Healthy Holiday Survival: Critical Dos & Don’ts for Optimal Immune Health

Happy holidays, everybody! I’m sure so many of you are trying to get yourselves ready, get your body and your health in alignment so you can maximize your joy and the season of the holidays. Today I want to share with you a few dos and don’ts that will help you increase your immunity and stave off the normal winter icks and illnesses.

Do: Eat Before Attending a Party

The first do is to make sure you eat a snack or a small meal before you go to a holiday party. This will help you minimize the excess calories and some of the yummy goodies that you might be consuming that might tip the scales in terms of your increase in sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates. And just really also helps give you the energy boost you might need, depending on the time of the holiday.

Don’t: Overdo the Alcohol

Now on the don’t side, I recommend limiting your alcohol consumption to one glass of wine or champagne or one cocktail that has at a maximum one ounce of alcohol and no more than that. And my “do” that couples with this is do make sure that before and after holiday party, where you might be consuming a little alcohol for this festive occasion, that you also add in some dandelion tea to the mix to help support your liver’s detoxification process and the breakdown of the excess estrogen that will come from the alcohol consumption.

Do: Supplement with High-Quality Vitamin D3

Now, I also recommend that you do reach for a really high-quality vitamin D3 supplement. And I love to recommend my Turmeric 3D here at Organixx. This is really great because in the supplement, not only are you getting 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3, you’re also getting some anti-inflammatories by way of turmeric that will help calm the body’s natural inflammatory response, which will enhance your immune response when you need to fight any illness, bugs, or viruses you might come into contact with during the holiday season.

Do: Pair Vitamin D3 with Light Therapy

Another do that I recommend is to reach for your light therapy sources. So these are full-spectrum light boxes that will enhance and balance your circadian rhythm, especially during the winter months. If you live above the Mason-Dixon line, this is really critical. These light boxes actually pair up with taking vitamin D3 supplementation as well because they can help increase your dopamine levels, thereby decreasing winter blues and winter depression. So if you are looking to keep your body balanced in not just your immune state, but also your mood balanced, they’re all interconnected. Vitamin D and light boxes are highly, highly beneficial.

Don’t: Indulge in Sugary Items

Now, on the don’ts, is to avoid reaching for a lot of the sugary items. The holiday season is basically sandwiched between October where we kick off Halloween with lots of sugar and we usually end that whole winter season with Easter and everything in between is filled with lots of excesses of sugar. So I recommend to very, very much restrict and limit your sugar consumption because sugar is one of the most challenging ingredients in a lot of foods that will decrease and reduce your immune response.

So if you’re looking to stay balanced and to keep your immune system healthy, loading up first on your plate with veggies and fresh items, fruits, and whole grains are going to be much healthier for you and your immune system in the long run.

Do: Get Outdoors

Now, other things I recommend because it’s the season of being festive and there’s a lot of great outdoor activities, I recommend getting outside and harnessing your inner child and enjoying some of the winter sports that maybe you haven’t done in a long time, like getting outdoors and skiing or taking up snowshoeing or ice skating. Just being outside in the morning time particularly because that will help balance your circadian rhythm.

Do: Ensure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

I also recommend that you maximize your sleep. So do choose to go to bed close to the time that the sun is setting. Now, in some cases, you can’t go to bed at 4:30 PM, but if you move up your bedtime, that will maximize your immune health. It’ll help you stay balanced. It will lower your cortisol levels. And will enhance your overall mood and immunity.

Don’t: Stop Exercising

Do not avoid exercising. This is really critical. One of the things that we find is a lot of times, during the winter months, people stop exercising outside. They stop running. They stop doing some of the things that they enjoy doing outside because it’s sometimes too cold or they have to bundle up and wear extra gear. So look at alternative choices and exercise routines that can get you outside enjoying this season.

Do: Avoid Wearing Only Comfort Clothing

And what I recommend, my last and final, is to stave off wearing some of the stretchy pants and comfort clothes of the holiday season. This is really tricky because we’re all kind of in that phase where a lot of us have been wearing a lot of comfy clothes and stretchy pants are really quite trendy. But one of the things that I find is if we are wearing clothing that’s not as tight-fitting or that is not our normal wear, that we tend to be less mindful of our fitness routine as well as exercising.

So those are some tips for you to help improve your immune system, maximize the benefits of the holidays, as well as enhance some of the micronutrients like vitamin D that are going to be in deficiency during the winter months.

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11 Real Food Healthy Holiday Recipes

The holiday season is upon us again! Although this time of year can be notoriously hard on the waistline, we here at Organixx have been working on some delicious but still nutritious recipes for you to enjoy.

