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HEALTHY HOLIDAYS We are entering this beautiful holiday season filled with music, family, laughter, memories, food, parties and giving. Sometimes this can be an overwhelming time when trying to stay healthy. One major factor is SUPPORT! Get at least one person on board with your goals through the holidays, whether they join you in them or not. They can encourage you, help hold you accountable and maybe even stick up for you when others are telling you to “just relax, it’s the holidays!” =) Relaxing is awesome and very important to our overall, whole person health, but that doesn’t mean we have to give into every craving or try EVERY cookie at the party! Focus on the fun things you get to do and the people you enjoy spending time with. Grab a friend to join you for your workout session, that will help you get it in amid the craziness. Make a bucket list for this fall and soon-tobe winter season: jumping in leaves, a turkey trot, crisp morning walks, sledding, healthy cookie swap...fill your list with memory-making things that keep you active and enjoying friends and family. Follow your meal plan, so you can stay on track and enjoy the holiDAY, then follow your cleanse days following. =) You got this!! Remember to ENJOY every minute, breathe deep and have fun! That’s the Girls Strong way!

Holiday Party Tips: 1. First tip for holiday parties: follow your meal plan. If you are eating clean, feeling full and energized every day, one party won’t throw you off. 2. Stay hydrated! When it gets cold, we sometimes slack on our water intake. Remember to get 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water, every day! A little extra during and after workouts too. =) 3. Don’t go hungry. Eat a clean snack or meal before you leave so you can spend the first hour or two enjoying conversation, not worrying about food. 4. Bring a dish to share that you can eat! Stock up on healthy appetizers, side dishes and snack recipes that you enjoy, and always bring one. Veggie platters with a clean bean dip or hummus are a great, quick option too. 5. Speaking of veggies, always start there. Find (or bring) the veggies at a party and start by filling up on those, then save a little space to savor a bite or two of a few other foods. 6. And SAVOR each bite. Enjoy them, don’t feel guilty about them. 7. Have fun and remember to relax! Enjoy yourself and then take time to pamper yourself when you get home. Sip on a cup of tea, take a warm bath, get in a good cardio or yoga session and SMILE!


two minute pre-shower workout! 30 jumping jacks 5 push ups 20 squats 10 burpees finish under 2 minutes for maximum impact!

APPETIZERS & SNACKS Bacon Wrapped Pear Slices

Good for meals


2-4 Pears, Sliced (6 pieces each) Bacon Slices (1 per pear slice) Cinnamon for dusting Toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap each pear in a figure-eight of bacon securing the ends with toothpicks. Dust with cinnamon and place in a baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until bacon is browned and pears are cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve warm.

All Day

Maple Meatballs

1lb Breakfast Sausage (no sugar added) 1 Sweet Potato 4oz Button Mushrooms 1/2 Yellow Onion, peeled 2 tbsp Maple Syrup 5-6 Slices of Bacon 1 Garlic Clove, minced Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place your bacon slices in a pan over medium heat. Cook on both sides until crispy, place on a paper towel to soak up the excess fat and cool, then dice up into small pieces that would fit well in meatballs. Place your sweet potato in a food processor with the shredding attachment. Shred your sweet potato, remove contents, then shred it once more. You want it pretty fine. Then shred your onion and mushrooms in the same container with the sweet potato that was shredded twice. Add your sweet potato, mushrooms, and yellow onion to a bowl along with your breakfast sausage, maple syrup, garlic clove, diced bacon, and salt and pepper and mix well. Your hands are your best tools. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet then start making your meatballs, using an ice cream scoop so they are all the same size. Roll the scooped out balls in your hands and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all your ingredients are gone. Bake for 30-35 minutes until meatballs are golden brown and completely cooked through.

SOUPS & SALADS Pumpkin Apple Soup

2 – 15 oz cans Pumpkin Puree 6 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock 2/3 cups Applesauce 2 Sweet Apples, diced 1 small Onion, diced 1/2 tsp Black Pepper 1/2 tsp Sage 1/4 tsp Cinnamon 1/2 tsp Thyme 1/2 cup Coconut Milk (canned) Sea Salt Olive Oil


Preheat large soup pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Add diced onion, apples and a little salt. Saute until onions are translucent. Add chicken or vegetable stock, apple sauce, and spices. Bring to a boil and cook until apples are very tender. Add pumpkin and cook for 10 – 15 minutes over medium heat. Use a submersible blender to blend soup until it is smooth. You can also use your blender to blend the soup in batches. Add canned coconut milk to soup and heat through, but do not boil. Add water if desired to thin out more. Remove from heat and serve.


Nectarine Basil Cucumber Salad

2 Cucumbers 3 large or 4 medium sized Nectarines 1 cup Fresh Basil

With a peeler, remove skins from cucumbers. With a paring knife, remove pit of nectarine and cut into 1-2 inch size pieces. Rip basil into 1-2 inch size pieces. Gently toss. Eat immediately, this doesn’t store well. =)

*Substitute Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes for Cucumbers or in place of Nectarines try Peaches, Apricots or even fresh Blackberries for a change of pace, and color!

