A Healthier Holiday Meal

The bounty that comes with the holiday season can be nothing short of overwhelming. So, how can you still enjoy your favorite meal but stay true to your health goals? Here are a few tips that will help you have your cake (or turkey dinner) and eat it, too!

  • Turkey. Choose roasted turkey breast (without the skin), and avoid a lot of extra saturated fat and calories.

  • Gravy. Refrigerate your gravy and them skim off the fat that forms at the top. You'll still get all of the flavor of the gravy without the extra saturated fat.

  • Dressing/Stuffing. Be creative and try using another grain instead of bread for your dressing or stuffing. One of my favorites is this farro stuffing. Have to have a traditional bread-based stuffing? Then load up on veggies - more onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and others will boost its nutritional value.

  • Mashed Potatoes. This is an easy one, since cauliflower's all the rage these days. Substitute cauliflower for potatoes in this awesome recipe. If you're not quite ready to go there, start with half potatoes and half cauliflower to ease into the idea. But if you're totally anti-cauliflower, don't worry! Just use skim or low-fat milk and/or chicken broth instead of whole milk and butter.

  • Desserts. There are so many substitutes you can make without sacrificing flavor. Here are a few of my favorite tricks:

  • Try to go crustless. Believe me, you won't miss it one bit, especially in a delicious recipe like this.

  • If a recipe calls for heavy cream, try evaporated skim milk instead.

  • Try subbing in some apple sauce or other fruit puree for the oil in baked recipes.

  • Next time you bake with white flour, try it with half flour and half oats. Or half flour and half almond flour. Or half flour and half whole wheat flour. Or half flour, a quarter ground flax seeds and a quarter almond flour. Or...you get the idea.

  • I find cutting the sugar in any recipe by 1/3 makes no difference at all in the taste, yet saves you sooo many calories.

Boost the nutritional value in your desserts by adding a handful of flax seeds, chia seeds, or nuts. Topping desserts with fresh fruit will also do the trick.

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