The winter holidays are almost around the corner, but for somebody who has been diagnosed with a fatty liver, this doesn’t necessarily mean a feat like back in the old days. I usually find the winter holidays to be the most difficult period of the year: there are so many tempting foods and dishes and goodies and cookies and sweets everywhere that sticking to your diet is truly a challenge. However, we have to do that if we want to stay healthy and reverse the fatty liver!
I am here to help make things slightly easier for you by sharing some Christmas menu ideas that are safe for those suffering from a fatty liver. Trying to make things as festive as possible and break away from the regular diet is useful in keeping you sane and the winter holidays a happy event. There are actually a ton of great foods that you can cook for a special occasion: things that still taste good and are Christmasy enough, so there are no reasons for you to panic!
One thing that I usually do around this time of the year is to have a serious talk with my family and explain that my fatty liver is a special condition that requires special foods. I ask for them to be supportive – and that’s something I recommend you do as well. I am lucky enough to have a great wife who eats exactly what I eat during Christmas (and the rest of the year). She is also allowed – and actually encouraged – to eat things that I am not allowed to eat when she goes out, when I’m not around or hiding in the kitchen (yes, that happens too!).
The bottom line here is that you need the support of your family in order to stick to your diet and their support is more important during the winter holidays with so many temptations around. Usually, simply talking to them and explaining what you’re going through should be enough. Stay strong and stick to your diet.
These being said, as I have promised you, I am here to share some ideas of foods and dishes that would be suitable for the winter holidays or Christmas menu if you have a fatty liver / NAFLD.
(Please don’t forget to follow the notes – if any – I make to these recipes in order to make them 100% fatty liver safe and a lot healthier overall!)
Appetizers for NAFLD
Pepita Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms
My notes: These delicious mushrooms become even healthier for us if we replace the Parmesan cheese with a low fat version. Also, make sure to use extravirgin olive oil or use none at all (and add a bit of water instead for the mixture).
Spinach & Brie-Topped Artichoke Hearts
My notes: Although it’s the brie that gives the amazing flavor, try replacing it with low fat cheese, mix low fat cheese with brie (50-50) or just use less brie!
Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds
My notes: These are extremely easy to make and delicious! They are also great as snacks: just make sure you don’t overdo it if the parmezan cheese on top! Similar treats can be made using carrots slices or aubergine slices, although the latter can get a little soft.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango Bites
My notes: You can go wild with this and add other goodies if you want to. Add other fresh vegetables like cucumbers, you can add a few olives as well or even some lean roasted chicken / turkey meat!
Soups for fatty liver
Most homemade soups work here, but I’m not really a big soup guy. Make sure you don’t add too much fat (and keep the added sugar to zero). I have below for you two types of delicious soups that are also a bit more special – perfect for this special occasion!
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
My notes: Replace the cream with Greek yogurt or plain yogurt to keep the fat intake low!
Mexican Chicken Lime Soup
My notes: As delicious as they sound, you might have to forget about the tortilla chips. Add only if they are homemade or as natural as possible (few ingredients) and don’t overdo it!
Main courses for fatty liver
Broccoli and Radish Salad with Gorgonzola
My notes: You probably have had your fair share of salads lately, but I have a few more recommendations for you. I am trying to keep things special for this special occasion, as you will see! But with this delicious salad, you have to make one small change that won’t ruin the taste: replace the blue cheese salad dressing with plain yogurt. That’s all!
Creamy Cucumber Salad
My Notes: I eat this all the time, but most people don’t. It’s basically tzatziki with larger cucumber bits. Just replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt or plain yogurt and you’re done! Get the recipe here
Rotisserie Chicken Christmas Salad
My Notes: Use Greek Yogurt or plain yogurt for the dressing, instead of the mayo.
Winter Citrus Broccoli Salad
My notes: This one goes well without any added sugar, which we should avoid at all costs anyway. Also, make sure you replace the mayo with Greek or plain yogurt.
Lemon Chicken with Veggies
My notes: You can use turkey instead of the chicken, if you prefer. Also, I would use less oil: 4 or 3 tablespoons should be enough! I would personally remove the green beans as well and replace them with chopped onions (which are a must in my opinion) or carrot slices. The author also recommends replacing them with asparagus, which might be a good idea as well! Also, make sure you don’t eat too many of those delicious potatoes per meal!
Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats
My notes: Replace the pasta sauce (if its not 100% natural) with homemade or 100% natural tomato juice.
Baked Chicken Fajita Roll-Ups
Stuffed Squash with Quinoa Cranberries and Kale
My notes: If you want to keep the carb intake lower, you can safely ignore the cranberries
Dessert for NAFLD
Unfortunately, we do have to keep the sweets intake as low as possible. However, I did find some desserts that are safer than most of the other options. Don’t forget though: eat just a little, as a treat and don’t consider any of these desserts things you could consume on a daily basis or in large quantities! Consider them a treat for the holidays and enjoy!
My notes: Instead of the sugar, use 1 tablespoon of raw honey. If you really must add the sugar (which you don’t), add just 1 tablespoon instead of 3!
Deep-Dish Apple Pie
My notes: When preparing the filling, don’t use any sugar at all, or use just half of the light brown sugar to keep the carbs low (and no granulated sugar).
Chocolate Fudge Pie
My notes: This is a truly mouth-watering delight. Make sure you use the crust recommended here in order to keep carbs at a minimum. This is a must, in my opinion!
And there you have it: a ton of ideas for amazing winter holidays foods for those who were diagnosed with a fatty liver. There are even more options out there if you are a good cook and most of the recipes we can find can be turned into safe(r) ones for those with NAFLD. Just remember to keep the added sugars and fats low and you should be fine. Or, if you want to keep it safe and not risk eating something that might not be good for you – you still have a ton of options above.
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