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What Do the Holidays Mean to You?

For me, Christmas is family, friends and food and is my absolute favourite time of the year.
Each Christmas I make the usual must-haves – nuts and bolts, peanut butter balls, butter tarts, tamari almonds and spiced nuts and chocolate peanut clusters. Christmas Eve is Tourtierre (from Choices Deli!), salad and an early dip into the goodies, then Christmas movies and the requisite tracking of Santa on NORAD.

Christmas morning is a flurry of stocking and gift opening and the devouring of the Christmas wifesaver (a somewhat dated name to be sure!) – a popular 90’s casserole that my husband would make the day before and just pop into the oven Christmas morning. Then we relax and slowly gear up for the main event – Christmas dinner with extended family at our place or my sister’s. Of course this year will be a stark departure from that, just our immediate family bubble for Christmas, but we’re excited about an online extended family zoom trivia night to replace our typical get-together and keep everyone safe!
While we have traditions that will never change, I’m increasingly open to new things and try not to cling too tightly to the way things were; our daughter now lives in Manitoba with her husband, so we welcome them home every other Christmas. Even traditional recipes get tweaked to reflect my current knowledge of nutrition. Throughout everything, I try to stay focused on sharing what matters most: joy, hope, love and the profound certainty of our interconnectedness. This year in particular has reminded us all of what truly is important.

I love my job as store nutritionist for Choices Markets here in South Surrey. As a nutrition educator, I’m delighted to help people eat their best diet while helping them wade through the sometimes complex world of nutrition.
Here’s one of our easy, family favourite Christmas recipes – I wish you and yours all the very best of the season and for all of us, a brighter new year!

Nuts and Bolts

Preheat the oven to 250F.


4 heaping cups Rice Chex (gluten free) or Shreddies cereal
4 heaping cups Whole O’s (gluten free) or Cheerios
4 cups of a combination of peanuts and cashews, proportionate to your preference
1 400 gm bag of pretzel sticks (gluten free or regular)
2-3 tbsp garlic powder (quality and potency vary considerably so start with 2 tbsp and adjust as necessary)
½ lb grass fed salted butter

Preheat the oven to 250F.
Combine all ingredients except garlic powder and butter in a large roasting pan. Melt butter and whisk in garlic powder. Drizzle garlic/butter mixture evenly over the nuts and bolts and bake for 1 hr, stirring every 10 minutes.
Let cool and store in mason jars for the holiday season!

D’Arcy is a graduate of the CSNN and specializes in low carb, keto, and intermittent fasting eating styles. She’s passionate about educating and inspiring people to achieve their health goals and to simplify their relationship with food. D’Arcy avidly follows research in the “longevity meets health span” field and is keen to share her knowledge with others. When not at work, you’ll find her cooking, hiking, biking, writing poetry, meditating and exploring new places. Find D’Arcy at our South Surrey location!