmas brunch recipe because it’s a little bit fancy.
But let’s be clear —
By gourmet I don’t mean full of empty calories (energy that does zip, zilch, nadda, nothing for ya!)
By gourmet I mean I wouldn’t assemble it as I ran out the door on a Monday morning.
But I would make it for a Christmas Brunch Recipe or Boxing Day Lunch or New Years Day Dinner… or my someone special’s b-day.
This is a great little recipe to keep in your back pocket and pull out when you want to
show off a little treat the people you love.
As long as your meals are ROUGHLY balanced and made of MOSTLY of whole foods, you’ll unlock your H 🙂 PPY weight naturally.
Cue: Eatwell Guide!
(I love you.)
Here’s the proportions that make a balanced meal:
Why this Christmas Brunch Recipe is balanced
Gourmet Avocado Toast Christmas Brunch Recipe
Fruit & Vegetables
*I’d also add a big fruit salad at brunch or a big green salad if I served this meal at lunch or dinner
Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta & other starchy carbohydrates
bread (choosing a rustic multi-grain bread is healthier and takes this meal to the next level – but white bread works too)
Oils & spreads
home-made salad dressing (if serving with a salad)
Dairy & alternatives
milky coffee or latte ❤️
cream cheese ❤️
goat cheese ❤️
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat & other proteins
smoked salmon ❤️
+ Herbs & Spices:
Capers: the little green guys on the smoked salmon that I’d been told were fish eggs (and believed it!)
Garam Masala: this spice is great sprinkled on egg; paprika would also work
BTW, Santa is real.
Special note to ❤️ vegans about this Christmas brunch recipe
(And people who are vegan curious.)
One of my 1:1 clients is vegan. “C” loves animals. And she’s inspired me to start substituting with more animal-friendly choices. Lasting change is all about baby steps. What I’ve learned is there’s a whole other world out there full of tasty alternatives from vegan cheese (it’s cashew-based and delicious) to vegan bacon to almond milk and so on. There’s even vegan smoked salmon. So I’ve put a ❤️ alongside the ingredients above, where you can sub creative alternatives, also made of natural ingredients.
Christmas brunch recipe instructions
So there’s not much direction needed.
A picture says 1000 words.
But a few tips to keep in mind when making this Christmas brunch recipe:
A. toast your bread
B. slice or mash the avocados to use as a base, a regular potato masher will do
C. add salt & lime juice to bring out the avocado flavor
D. for the smoked salmon toastie, put cream cheese on before avocado
E. serve ready-to-eat or set this Christmas brunch recipe out buffet-style, baby!
And this is key: squeezing the lime on your avocados also helps to keep them Christmas-tree green vs Joel the Coal black—you’ll know what I mean in a moment.
As always… serve with a latte or milky coffee made with whole milk.
If we didn’t find this latte machine discarded in our common garbage area (that Alex meticulously cleaned, twice, with Q-tips) I’d definitely buy one.
Best part of the morning!
Take the anxiety out of eating over the holidays
Looking back, eating in December shouldn’t have been stressful.
Whether it was a Christmas brunch recipe or any other meal.
As long as you’re eating ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods you can’t go wrong.
Even Christmas dinner!
Which looks a lot like Thanksgiving dinner (at my home).
Here’s what we had:
I remembered to take this pic after I’d eaten some of my turkey.
All the food on my plate is ROUGHLY balanced and made MOSTLY of whole foods.
Eating a variety of natural food fills you up naturally so you don’t eat more than you need.
And when it comes to Christmas cookies…
It’s no big deal to have the occasional treat. Like you can enjoy a piece of this Yule Log after Christmas dinner.
(You can eat chocolate and lose weight.)
Say YES occasionally and NO the rest of the time.
And don’t feel bad about turning down a treat.
Just say: “I’m full.”
(The short & to-the-point response.)
Or: “I’d love to but I’m super full. [Whatever you’re being served] looks delicious!”
(The uber-polite-but-firm response.)
Or you can say what Alex said the first time he visited my family and was offered seconds: “I couldn’t eat another bite, I feel bloated.” (OMG!)
…Like anything else in life, if it’s something you don’t want to do, even if you can’t find the words to explain, it’s ok to say N-O. Period. No question mark.
And if people keep pushing, even when it comes from a place of love (and deep within a cookie jar), remember you need to prioritize your mental and physical health.
What’s cooler than someone who really knows who they are, what makes them happy and can advocate for themselves?
Zip, zilch, nadda, nothing.
You want to wake up on Boxing Day feeling like you enjoyed healthy meals and a treat or two on Christmas.
There’s no need to feel guilty or deprived
The 25th of December isn’t a “cheat day” or an out-of-control-free-for-all.
That happens when you:
Tell yourself “no gravy & no dessert.”
Then have a bit.
Feel like you ruined the day.
And end up eating whatever you want because you’ll restart your diet tomorrow.
Don’t do that!
At the risk of being repetitive:
Enjoy your meals and a treat or two on Christmas Day, Hanukkah, Diwali… or National Pizza Party Day.
Occasional treats are No. Big. Deal.
In fact treats here and there shared with friends help you reach and maintain a healthy weight naturally.
