Today’s post is brought to you by my amazing and beautiful friend/health advocate/faithful supplier of a local milk share, Jazmine. Enjoy her take on a healthier cheese and check out her work with Zilphy’s Garden!

Holiday cheese balls and crackers! My pre-holistic relationship with food was definitely pleasurable, at least in the moment. I understand how this can be a hard time of year, particularly for those that are beginning a journey to change their eating habits.

For many, winter holiday food is synonymous to comfort and home. The season also brings with it social anxiety, family stress, work stress, and delicious food EVERYWHERE! The pull to give in to the temptations all around is so strong. Why do these holiday cravings seem to help with insecurities, social stress, and general good feelings?

Most of the foods that make us “holiday happy” are processed carbohydrates, foods that contain glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, dextrose, starch, corn syrups, raw sugar, or honey. Even if desserts aren’t your thing, the carbohydrate factor of your holiday favorites is releasing dopamine and telling your brain, “This is delicious. I’m so happy right now. Let’s do that again!”

Food is a great thing. It can make us feel wonderful. But just because a food gives us good feelings doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for us. We crave the bad even more than the good. Making good food decisions can be overwhelming this time of year.

If you don’t know where to start, here are two simple tips that can help you throughout the holidays.

  1. Do not skip a real food meal just because you’re going to a party. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds before your social engagement and you’ll be less likely to give in to temptation and overindulge.
  2. BYOF (Bring Your Own Food). This ensures that there will definitely be something yummy for you to enjoy that will not sabotage your good intentions and that will keep you feeling happy and social.

You CAN have your cheese and eat it too! Ditch the prepackaged extra carbohydrate laden cheeseballs and whip one up yourself. Try this super simple recipe for a delish ball or spread.

Smoked Wild Salmon Cheese Ball

  • 1 Package of Organic Cream Cheese
  • 2-4 ounces of wild smoked salmon
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • chopped fresh chives to taste
  • Topping: Crispy Almond Slices (or Salmon Roe if you’re feeling fancy)

Soften the cream cheese and flake the salmon before mixing ingredients minus your topping together in a bowl. After ingredients are mixed roll the mixture into a ball shape and roll the ball over your almonds until covered. Serve with crackers, crusty bread, or veggies and enjoy!

Happy Holidays from the Zilphy’s Garden wellness team!

Jazmine LeBlanc is a Personal Wellness Designer with Zilphy’s Garden where she works with people who need a little extra help reaching their personal wellness goals. You can follow her personal ramblings and projects at or on