The Holiday Season is here! Cookies, cakes, pies and candy…oh my 🙁 Unfortunately for many, this translates to “The Weight Gain Season”. But if you stick with holiday superfoods you may be able to avoid putting on some extra pounds.
Trade the fattening empty-calorie treats for “holiday superfoods”. Look for traditional seasonal foods that are low in calories or packed with nutrients. Most holiday superfoods are also high in fiber to fill you up. Making it easier to resist temptation 🙂
Sweet potatoes: This holiday superfood has a beta-carotene content that is off-the-charts! One 100-calorie serving provides over 300% of our daily vitamin A. In addition to promoting eye health, this antioxidant may help prevent cancer. It stops free radicals and promotes communication between cells.
Brussels sprouts: A top source of antioxidants that help the body’s detox system. Brussels sprouts also contain nutrients that help protect against breast cancer. Containing just 36 calories, four Brussels sprouts provides 100 percent of your daily vitamin C! They promotes skin health and help to enhance your “holiday glow.”
Cranberries: At just 44 calories per cup, cranberries are high in fiber. They help lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boost levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. According to the USDA, they rank sixth in the total amount of antioxidants per serving! Cranberries also supply nutrients that protect against urinary tract infections.
Baked apples: Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Gala made it to the top 20 of the USDA’s antioxidant ranking. Apples have powerful antioxidants that may help slow cancer cell growth. And the fiber in apples help to lower cholesterol. One medium apple only has about 80 calories.
Pumpkin: Is an excellent source of eye-healthy vitamin A. They also serve as a top source of an antioxidant linked to lowering lung cancer risk. One cup of pumpkin contains just 30 calories.
Pecans: Come out on top other nuts in terms of antioxidants. They contribute to heart health benefits. Pecans are unique in their high amounts of naturally occurring vitamin E that may promote prostate and intestinal health.
Keep It Healthy When Cooking
During meal preparation, don’t lose the health benefits of superfoods by drowning them in butter. You can cut fat in baking by partially substituting with applesauce or pureed plums. When I cook, I like to use olive oil instead of butter – healthier fats.
If there is time, try this when making gravy. Put the juices in the refrigerator and let the fat harden on top. This may take a couple hours. Then skim it off and reheat to make the sauce. Not enough time to do that trick? Then tilt the pan and skim the fat off the juices that way. The fat will float on top, making it fairly easy to do. Be careful of the hot pan though! I like to pour the juices into a small pan when I do this. That way I don’t have to tilt a hot ‘n heavy pan while I work.
You can also turn stuffing into a health food by adding extra onions (a top source of an anti-Alzheimer’s antioxidant), carrots, beans, wild rice or dried fruit. Try my No Box Apple Walnut Stuffing!
Have baked sweet potatoes instead of the traditional dish covered in marshmallows.
Roast the Brussels sprouts in olive oil and a bit of seasonings.
Eating Healthy During The Holiday Season
Eating healthy during the Holiday Season isn’t easy for anyone. I know it’s not for me. Afterall, the cook has to taste the food before serving it. I wouldn’t want to serve bad tasting food! 😀
Make it easy on yourself. Make little changes. Use whole ingredients instead of processed foods. Don’t over do – the cooking or the eating. Use a small or smaller plate. Chose a Holiday Superfood over an extra helping of mashed potatoes.
Most important – don’t stress! Because when we stress, we eat.
So… ENJOY! and be healthy 🙂
Let me know what you do to eat healthy and keep the weight gain to a minimum during the Holiday Season. Are there other tips you’d like to share? You can leave your comments in the section below. Or feel free to contact me using the form on the side.