No need to be a calorie Grinch this holiday!
check out this past posting for some ideas on healthy meal planning.
Start with those holiday appetizers. With so much of the meal yet to come, why waste calories on dips made with full-fat sour cream? Substitute low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt or nonfat sour cream for regular sour cream in all of your recipes this season, and no one will be the wiser. To put it in perspective: An ounce of sour cream has about 60 calories. An ounce of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has only 15 to 20 calories and an ounce of nonfat sour cream has about 25. The savings from even a few small scoops quickly add up.
The easiest way to cut unnecessary calories this season is to cut back on alcohol. For a portion-controlled alternative that will help you save calories, replace 2 ounces of wine with club soda. Since a 5-ounce glass of red or white wine has about 150 calories, and club soda has no calories, replacing just two ounces of the wine already saves you 60 calories toward another slice of pie.
That can of cranberry sauce you open at holiday dinners is full of sugar, corn syrup, and other added sweeteners. Even exercising portion control may not help — just a fourth of a cup of the canned stuff can have more than 100 calories. Make your own cranberry relish and cut out some of the sugar for a healthy holiday side dish. “Most recipes call for more sugar than you need. You can probably cut the sugar back by one-fourth to one-third or save even more calories by using sugar substitutes such as Splenda or stevia. A third of a cup of cranberry sauce made with a sugar substitute has only about 25 calories.
Skip the Casserole, Eat Fresh Green Beans
To make your green bean casserole a healthy holiday choice, instead of using full-fat cream of mushroom soup, use a reduced-fat version of the soup and you’ll save at least 40 calories per half-cup serving. Better yet, skip the soup and French-fried onions — just cut and steam fresh green beans and sprinkle them with slivered almonds before serving.
Skip White Flour Rolls, Eat Whole-Wheat Rolls
At 100 to 200 calories each, dinner rolls are an easy item to skip if you’re aiming for a healthy holiday, especially if you’re eating carbohydrate-packed stuffing. If you’re doing the cooking and still want bread with your meal, consider replacing the white flour in your favorite recipe for whole wheat. If you make cornbread or another recipe that calls for whole milk, replace the full-fat milk with low-fat buttermilk or thinned plain yogurt.
Skip Eggnog, Drink Cider
A glass of eggnog can easily have upwards of 250 calories, and more than half of your daily recommended dose of saturated fat. Swap eggnog for a glass of hot apple cider instead, and instantly save 100 to 150 calories and all the fat. If it’s just not a holiday without eggnog, make your own with egg substitute rather than eggs, fat-free milk in place of whole milk, and sugar substitute in place of sugar — you can still use vanilla and spices. Leave out the alcohol and you’ll save even more calories.
Skip Pecan Pie, Eat Pumpkin Pie
It’s hard to resist holiday desserts from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, but you can save about 200 calories by choosing pumpkin pie (300 calories a slice) over pecan pie (about 500 calories). Neither is exactly eating healthy, but with the pumpkin you’re getting lots of vitamin A, calcium and iron. If you really want pecans, Moore suggests skipping the pie and eating a handful of pecans sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. In either case, another option is to skip the crust entirely — that’s where most of the fat lurks — and save another 100 or so calories.