Your Healthy Christmas Feast is Served - Food Tips and Recipes - Oriental Remedies Group

Your Healthy Christmas Feast is Served – Food Tips and Recipes

It’s that time of the year again – it’s Christmas! Christmas is a time for us to celebrate and revel with those close to us and of course, that includes a huge, delicious meal to cap off the year. Most often than not, many people use the festivities as a reason to overindulge in alcohol, overly sweet desserts and beverages, and binge-eat heaps of food. But did you know that the type of food and quantity you are eating has a huge impact on your health?

You Are What You Eat

Binge-eating and overindulgence in alcohol/sweet beverages very often lead to weight gain, which brings in a whole other host of problems such as heart disease, Type II diabetes[1] and even mental issues such as depression[2].

In the TCM perspective, digestion is primarily governed by our Stomach and Spleen. Overeating festive foods and overconsumption of alcohol may result in:

  1. Weakened functions of the Spleen and Stomach
  2. Accumulation of heat in the Spleen and Stomach
  3. Dysfunction of the Spleen in transportation
  4. Internal retention of turbid phlegm and dampness
  5. Deficiency of Spleen Yang and Kidney Yang
  6. Qi stagnation and Blood stasis

Tip of the day: To prevent yourself from overeating, have some light salads or healthy proteins before feasting! As your stomach senses satiety after a period of time, filling your stomach with healthy greens or proteins before meals can help to reduce your total calorie intake.


Substitute your ingredients and opt for healthier choices

Most of the time, if you are getting ready-made dishes from an external source, they could be made up of ingredients that are less healthy. However, if you have the luxury of time to make your own Christmas dishes from scratch, try substituting some of the commonly used ingredients for healthier alternatives!


If a recipe calls for … Try switching to …
Butter/Margarine Organic butter / Olive oil / Applesauce / Prune puree / Coconut oil
Sour cream Fat-free plain yogurt
Milk chocolate Dark chocolate
Tortilla wraps Lettuce
Soy sauce Low-sodium soy sauce
Plain flour Whole wheat flour
Canned fruits Fresh fruits
White bread Wheat bread / Whole grain bread
Bread crumbs Rolled oats / Crushed bran cereal
Cream cheese Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese / Neufchatel cheese / Pureed low-fat cottage cheese
Table salt Pink Himalayan salt
Sugar Honey / Stevia / Maple sugar / Coconut sugar
Milk Fat-free milk / Almond milk / Coconut milk


If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try integrating TCM herbs into your Christmas recipes and create a fusion of East meets West dishes to wow the crowd. You will be surprised to learn that some Christmas dishes you have been cooking already use some of the more common herbs in TCM. Find out how to use these ingredients in the recipes below! (Remember to use these herbs in moderation!)


1. Fennel Seeds 茴香籽

    1.  Dissipates coldness and relieves pain
    2.  Promotes the movement of Qi and disperses stagnation in the Stomach and Spleen  to regulate and improve our digestive functions as well as gastrointestinal issues such as stomach bloating, gastric pains, flatulence and constipation.
    3.  Warms the Kidney and Liver to help boost fertility and menstrual health. Also reduces menstrual cramps, and improves bone health
    4.  Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties[3]


2. Cinnamon 肉桂

    1. Reinforces Fire and strengthens Yang energy to help keep the body warm
    2. Boost Kidney Yang which is essential for fertility and menstrual health
    3. Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
    4. Reduces cholesterol levels
    5. Lowers blood sugar and blood pressure


3. Nutmeg 肉豆蔻

    1. Promotes Qi circulation to prevent diseases such as joint pain and edema. Good Qi flow can also help with emotion management and maintain good digestive health
    2. Warms the Spleen and the Stomach which helps treat diarrhea
    3. Reduces symptoms associated with digestive disorders, like nausea and vomiting