And that’s how I’ve been eating over the last 21+ years I’ve been healthy.
Make Today Count
Start small. What can you add to your next meal to make it more balanced?
An apple? Greek yogurt? Some lentils for protein? How ’bout some ❤️ vegan butter?
Feel good about your small and healthy improvements.
Real change is about progress, not perfection.
Then throw on your favorite party dress and a pair of earrings.
These earrings are perfect for pairing with this Christmas brunch recipe
When I dropped off some clothes and books at the Salvation Army so I could clear space and see our tv (you gotta watch some Holiday Specials!) I found these little poinsettias made of shells behind the counter. To quote Mariah Carey (the Queen of Christmas) when she saw 2 kittens:
“I knew had to have them.”
These vintage Santas are pretty cute too:
But remember… there’s only one Santa.
And these little men made of glass?
No matter where you are on your journey to unlocking your H 🙂 PPY weight, it’s so key to:
Magic is not in an old top hat…
Building healthy habits while you keep doing all the things you love to do is where you’ll find all the magic.
A healthy body is a reflection of healthy habits.
Throw on your favorite holiday album, an ugly holiday sweater (optional), serve up these avocado toasties and rock yourself around the Christmas Tree.
I love Brandon Flowers. He’s 100% committed to everything he does.
You really can turn your pain into a precious jewel.
A little while ago I was asked to write an article about avocado toast for THE LIFE by eco-friendly fashion trailblazer Jules. So Alex and I assembled the 3 toasts featured in this post and took pictures. It was a decadent assignment. Here’s how I met Jules and the article I wrote is here.
What’s your favorite ❤️ vegan substitution?
Do you have a classic family Christmas brunch recipe you always prep for the big day?
What new holiday traditions are you creating this crazy year?
Would love to know in the comments below,
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
Thankyou for this Kelly! The holiday season can be such a hard time for people who are used to being on a diet. It was nice this year to have a few treats and realize too that many foods offered around this season are actually healthy and balanced, like your lovely brunch. Special summer fruit is on offer where I live during this season (like mangoes and cherries), and a traditional Christmas dinner involves prawns and roast meat and vegetables. That all fits nicely into balanced meals. So a little bit of Christmas pudding or chocolate as dessert seems reasonable alongside these other healthy choices. Happy New Year Kelly!
Love all the fresh food you eat for Christmas dinner. And that’s so great you can get mangoes and cherries at a reasonable price. They’re always expensive in Canada! Even during cherry season when we can get them locally. So happy you were able to enjoy your balanced meals and a few treats. Love hearing from you! Keep meeting your body’s needs and your body will thank you. Trust the process. Wishing you and your family a healthy and safe New Year J. And of course lots of fun and good surprises. xoKelly
Hi Kelly, thank you for your article! Do you think your approach can be applied to someone recovering from anorexia? It seems so full of common sense, great and uncomplicated, but when I was in hospital/treatment I was always given very rigid meal plans that did nothing good for my mental health, and my meals were increased at a snail pace, even though I was really hungry. So I’m confused on what I’m “allowed” to eat, and never got to break free from the restrictive mindset because of that. Also, I’m always hungry between meals- that might be because my body has high energy needs (I’m an active student and 6’2 lol), but do you think it’s okay to do 3 balanced meals a day and as many snacks as I’m hungry for? I just need reassurance right now that no hunger is bad and I can respond to it freely. Thank you xx
Firstly that is wonderful you had treatment. I always say recovery is a patchwork. The key is to figure out what works for you and keep adapting as you go. I learned when I was recovering that there is no such thing as perfect help but you can get some big pieces in place and then build on them.
It sounds to me like you’re ready to “listen to your body” and eat snacks when you’re hungry—as long as you stick to a structured Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner… I stick to BLD too because our bodies need nutrients at regular intervals. And then if you’re hungry between meals, either grab a balanced snack (if you’re really hungry) or an apple or banana if you just need to tide yourself over to your next meal.
My 1:1 clients are often super hungry during our first month together. Then, after they’ve met their body’s needs consistently for a month or so they get into more of a regular routine.
So don’t feel too hung up about eating the perfect amount for a snack. Just eat healthy meals and healthy snacks when you’re hungry between meals and soon you’ll get sort of used to what you need to eat each day to:
-meet your body’s needs
-& not be preoccupied by hungry pains.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks so much Kelly for your answer! Yes, I think I have to view my “meal plan” as a minimum, just like a “safety net” but NOT a maximum. But I don’t think I’ll do the “apple thing”: for me, this is quite likely a disordered behaviour as a way to avoid eating something else and quite frankly, my body needs food regardless;) And also, I’ll be challenging eating cookies/pastries etc because that’s what my anorexia doesn’t want me to eat, so that’s probably what’s going to set me free! Thanks again for responding x
LOVE that you said:
“I have to view my “meal plan” as a minimum… NOT a maximum.”
When you eat ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods, you know that when you’re hungry between meals it’s your body needing more nutrients to do it’s jobs—like keeping your heart pumping, hair growing and kidney filtering 🙂
And you have a healthy outlook on treats!
Moderation is key and the occasional pastry is perfect.
All that you’ve shared is such a healthy outlook Lulu!