Ah, ‘tis the season – the perfect way to kiss the year goodbye: Twinkling lights adorning the house, parties out the wazoo, and cool new gadgets and clothes to adore. Who doesn’t want to celebrate?
Any time there are holiday festivities, there are family and friends. Traditional dishes are lovingly prepared for a menu that’s so special it’s only served once a year.
Nervous about navigating the family holiday buffet? Don’t worry your pretty little cookies, because we have some simple, brilliant and totally doable tips to help you enjoy the holidays while still being healthy.
The kitchen is a great place for anybody to get involved in holiday celebrating. Think of your family’s favorite recipes and consider new, lighter versions. There are lots of ways to modify old favorites. For example, light cream cheese is a perfect substitute for full-fat cream cheese in Uncle Joe’s favorite cheesecake (but make sure you aren’t substituting more sugar for less fat). Consider nutrient-rich foods like sweet potatoes, which are packed with vitamin A and C; cranberries and grapes, which are full of antioxidants; and fiber-filled pumpkin seeds as substitutes for other seasonal ingredients. Decreasing the amount of butter or sugar in the baker’s best can also reduce calories without loosing flavor; you only need to eliminate a tablespoon to ¼ of a cup to make a difference!
The Internet contains a feast of recipes for any healthy eater. Or check out healthful cookbooks for some mouth-watering ideas. Uncle Joe will be thrilled to enjoy dessert that tastes as good as the original version, and you’ll feel like a holiday star when they get a bite of your awesome creation.
The Answer is Clear
Sip water all day long during the holidays, with each meal and in between. Try to drink at least a liter and a half a day (six to eight 8oz glasses) — it sounds like a lot, but you’ll get used to it. And believe it or not, it’s something your body needs. Water works to flush the fat out of your system, break down carbohydrates faster, and speed up your metabolism by approximately 30%. It is the guaranteed go-to when you’ve eaten one heap of mashed potatoes too many.
You Know the Rest
Take small amounts of your favorite dishes – hit the buffet only one time. In fact, when you fill your plate, do so in a way to allow room for seconds. After eating, wait ten minutes and you may find that you aren’t hungry so you can skip that second helping. Eat your veggies and fruit (try to consume four of each a day) and a protein with each meal (eggs, string cheese, nuts, and lean meat). Avoid more than one sweet treat and three starchy carbohydrates each day and you’ll enter 2012 feeling better than ever!