These recipes were created with real, whole foods to help keep you on track with your healthy routine – without causing the sugar highs and lows of most traditional holiday fare. For even more tips on staying healthy this holiday season, be sure to check out our 27 Holiday Hacks article.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

#1. Holiday Share Wreath With Crunchy Veggies & Pumpkin Dip

For a share platter that wows and is ultra-healthy and yummy, you and your guests will love this share wreath with its delicious pumpkin dip. Make sure to include the cumin in the pumpkin dip; it has some very real health benefits, including naturally helping to lower cholesterol levels.


Pumpkin Dip:

To prepare vegetables: Rinse all vegetables well. Place a large pot of water on to boil and have a large bowl of ice water close by. Blanch broccoli for 1 or 2 minutes in the boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath to cool, then drain well. Blanch the Brussels sprouts, green beans, and snap peas using the same method. Let cool.

To prepare dip: Place all dip ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer to decorative serving bowl, then place this in the center of your platter.

To assemble: Arrange the kale around the edges of the platter, placing the curly edges on the very outside edge of the platter or board. Top with broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas, and cauliflower in the form of a wreath. Garnish with cherry tomatoes (so they look like clumps of berries). Can be refrigerated for up to 1 day prior to serving.

#2. Super Healthy Snack Crackers

These vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free crackers are easy to prepare and surprisingly tasty. So much better for you than potato chips, corn chips, or dipping breads. Serve alongside your favorite dip or salsa.stack of homemade flax crackers



  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Into a large bowl add all dry ingredients (including the Herbes de Provence, which are a huge part of the flavor and enjoyment of this recipe). Add the water, starting with 1/3 cup. Using a fork, mix ingredients until a smooth dough forms. If necessary, add more water. This part can also be done with a food processor.
  2. Place the dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is the desired thickness of a cracker. Remove the top sheet of baking parchment and place dough (along with the bottom layer of baking parchment) onto a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, gently cut dough into squares.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and the edges are browned (try not to let the edges go black though). When the crackers along the outside edge of the baking sheet are done, remove them from the oven and return the others to the oven until they are golden brown. Let cool, then place into an airtight container.

#3. Gluten-Free, Low-Fat Holiday Gravy

For those who wish to avoid the wheat and grease-laden traditional gravy, but still want depth of flavor, this recipe will do the trick. Vegan butter can be found at most large grocery stores and health food shops, or make your own from the recipe just below.



  1. Into a large saucepan over medium heat, place the vegan butter and let melt. Add the onion and mushrooms (if using) and sauté until very soft and transparent (don’t rush this part, it should take about 10 minutes). Stir in your choice of flour, a small amount at a time, and it will form a thick paste coating the vegetables.
  2. Slowly whisk in the vegetable stock, then the tamari and Worcestershire sauces, and your choice of herbs. Whisk until smooth, raise the heat a little, and bring mixture to a low, bubbling boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, during which time it should thicken up nicely. If it gets too thick, add a little more stock. If it is too thin, take a ladle of gravy out and put it into a small bowl, whisking in some of the reserved flour to make a smooth slurry.
  4. Whisk the slurry into the hot gravy, raise heat as necessary until mixture has thickened. Taste test and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh parsley.

#4. Vegan Butter

If you’re cutting out dairy or following a vegan eating plan, you’ll love this vegan butter recipe inspired by that is so much healthier than margarine made with vegetable oils.

Note that you will need to remove this butter from the refrigerator a few minutes prior to spreading on fresh bread or creaming in a recipe as it will be quite solid. This should last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and also freezes well.



  1. Into a blender container, add melted refined coconut oil along with the avocado/hemp oil, set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, add apple cider vinegar and hemp milk, stir to combine. The mixture should curdle slightly. Add this to blender container. Add nutritional yeast and salt and process in a blender until quite smooth.
  3. Pour into a small glass dish and refrigerate until solid.

Watch a video of Katrina making the Vegan Butter recipe

#5. Simple Cranberry Cinnamon Sauce

Rather than grabbing for a jar or can of sugar-laden cranberry sauce, this year try making your own. You will still need a sweetener, but using organic maple syrup or raw honey is a healthier option and you can control the sugar level, which you can’t with pre-made cranberry sauce.cranberry sauce in glass jar with cinnamon stick



  1. Into a large saucepan over med-high heat, place the rinsed cranberries, water, and cinnamon stick.
  2. Choose your sweetener, and start with just 1/4 cup. As mixture begins to boil and cranberries pop, taste (careful, it’s hot!) and add more of the sweetener of your choice if needed. If you choose to use cinnamon essential oil instead of a cinnamon stick, add it at the end when cranberries are cooling.
  3. Cranberry sauce stores well in a covered container in the fridge for a week or more, so feel free to make in advance. Place into a festive serving dish to serve.

