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How to have a healthier holiday

Don’t let the holidays derail your diet. Instead, follow some helpful hints to cut back on those holiday health mishaps.

To start off, remember to control your portions. You should make sure to have smaller portions of those foods that are high in nutrient lacking calories, like casseroles and desserts, but fill up on foods like veggies and turkey (preferably white meat). Also, eat slowly and savor each bite. The slower you eat, the faster you’ll feel full. After dinner, have a family fitness adventure. Instead of enjoying that nap on the couch, walk or hike off the meal. You won’t feel so over-stuffed.

Whether you’re preparing a dish to take to a family gathering or you’re preparing the whole meal, there are recipes with less unhealthy fats, sugar, and calories, as well as gluten free recipes galore. For example, instead of putting marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes, cut the potatoes in half, sprinkle with orange juice and a little brown sugar and then pop them in the oven.

Another tip would be to mash fresh cranberries for cranberry sauce instead of using canned cranberries. Canned cranberries, though they may taste delectable, are actually packed with sugar and extra calories that no one needs. Also, avoid greasy gravy. A great way to do so would be to use a fat separator or to refrigerate the pan juices and skim the fat off before making the gravy.

Do remember that by sacrificing the unhealthy fats, you’re not necessarily sacrificing flavor. Use low-fat buttermilk or low-sodium chicken stock instead of cream or whole milk in dishes like mashed potatoes or butternut squash. An even healthier option than mashed potatoes would be mashed cauliflower (an easy recipe you can find online).  

To end a meal, pumpkin pie is always the holiday favorite. But, try making it healthier by making the pies with unsweetened nut (almond or coconut) milk, half of the amount of sugar, a graham cracker crust, and light or fat free whipped topping. It’ll be lighter, but still very tasty!

Don’t forget to drink a lot of water throughout the day. By drinking water, you’ll lower your risk of overeating, while assisting your body in detoxing if you accidentally overindulge.