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Blog: Happy Holidays...Ho Ho Ho Hold the Fat!

Well we are now officially on the final countdown to Christmas, everywhere you look there are decorations up and the carols are being played in almost every store now….my where does the time go?

The one thing that everyone says this time of year is: “I know I’m going to gain this season, so why not go for the gusto and buy those chips, chocolates, and cookies.” Well just because it’s that festive time of year; where eating with loved ones is the norm, this doesn’t mean you have to wreak havoc on your waistline. Let me share with you some good holiday “rules” and you can remove “shed the last 10 pounds” from your New Year Resolution list!

Don't go to a party hungry: we often eat faster and more when we are hungry - therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at the party. If it’s Potluck take a veggie tray with a homemade dip, you’ll be the hero with something homemade!!!

Watch your portion: treat yourself to a nice drink, dessert, chocolate or sweets without guilt, but always watch your portion. Go for small portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key. I always ask myself: “Is this going to provide me with any nutritional value for my body?” If my answer is NO then I pass on it….however a taste won’t hurt!!!

Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items: high fat food items can be found in fried food, cream-based soup, cheese-filled casseroles, pies, processed meals, such as salami and sausages, some pastries and baked goods.

Try different versions of eggnog: traditional eggnog is usually made with egg yolk and thick cream. Google "low fat egg nog" and you will find lots of low fat eggnog recipes. If you buy commercial eggnog, you will be delighted to find low-fat or fat-free egg nog out there - we can even find soy nog!

Try other versions of alcohol: instead of beer, cider, Bailey's and Kahlua, try dry wine, Bloody Marys or spirits with diet mixer which have fewer calories. Remember: Calories from alcohol tend to be stored in the abdomen. People who are overweight actually gain weight more easily when they consume alcohol. However I would recommend you skip this altogether and go for some sparkling water with a touch of cranberry juice….healthy and still looks festive!!!

Drink plenty of water: alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body.
Physical activity: take nice brisk walks with your
loved ones, or pets and enjoy their company in the
holiday season. Take the camera along too, you never know what photo opportunity will arise….

I know it’s the holiday season and the last thing you want to do is focus on “rules” and watch what you eat. However, if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight this is the time of year where people can really put on weight (up to 10 pounds), and every time you gain and lose only to gain again it’s very hard on your metabolism. Keeping your focus while still allowing for small indulgences will be the key to a successful and HEALTHY holiday season.

So leave the cookies for Santa, but why not bake a batch of healthy cookies for him form this list of great holiday recipe ideas!!! Cause let’s face it….he could use a little help……

If you are having a hard time knowing what to eat this holiday season, why not check out our December special?!! Let us do your planning, and all you have to do is prepare and dine with loved ones.

This time of year the motto is: Eat (healthy), Drink (plenty of water), and Be Merry (we re surrounded with loved ones afterall).

Healthier Holiday Treats

Peanut Butter Clusters
10 ounces Peanut Butter Chips
1/2 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup regular oats, uncooked
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions: Microwave chips in a bowl on high power until melted, about 1-1/2 minutes. Stir. Add remaining ingredients; mix thoroughly. Using your hands, firmly roll into 1-inch balls. Cool.

Yield: 3 dozen balls

Nutrition information per ball:
Calories: 64
Protein: 2g
Fat: 3g
Carbohydrates: 7g
Fiber: 0
Sodium: 19mg

Orange Fruit Nut Truffles
1-1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup orange-essence dried plums (prunes)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate-covered raisins (or plain raisins if preferred)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: In a food processor with the knife blade, blend all ingredients until a dough-like ball forms. Using your hands, roll into 1-inch balls.

Optional: Top each with a walnut piece.

Yield: 3 dozen balls

Nutrition information per ball:
Calories: 62
Protein: 1g
Fat: 3g
Carbohydrates: 8g
Fiber: 1g
Sodium: 1mg

Mint Chocolate Clusters
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon mint extract
½ cup pecan pieces
2/3 cup Cherrios
1/3 cup M&M’s mini baking bits (or raisins)

Directions: Microwave chocolate chips in a bowl on high power until melted, about two minutes. Stir in mint.

Thoroughly stir in remaining ingredients. Using a teaspoon, drop 1-1/2 inch pieces on wax paper. Cool.

Yield: 2 dozen pieces

Nutrition information per piece:
Calories: 68
Protein: 1g
Fat: 4g
Carbohydrates: 7g
Fiber: 1g
Sodium: 8mg

Champagne Fooler
1/3 cup chilled unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice about 1/2 cup chilled club soda

Directions: Chill a champagne glass or wineglass.

Measure apple and lemon juices into a measuring cup.
Add enough club soda to make a total of 3/4 cup; stir gently to blend.
Pour into chilled champagne glass or wineglass.
Serve immediately.

Recipe makes one serving.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 40
Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 25mg

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