Healthy Eating Options During the Holiday Season
It’s the holiday season; meaning food, food, and more food. And how many of us find ourselves stricken with guilt during this time, rushing to the gym only after New Years to atone for our heavy appetites? I know I do. So here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up to keep in shape while enjoying some delicious eats.
Prepare meals which match your decorations. Low-fat Parmesan can be added as a “snow” decoration, and substitutes the need for heavier cheeses. Green leafy vegetables with carrots, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, orange (golden) and red beets, or hard-boiled eggs sprinkled on top. The beauty of these ingredients is that if you can’t do fresh, they work well sauteéd and thrown on the side of poultry dishes.
Don’t forget Almonds! These guys are an appetite suppressant and pair well with any salad, poultry, or stuffing recipes.
Get rid of the cheese! Don’t tell anyone I said that…
Appetizers are commonly stuffed with cheese. Stop it! Make it fresh, make it bold. Bring out natural flavors. Red and Black beans tossed with fresh corn, cilantro, tomatoes, and purple onions, serve as a tasty appetizer to any meal. Toss on a dollop of sour cream and guacamole, some kale chips, and you’ve got happy guests. Throw some jalapeños in there to give it an extra kick to the mouth.
If you need the cheese, select half the amount suggested in recipes, and opt for low-fat options.
Fiber over starch
Red and golden beets are chock-full of vitamin A, antioxidants, low in calories, and dense in fiber. Rather than throw another potato dish on the table select beets. They are filling, provide color and vibrancy, and add variety to the selection.
A simple fun festive recipe to decorate the table and stomachs with is as follows:
Serving size 4 people
2 tbsp of coconut oil (or olive oil)
2-3 large red and golden beets, washed and sliced (leave skin on)
Dash of sea salt
Begin on medium heat and warm coconut oil. Coconut oil adds in a flavor of Caribbean cuisine, and is considered one of your healthier oil options. It is solid at room-cold temperatures, and liquifies at warmed temperatures. Throw in beet slices and move around to coat beets in oil. Place a lid over the pan and come back to stir within the first five minutes. Sprinkle on the dash of sea salt and cover with lid. Make sure bottoms don’t burn by shifting sauteéd vegetables every two three minutes. Beets are done when slightly translucent near edges and are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
Smart selections and homemade
Other options include gluten-free cookies, breads, cakes, or gingerbread houses for the kids. Match all of these with low-fat and corn syrup-free icings or frostings. Homemade whip cream rids the need to shop through freezers for low-fat, corn syrup-free toppings.
A simple whip cream sugar to cream recipe is 2 tbsp to every 1 cup. That’s sugar to cream. Blend the mixture until consistency is that of whipped topping. You can keep it low-fat and select a light cream option from your grocery store, and modify the amount of sugar you’d like to add.
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