I love Christmas and all of the holidays that come this time of year, but lately I find myself dreading the festivities that come with them.

I was a firm believer in Santa for many years, and have since come to conclusion that Santa is more of an omnipresent being and we are the elves. Part of the fun in believing in Santa is leaving out the milk and cookies (the other part is finding the cookies only half eaten in the morning and stuffing them in your face before mom and dad come down to the tree), but now that I am becoming older and wiser, I am becoming more and more terrified of cookies and the deserts that come with the holiday territory. It’s not that I think that all sweets should be avoided like the plague, in fact they should be enjoyed like everything else– in moderation. My problem, however, is that I am addicted to processed sugar and flour– two of the worst “foods” on the planet.

I’m really good at not having sugar and processed flours in my cupboards and I’m an awful baker, so I rarely find cookies in front of me, but with the holidays being here, there are cookies EVERYWHERE! I know that white flour and white sugar are bad for me, but when someone tells me they’re made with love, I just have to have one! And then one turns into 5… I have a problem. I’m ready to admit it, but how can I enjoy the holiday parties, family gatherings, and even gifts that are laden with sugary goodness when all I can do is fight my cravings like a 2 pack-a-day smoker gone cold turkey?

Well, first of all, steer clear of the desert table! If you can’t see it, you’ll be less likely to eat it! But if you do find yourself at the desert table, try to go for the least processed desert you can find! Homemade deserts (not out of a box) are probably your best bet. You can almost guarantee that store-bought deserts will have nasty trans fats and partially hydrogenated rancid oils (Yuck!). If cookies are your only option, try to go for the gingerbread cookie. Holiday spices have a lot of health benefits. Ginger is a great tummy soother and has anti-inflammatory properties. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and other spices are beneficial, too! (For a full holiday spice report check out Dr. Mercola). Finally, go for a desert that has a lot of fats. If there is cheese cake or anything you can spread a nice slab of butter on, go for it! The fat will help to slow the insulin spike and keep you satiated longer and hopefully away from eating another desert.

I hope that some of these tips may have inspired you to stay away from the cookies and make better decisions in the face of tantalizing holiday spreads. I’m already feeling less helpless already myself!