THE SKINNY ON AVOIDING HOLIDAY CALORIES
- Try to balance out the calories throughout the day - if you're going to an evening party, eat less during the day.
- Cut calories in the kitchen. Opt for low fat milk, fat free yogurt or light cream cheese. You can even substitute applesauce or yogurt for oil when baking.
- Take the advice of the American Diabetes Association and create the "perfect plate": 1/2 non-starch vegetables (broccoli, carrots, salad), 1/4 starch (rice, potatoes, pasta), 1/4 protein (chicken, meat, fish, tofu).
- Pass on ordinary snacks such as pretzels or chips. Save your calories for something special.
- Don't stand near the buffet table or keep treats at your desk at work.
- Limit alcohol consumption - most drinks are high in calories and can loosen inhibitions.
- Exercise. Although the holidays are a busy time, keeping up a fitness routine can alleviate stress and give you a psychological boost.
- Don't go to a party hungry. Eat a healthy treat beforehand to take the edge off your appetite.
- Just say no. It's perfectly ok to politely decline an offer of food.
- Focus on socializing, rather than food, when attending a party.
Sometime during all the festivities, you may find yourself wishing someone would just give you some raw vegetables. Here is a recipe for a simple, delicious and low calorie (16 calories per tablespoon!) garlic ranch dip or try making your own hummus - I tried this and it was much better than the store-bought variety.
Hanukkah is a celebration of a tiny army of Jewish patriots and their victory over a Syrian army in 165 B.C. A small vessel of oil burned for eight days and nights. These days, Jews light menorahs and eat foods fried in oil. Except when they're low fat potato latkes, baked in the oven and eaten with low fat sour cream and applesauce. To simplify the recipe, substitute frozen hash browns.
To top off a holiday meal, this Easy Chocolate Dessert (218 calories) is beyond description. That's because you don't want to describe what's in it, which is tofu, mainly. No one will notice, though, because it tastes so sinful you'll want to go to confession after eating it.
Eat What You Love: More Than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories by Marlene Koch (2009)
Light & Healthy Holiday Cooking by Sandra L. Woodruff (2001)
Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2010 by Rachel Quinlivan, editor (2009)