FAVORITE SIDES Mashed Faux-tatoes

1 large head of Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 6 cups) 6-8 Tbsp Coconut Oil 3-6 Tbsp Coconut or Almond Milk (unsweetened) 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 1/8 tsp Ground Pepper Garlic, to taste (optional)

All Day

Cover Cauliflower in a large pot with water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until tender (15 min). Drain. Blend in food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients, until smooth. Serve!

All Day

Green Bean Casserole

1 Red Onion, sliced Caramelize the onions by adding half a tbsp 1 tbsp Coconut Oil Coconut Oil to a wide bottomed saucepan over 2 cups Parsnips low heat. Add the onions and allow to for 30-45 1 1/2 cups Mushrooms, chopped minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of 3 Garlic cloves, minced water if they begin looking too dry. While cooking, 1 1/2 cups Water chop parsnips and steam for 10 minutes (in pan 1 1/2 tsp Salt with little water), until soft. Set aside to cool. 1 1/2 to 2 lbs Green Beans, cut 1-2� pieces Steam green beans for about 8 minutes, until Pepper, to taste crunchy but tender. Now saute mushrooms in same pan as onions (onions removed). Add the other half tbsp of Coconut oil to pan and heat to med-high. Add garlic to mushrooms, about 5 minutes. Pour half garlic-mushroom mixture into a pan with the green beans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend parsnips and other 1/2 garlic/mushroom mix. Add water and puree. Season to taste. Pour mixture over green beans and mushrooms. Stir until coated. Top with caramelized onions and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


Cranberry Sauce

12oz Fresh Cranberries 3/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup 1/3 cup Water 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon Juice & Zest of 1/2 Lemon 1 tsp Fresh Ginger, minced

Wash cranberries. Combine water, maple, lemon, ginger and cinnamon in a pot over med-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, no longer. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes, allow to chill at least 6 hours before serving.

Apple & Onion Kale

Melt lard over medium-high heat in a large frying pan with a lid. Add the onion, apple, and garlic and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add kale and toss quickly until all leaves are coated. Pour in juice and stock, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer covered for 10 minutes until kale has softened



2 Tbsp lard 1 onion, diced 1 apple, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 bunches kale, sliced (large stalk and thick veins removed) 1/4 C apple juice 1/4 C beef stock

Candied Carrots 1lb Carrots, cut in 2� pieces 2 tbsp Coconut Oil 1/4 cup Maple Syrup pinch of Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Boil carrots in a pot of salted water. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until softened. Do not over cook! Drain the carrots, set heat to lowest temperature and return carrots to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook 3-5 more minutes. Serve hot!

THE MAIN DISH Check out this link for a few tips on preparing your turkey, plus a recipe to try!

Smoked Turkey, Baked Ribs, Roasted Turkey, Smoked Ribs, Glazed Ham...You Name It!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken or Turkey

All Day

1 whole Chicken or Turkey 10 (or more, depending on size) strips of thick cut Bacon, cut in half 1 Lemon 1 Onion 1 Sprig of Rosemary 6 cloves of Garlic 1 tbsp Sea Salt 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Halve the lemon and garlic cloves, quarter the onion (don’t bother peeling it). Pat the outside of the bird dry and sprinkle salt and pepper all over the skin and inside the cavity. Stuff with lemon, onion, garlic and rosemary, making sure not to over stuff. Place bacon slices over entire exposed surface of the bird, wrapping evenly in a single layer - ensuring no skin is left exposed. Set bird in a dutch oven or 12-14� diameter cast iron pan. Roast uncovered at 400 degrees for 90 minutes or until bird is cooked through. (Note: this recipe was used with a chicken, a large turkey will require more bacon and probably longer cook time).

DRINKS & DESSERTS Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

treat option

PIE CRUST – INGREDIENTS 1 Cup Coconut Flakes 1 Cup Coconut Flour ¾ Cup Dates ½ Cup Coconut Oil 3 tbsp Water 1 tbsp Honey ¼ tsp Sea Salt INSTRUCTIONS - CRUST Preheat oven to 350°. Place all dry ingredients including dates into a food processor and chop until mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Melt Coconut Oil and honey and pour into the food processor with the water, blend until mix comes together (you may need to open the lid and scrape the sides down a few times). Grease a loose bottom tart pan or pie dish with some coconut oil and start pressing the mixture in the bottom of the tin and up the sides to form a base (this mixture is too crumbly to roll out like pastry). After the pie base is evenly pressed into the tin, bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.

