Tips by Terri Turner, IFBB Figure Pro, Nutritionist and Trainer

Helpful Tips for a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season & A Gluten Free Dessert Recipe

Phil Pelanne - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I can’t believe the holidays are already here! This season will be a great time for celebrating with friends and family over food and drinks. But with just a little preparation, you can keep off the extra holiday pounds and still enjoy all that the season has to offer.

If you are cooking this holiday season you can reduce fat and calories without sacrificing taste by swapping out a few ingredients in your favorite recipes.

*Using two egg whites in place of one egg can reduce the cholesterol without changing the taste.
*Use low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth in your mashed potatoes to add flavor and cut back on added butter or cream.
*Substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins and breads.
*For dips, sauces and pie toppings, use fat-free yogurt, sour cream and whipped topping.
*Use sliced almonds as a crunchy topping in place of fried onion rings.
Choose reduced-fat or low-fat cheeses for salads and casseroles.

Also, load up on all the yummy and healthy foods of the season such as sweet potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, cranberries, fresh green beans and carrots. And remember…MODERATION is key! Some additional tips include…

Balance Your Meals
Don’t fill up your plate with only the calorie dense foods. Instead, have a little of everything, but be sure to include lots of fruit and vegetables. That way, you’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite holiday foods while still eating healthy.

Avoid the sugary foods
Remember that sugar has a way of making you crave even more sugar. First fill up your plate with some turkey and veggies.  If you do have a craving for something sweet, try to satisfy it with a piece of fruit or a bit of dark chocolate, or take half a serving of that piece of pie (or share a piece) that you just can’t resist.

Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Planning ahead is the best way to choose healthy foods. When you go shopping, be sure to pick up some healthy snacking items. Keep plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand, such as carrots, celery, and apples; these can make a quick and easy snack in times when you feel tempted.

Moderate Alcohol Intake
Remember that your glass of wine or bottle of beer contains calories — and plenty of them. A 12-ounce bottle of beer has around 150 calories, and four ounces of wine carries approximately 100 calories. Try and manage the amount of alcohol you consume over the holidays, and be careful not to overindulge. There are a variety of lower-calorie beers and wines available that can help you manage your liquid caloric intake. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men.
On a side note…keep in mind, even a single drink will affect your reflexes for several hours. If you plan to drink, keep your holidays safe for everyone by designating a driver who won’t be drinking.

Be Assertive
Don’t feel you must say yes to everyone that offers you something to eat or drink. If you are not hungry, then just say so. Don’t let yourself be pressured into eating something that you really don’t want.

Eat Before You Go to Parties
Never go to a party or event feeling hungry. If you arrive to a party feeling really hungry because you have been “saving up” your calories all day, you risk being so hungry by the time you get there that you lose control over how much you eat. Instead, eat well throughout the day. Have small healthy snacks like a handful of almonds, fruit or some rice cakes and peanut butter. And be sure to drink LOTS of water.

Don’t forget to exercise!
In addition to making healthier food choices, it’s important to not be lazy during the holiday season. Extra exercise will help you burn off stress accompanied by the holidays and also keep your waistline in check.

Heres one of my favorite Vegan, Gluten, Dairy, Yeast, Corn & Nut Free recipes I plan on making this Thanksgiving...

Gluten Free Apple Crisp


6 cups diced apples (I like a mix of Granny Smith & Macintosh)
⅓ cup coconut, maple or palm sugar
3 tablespoon fine ground brown or white rice flour
1 tablespoon maple syrup (the secret ingredient)
juice from ½ lemon

⅓ cup palm sugar
¾ cup quinoa flakes
⅓ cup sorghum or fine grown brown or white rice flour
¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

*Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9×13 dish or large casserole dish with a dab of coconut oil and set aside.
*Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat apples in the mixture. Make sure everything is well mixed before dropping into the prepared casserole dish.
*Place topping ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
*Sprinkle topping over apples.
*Place in preheated oven for a total of 50 minutes, covering with a loose fitting glass lid or sheet of aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent the top from burning.
*Once complete, allow to sit with lid off for 20 minutes or so. Then top with a small scoop (remember, moderation!) of healthy low sugar ice cream or topping of choice!

Enjoy & have a healthy & happy holiday season!!!

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