The holiday season is often filled with events including family coming into town, neighborhood gatherings with friends, and community parties. All of these events can become stressful and overwhelming especially if you are hosting others. This is also the time of year known for indulging in your favorite dishes from your childhood and baking sweet treats! Though it MAY be the “most wonderful time of the year”, it is important that we slow down and pay attention to the food and drink we are consuming so we can enjoy while not overindulging.
Here are a few simple “tricks” to enjoy your “treats” and still feel great:
-When making dips for a party, use Greek yogurt as a base in place of sour cream. This will be lower in calories and provide a bit more protein for this popular appetizer.
-Add a variety of fruit and veggie slices to your meat and cheese platter. This will add beautiful color and provide a fiber filled alternative for your guests.
-For mashed potatoes, try a mixture of half mashed potato and half mashed cauliflower. This is an easy way to include extra vitamins in your mash with less calories.
-Instead of making a sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows, try roasting sweet potato wedges. This will caramelize the sweet potatoes and let their natural sweetness shine.
-Instead of making or buying pies for dessert, make a simple fruit crisp. You can still eat this with whipped cream, of course, but you’ll get extra nutrition from adding oats and chopped nuts into the crisp topping.
-Do prep work beforehand! Make home-made cranberry sauce the week before Thanksgiving with orange zest for added flavor, and less sugar than packaged alternatives. Place it in a freezer safe container to store until it’s needed for your holiday dinner.
These easy changes can ensure there is some balance within your diet while still celebrating the holiday season. A small effort like this can also make a large impact on how your body and mind will feel come the new year. You and your guests will be happy you did!