#6. Ginger Beer Pomegranate Mocktail

This is a crowd-pleaser – tart, tangy, and full of antioxidants and gingery flavor. Yes, there’s sugar in the ginger beer or ginger ale, but it isn’t a lot and helps to offset the tart cranberries.

Despite the word “beer” in the name, ginger beer is typically non-alcoholic. Look for a brand that uses the fewest ingredients (i.e. additives) possible.



  1. In a large 8-cup glass pitcher, add a tray of ice cubes, then add the two juices and the ginger beer/ale and thinly sliced fresh ginger root. Stir together.
  2. Pour into glasses, squeeze in a little lime juice, and garnish with mint leaves and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Watch a video of Katrina making Ginger Beer Pomegranate Mocktail  

#7. Baked Sweet Potatoes With Goat Cheese

Rather than succumbing to the usual sweet potato dish swamped in marshmallows, try this instead. Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, and other vitamins and minerals. Goat cheese is considered a healthier option than cheese made from cow’s milk because it has fewer saturated fats and less cholesterol, is rich in vitamins and minerals, and has a healthier type of casein.



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place each sweet potato onto foil square, place a small amount of butter on top (about 1/2 teaspoon), sprinkle with sea salt flakes, then wrap each potato loosely with the foil and place on baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until a knife can easily be inserted right through each potato.
  2. Using oven mitts, remove potatoes from foil (being careful not to burn yourself) and place onto serving plate. Slit potatoes open and into the center of each one place a portion of crumbled goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, freshly chopped chives and a dollop of butter. Serve immediately.

#8. Roasted Pumpkin and Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a Christmas classic in England, but they usually don’t make the list of favorite holiday foods in the U.S. This recipe may just change that! Roasting these vegetables until they are slightly golden really improves their flavor and texture, and they are full of antioxidants, anti-aging minerals, and vitamins.roasted brussels spouts & pumpkin with cranberries and nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (210°C). Cover a large baking sheet with baking parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, pumpkin cubes, fresh herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender when tested with a fork. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

#9. Mix-and-Match Holiday Fruit Crumble

A nice change from sugar- and wheat-laden holiday desserts, fruit crumbles are healthy(ish), delicious, and still retain much of their vitamins and minerals, even though baked.

Choose from any one of these to make 6 cups of fruit or create your own unique combination:

In addition to your chosen fruit combination, you’ll need:


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large glass baking dish greased with coconut oil, combine the fruit and arrowroot starch.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine rice flour, oats, nuts, raw honey, coconut oil, and spices. Mix together until slightly crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over fruit mixture.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown. Cool slightly and serve while warm and fragrant. (It also tastes delicious cold!)

#10. Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

While pie is rarely considered “healthy,” this is an old favorite made healthier and is a good choice for people who have given up dairy. The others won’t even notice the dairy is missing. The coconut milk will not impart a coconut flavor; it will be a rich and delicious pumpkin spice flavor.



  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (210°C). In a large bowl, beat the eggs until creamy. Add in pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and vanilla extract; beat until well combined. Add sugar, salt, and spices and beat until completely combined.
  2. Into a dish containing the pie crust, pour the pumpkin filling over the crust. Cover the crust with foil or pastry shield to prevent burning. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The filling may still be a little wiggly in the center, but it will firm up as it cools.
  3. Allow pie to cool on a wire rack for two hours (remember not to rush this). Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

#11. Peppermint Fudge No-Bake Energy Bites

Is mint chocolate your guilty pleasure? Try these no-bake energy bites that are full of delicious and healthy ingredients… with nothing to feel guilty about.



  1. Into the container of a food processor, place almonds and process until finely chopped. Add dates and process until smooth. Add collagen and cacao powder, vanilla extract, peppermint oil, and coconut oil. Process for several minutes, until mixture begins to look well combined. Add a teaspoon of water, if necessary, to help it all combine. Add chocolate chips and pulse a few final times to combine well, making sure not to completely pulverize the chocolate chips; you want them chunky still.
  2. To roll into balls, take a heaping teaspoon of the mixture in your hands and roll it into a ball. The coconut oil will soften and it may be a little messy but it helps to bind these together. Place your choice of outer toppings (cacao powder, toasted coconut, or toasted chopped nuts) into a bowl and roll each bite through this.
  3. Place balls onto serving plate or container and refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving to solidify the coconut oil. Enjoy!

Watch a video of Katrina making the Peppermint Fudge No-Bake Energy Bites

We here at Organixx wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season, filled with the people you love… and lots of healthy, delicious foods. Want more healthy recipes? Click here to check out our recipe page.

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