Most of us know well that Christmas is an indulgent time of year.

We are generally more prone to letting our hair down, drinking and eating whatever we feel like―or whatever is handed to us―and without a second thought, temptation has won.

The things we tell ourselves off for eating throughout the year suddenly seem accessible, and without nearly as much guilt.

We’re often aware that what we’re doing hardly constitutes a healthy Christmas, but we turn a blind eye in the name of enjoyment.

There’s nothing wrong with indulging ourselves in the things we like occasionally, and Christmas seems like the most acceptable time to do it―after all, everyone else is, right?

Christmas dinner goes down, followed by dessert, followed by sweets, and maybe the whole lot gets drenched in festive drinks too. Overindulgence comes at a price though…

All of this―combined with chocolates, cake and other sugary foods―adds up to make excess body fat, candida problems, and a lethargic start to the new year.

When those excesses hit the waistline, we find ourselves inwardly cringing at the workout efforts we’re going to have to make.

Who needs the hassle of working off Christmas excesses right through to spring or even summer?

If you’re in the habit of repeating this cycle over and over, you may be wondering if there’s a better way to get through Christmas; a way that won’t have us avoiding the mirror or hemorrhaging our finances on gym memberships come early January.

You bet there is! There is such a thing as a healthy Christmas, and it can still be an enjoyable one.

Here are a few good ways to pull this one off.

Healthy Christmas tip #1: Substitute fatty, dense foods with wholesome varieties

Christmas wholesome foods

Turkey may be tempting, but the awareness that meat may actually not be very good for you at all is growing rapidly.

Have you seen The Game Changers documentary on Netflix? If anything is going to open your eyes to the benefits of a plant-based diet versus its opposite, this will.

Apparently it dramatically boosted sales of plant-based meat substitutes, so it will probably serve as inspiration at the very least.

The reality is that a plant-based diet is much easier on your body―at any time of year.

Other plus points are that a healthy Christmas meal is likely to be a lot easier to prepare, and it can be just as flavoursome and filling as the traditional version.

For a start, you don’t need to substitute the delicious variety of vegetables and potatoes you would normally cook… except to be mindful of the oils you cook your meals in.

Instead of a turkey, why not opt for a delicious nut roast?

This recipe from Jamie Oliver promises to keep you satiated long into the night. It consists of quinoa, an onion squash, mushrooms…

It also has chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts and brazil nuts―so it’s packed full of healthy protein and omega3.

It’s flavoured with plenty of delicious herbs and spices, so don’t worry… you won’t miss the meat one bit!

Healthy Christmas tip #2: Get stuffed with gluten-free cranberry and pine nut stuffing

Hluten-free cranberry and pine nut stuffing

If Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas without a pile of stuffing on your plate, no problem.

You might think that if you’re opting for a healthy Christmas, you’ll have to forgo it.

Not so – you can stuff yourself full of stuffing, provided that it’s made from healthier ingredients. Here’s our Christmas gift to you:

Here’s a wild rice, cranberry and pine nut stuffing recipe that will have you coming back for more, year after year!

It contains healthy wild rice, mushrooms, chopped onions, sweet cranberries, pine nuts and good old Worcestershire sauce.

There’s a lot more that goes into its mouthwatering flavour though, so check out the recipe for full details.

Healthy Christmas tip #3: Switch up your festive snacks

If the thought of going without your beloved festive snacks fills you with dread, we have some good news for you.

There is no need to forsake your favourite seasonal bites, and hard as it might be to imagine, you can get still the same indulgent feeling without the unhealthy ingredients.

These vegan mince pies contain mixed fresh and dried fruit, black cherries in kirsch, roasted hazelnuts, cinnamon, ginger and all spice.

To make them even healthier, you can substitute the brown sugar for xylitol or stevia, or coconut palm sugar if you really want sugar in there.

How about these decadent and delicious Christmas bliss balls? They’re super easy to make, and you won’t feel the need to cram as many down your throat as possible, the way you might with processed, refined-sugar laden chocolates.

This recipe uses juicy and naturally sweet medjool dates, and the results will give any high-street Christmas sweets a run for their money.

Healthy Christmas tip #4: Make sure your dessert is healthy and raw

Raw desserts sound counterintuitive to the uninitiated, but they’re surprisingly good, we assure you.

How does a raw double chocolate cherry cheesecake sound? It will be hard to say no on the day, no matter how full you are―we promise―and the best thing is that it doesn’t contain any sugar.

Raw cacao is a superfood. It’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, which is a great start.

In it’s raw form, it’s come from the cacao bean and hasn’t been heat treated (that’s when it becomes high-street cocoa) or mixed with dairy.

This recipe consists of raw cacao, nuts, cherry extract, agave syrup, coconut oil and more. You’ll also make a tasty coulis to go on top―it’s the real deal.

Healthy Christmas tip #5: Limit alcohol consumption and keep up the exercise

This last tip may not come as a huge surprise, but we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you.

Substitute the alcohol for alcohol-free mocktails if you can, but if the booze pull is too strong, try to stick with organic red wine.

If you really want spirits, triple-distilled quality gin is healthiest.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep exercising, even if you only do it at home.

When the gyms are closed, a brisk walk or jog in fresh Christmassy temperatures does wonders for your immune system.

Take this advice on board and you’ll be rolling into the New Year with no need for resolutions, and the best possible start ahead of you.

MedFanatic wishes you a merry healthy Christmas, and good luck!