4. Turmeric 姜黄

    1. Invigorates the Blood and removes stagnation of Qi or Blood in the body to help to alleviate pain, chest tightness and regulate mood!
    2. Dispels wind-cold-damp pathogens externally to prevent joint pains(痹证)
    3. Warms the body and restores Yang in the body to help keep the body warm
    4. Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [4]
    5. Improves Liver health which could possibly be damaged due to overconsumption of alcohol
    6. Reduces cholesterol levels


5. Cloves 丁香

    1. Replenishes Yang energy and warms the body
    2. Warms the Stomach which relieves vomiting from the overconsumption of cold foods (e.g. sashimi, watermelon)
    3. Regulates Qi flow in the Stomach, which helps to improve digestion, reduce bloating or stomach discomfort


6. Thyme 麝香

    1. Dispels Wind pathogens, which commonly causes joint pains or flu
    2. Promotes the circulation of Qi which helps with pain management, chest tightness, stress management as well as mood regulation
    3. Tonifies Spleen and Stomach’s Qi and Yang energy which improves digestion and helps with gastrointestinal issues such as stomach bloating, gastric pain, flatulence, and  constipation
    4. Tonifies and warms the Lungs which improves immunity and prevent cough or flu
    5. Helps reduce blood pressure


6 Healthy Christmas Recipes For The Holiday Season


1. Healthy Deviled Eggs

Photo for illustration purposes only



  • 12 Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Plain Greek Yoghurt
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Dried Fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp Dried Dill
  • Smoked Paprika or Paprika (to taste)
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice


  1. Boil the eggs (hardboiled) and cut them into halves.
  2. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Place the egg yolks into a large bowl, set aside the egg whites.
  3. Mix in the yoghurt, sea salt, tarragon, dill, paprika, black pepper and lemon juice into the egg yolks.
  4. Pipe the egg yolk mixture into the egg white shells.


2. Herb-Infused Roasted Turkey Breast

Photo for illustration purposes only



  • 3kg Bone-in Turkey Breast
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage Leaves
  • 1 tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 2 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius.
  2. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in the roasting pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  4. Loosen the skin on the turkey breast from the meat gently and smear half the paste directly on the meat evenly. Then, smear the rest of the paste on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
  5. Roast the turkey for 2 hours, or until the skin is golden brown.
  6. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  7. Slice and serve!


3. Healthy Turmeric Chicken Stew

Photo for illustration purposes only



  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Brest
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • ½ Red Onion
  • 1 Small Eggplant
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger Root, minced
  • 2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • ½ cup Low-sodium Chicken Broth
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Chopped Parsley (optional)
  • 3-5 Chopped Chilli Padi(optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high-heat.
  2. Add chicken; cook until browned and no longer pink in the centre (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add sweet potatoes and onion, cook and stir until onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add eggplant, garlic, ginger and turmeric; cook until fragrant (about 1 minutes).
  5. Pour in broth and simmer stew until thickened, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  6. Serve hot with rice/quinoa!


4. Christmas Cinnamon Fruit Salad

Photo for illustration purposes only



  • 2 Kiwis
  • 10 Strawberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 10 Lychee
  • 150ml Plain Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 10g Goji Berries


  1. Remove peels from banana, kiwis, and cut into cubes.
  2. Cut away the leaves of the strawberries and cut them into halves.
  3. Remove peel and seed from the lychee and cut them into halves as well.
  4. Mix in yoghurt, cinnamon powder and Goji berries into the fruit mixture.


5. Golden Milk With Turmeric

Photo for illustration purposes only


Ingredients: (1 serving)

  • 250ml Hot Water
  • 1 tbsp Organic Almond Flour
  • ½ tsp Organic Turmeric Powder
  • ⅓ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2cm slice of Ginger, peeled
  • ⅔ tsp Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ⅛ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2-3 Black Peppercorns
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Maple Syrup
  • Small Pinch of Sea Salt


  1. Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend well until smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer to a serving cup and enjoy!