FILLING - INGREDIENTS 2 Cups of Steamed or Pureed Pumpkin 9oz of Coconut Cream 5 Sheets/ Leaves of Gelatin or 15g of Granulated Gelatin ¼ cup Boiling Water 3 tbsp Honey 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon 1 tsp Ground Ginger INSTRUCTIONS - FILLING

Pour all ingredients (apart from the gelatin & boiling water) into a large bowl and blend with a stick blender or beat well with a whisk. Completely dissolve gelatin in ¼ cup of boiling water and then add to the rest of the mixture and the blend again. Pour into tart shell(s) and refrigerate for 4-8 hours so the gelatin has time to set. * Serve with some coconut whipped topping (recipe on next page) and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

DRINKS & DESSERTS Coconut Whipped Cream

treat option

1 can (14oz) Coconut Milk 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Stevia, to taste (optional) Place can in the fridge, overnight. Open the can and scoop out the thick, white cream off the top, leaving the watery part in the can at the bottom. In a large bowl, whip the cream, vanilla and stevia (optional) on high until medium/firm peaks form. Top your favorite drinks and desserts!!! Enjoy the taste and health benefits! Lasts up to 3 days in the fridge, but may need to be re-whipped.

treat option

Pumpkin Caramel Bars

Caramel Layer: Pumpkin Layer: 10-12 Dates, pitted and soaked 1/2 cup Coconut Oil briefly in boiling water 1 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree (canned or fresh) 3 tbsp Water 1/8-1/4 cup Raw Honey 4-5 tbsp Full Fat Coconut Milk 1 tsp Cinnamon 1 tsp Pure Vanilla 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger dash of Sea Salt pinch of Sea Salt 1 tsp Pure Vanilla

Mix coconut oil, honey, pumpkin and spices together in a saucepan over medium heat. Once mixed together well, remove from heat and mix in vanilla, stir. Pour into an 8x8 pan and freeze to set. Meanwhile, add dates to your food processor and pulse until broken down. Add 1/2 the water and coconut milk and pulse to combine. Add remaining water, coconut milk, vanilla and salt. Pulse until well combined. Take pumpkin layer out of freezer after 45-60 minutes, top with date caramel and place back in freezer to completely set. Store in the refrigerator (or freezer)! Delish!!!

DRINKS & DESSERTS Apple-Cinnamon Lassi Drink


2 cups Coconut Yogurt 6 Tbsp Apple Butter 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into 4 glasses and serve cold! You can use Apple Pie Filling from your Regular Menu Dessert Recipes in place of Apple Butter.

All Day

Favorite Iced Tea 2-4 family size Tea Bags 1 Lemon Water Favorite Sweetener (I use liquid stevia, per glass not entire pitcher)

Boil water, add tea bags and steep for 20 minutes. Pour tea into 1 or 2 gallon container, squeeze 1/2 to whole lemon and mix in favorite sweetener, or let guests sweeten themselves.

Flavored Water Basil would be great too!

Fruit Salad


Favorite Fruits: Apples, Oranges, Banana, Kiwi, Mango, Berries, Grapes, Cherries, etc.

Chop all to roughly same size. Mix together in a bowl. Pour 1/4 cup Orange Juice over (if desired). Sprinkle with 1 packet stevia. Sit in fridge 3 hours or overnight to help mix flavors and create natural fruit juice. Serve cold and enjoy! *Try with Coconut Whipped Topping!

PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS Take a few minutes amid all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and take a deep breath. Close your eyes, maybe light a candle and make up a hot cup of tea. Think about your loved ones, favorite memories and traditions and begin writing some of these thoughts down on the bottom of this page. Remember to make time for what is really important this month and every month! Have a healthy, beautiful and strong holiday in body, mind and spirit!

Blessings List:

FOOD FOR SPIRIT Gratitude: The state of being grateful; Thankfulness. Living a life of gratitude...What does that really look like? My first thoughts are being content, even in the mundane; saying "thank you" often (and meaning it), especially to those closest to you and those serving you (yes, even those waitresses that give you attitude and that you are paying to bring you water - you still need to thank them!); to count your blessings, out loud - in front of your children or family; smile - the countenance of your face shows the posture of your heart (Proverbs 15:13, 27:19). Those are all great ways to show gratitude in our actions, behavior, words and life!   I'm still working on the simple, every day, showing gratitude in the mundane acts of life and before my children so they will learn by watching me.  Those times are the hardest for me.  Saying "thank you" when someone is serving me or blessing me is the easy part ... it's thanking God for my blessings even when it's raining and dreary, and I'm not feeling good or I'm exhausted.  That's what I am working towards.  I don't believe we can become gracious, strong women all on our own though.  We need the power of God's Word, His Truth to stand on.  So here are some truths we can apply, let soak into our spirits and stand on when it gets tough: Colossians 3:15 (Message) - "Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other.  None of this going off and doing your own thing.  And cultivate thankfulness.  Let the Word of Christ - the Message - have the run of the house.  Give it plenty of room in your lives.  Instruct and direct one another using good common sense.  And sing, sing your hearts out to God!  Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the Name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way." Philippians 2:14 (NLT) - "Do everything without complaining or arguing." Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT) - "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.   The Lord is near.   Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." "To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."  -  Johannes A Gaertner Lets be thankful all year long, making it our life goal to focus on thanking God for our blessings and showing gratitude to those around us, not just one day a year. =)

Check out She Reads Truth: Thanksgiving for a great 13 day Bible Study on gratitude!! This would make a wonderful Thanksgiving Day Count Down! =)

Girls Strong Thanksgiving Guide - Mini Version  
Girls Strong Thanksgiving Guide - Mini Version