6. German Christmas Wine With Herbs

Photo for illustration purposes only



  • 1L Water
  • 300ml Red Wine
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice
  • 150g Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tea Bag (black, red or flower tea)
  • 2 sticks Cinnamon
  • 5 pieces of Star-anise
  • ½ tsp Cloves
  • 4 slices of Ginger


  1. Place water and all herbs and spices into a big pot and boil for 1 hour
  2. Add lemon juice, orange juice, sugar and the tea bag into the pot and boil for another 15 minutes
  3. Add red wine and serve warm!


Some final tips for those who love your wine and alcoholic drinks…

We know half of you reading this will still indulge in alcohol even though we told you not to, so here are some tips to relieve your hangover if you got carried away with your drinks! 


  1. Before drinking, line your stomach with greasy food or turmeric

This can slow down the rate of absorption into your system.


  1. Drink water or honey water in between pints and before sleeping

Alcohol causes your body to expel water faster than usual (diuretic) [5], which may cause dehydration. By drinking water in between, it can reduce hangover effects caused by dehydration. In addition, honey provides sodium, potassium and fructose to your body which helps your liver metabolise alcohol more readily.


  1. Load up vitamins

Tomato juice or orange juice can help to replenish nutrients, vitamins, and water in your body. For instance, Vitamin B is often highly depleted by alcoholism and it is necessary for energy and cognition function, Vitamin C helps to restore cellular health damaged by alcohol, Zinc aids in restoring the immune system and hormonal balance!


  1. Have some porridge if you wake up with nausea and indigestion

Porridge helps to warm your gut, protect your stomach and reduce indigestion effectively.


  1. Drink Lobed Kudzuvine flower tea

Lobed Kudzuvine flower has been traditionally used to treat alcohol-induced problems such as hangover due to its bioactive components, whose properties can potentially protect the liver against acute alcohol-induced hepatic damage. [6]

This article is written by Physician Ang Lee Fang(Oriental Remedies Group, Singapore), a registered TCM physician certified by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB)

Physician Ang Lee Fang


Physician Ang graduated from the double degree programme of Biomedical Sciences and Traditional Chinese Medicine at NTU. Even before graduation, she started working part-time at Oriental Remedies to learn on-the-job and accumulate valuable experiences and skills as she shadowed the other veteran physicians.

As a lifelong learner, Physician Ang is always pursuing opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge to serve her patients better. During her understudy stint at Beijing’s Dong Fang Hospital Dermatology’s department, she became interested in studying and treating severe skin conditions such as Eczema and Lupus. Female health and pain management are also some areas that Physician Ang is interested in.

Physician Ang is a modern sinseh, she seeks to bring across both Western biomedical perspective and TCM viewpoints to the table, providing new-gen patients a clearer and in-depth understanding of their diagnosis which allows a definitive approach to achieving sustainable wellness together. She is relentless in ensuring her patients feel better, accompanying her patients every step on their journey to recovery.

Note: all words in Italics mentioned henceforth refer to the TCM organ system and not the anatomical organs/terms referenced in western medicine.



The content on this page is for information and educational purposes only. Such medical information may relate to disease, injury, drugs, and other treatments, medical devices, and/or health products. Medical information does not amount to advice, and if advice is needed an appropriate professional help should be sought. The disclaimer asserts that no warranties or representations are given in respect of the medical information and that the website operator should not be held liable if a user suffers any injury or loss after relying upon the medical information.


[1] Serious Health Problems Caused by Binge Eating Disorder (

[2] The Link Between Binge Eating and Depression ( BMC cancer17(1), 621.

[3] Inhibitory effect of different fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) samples and their phenolic compounds on formation of advanced glycation products and comparison of antimicrobial and antioxidant activities Food chem. Dec 2016; 15; 213:196-205

[4] Curcumin as a wound healing agent
Life Sciences. Oct 2014; Vol 116(1): 1-7

[5] The Diuretic Action of Weak and Strong Alcoholic Beverages in Elderly Men: A Randomized Diet-Controlled Crossover Trial
Nutrients. 2017 Jul; 9(7): 660

[6] Protective effects of genistein and puerarin against chronic alcohol-induced liver injury in mice via antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic mechanisms
J Agric Food Chem, 64 (2016), pp. 7291-7297

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