All Posts In Healthy Holidays

Just in Time for Easter: Whole-Wheat Hot Cross Buns

by in Healthy Holidays, April 4, 2015

In Australia (where I grew up) hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. Although they sneak their way into bakeries and supermarkets well before, Good Friday is the day to indulge in their delights. The irresistible smell of yeasted dough spiked with orange, currants and sweet spices takes me back to my childhood, the weeks that surround Easter and the change of seasons. I think perhaps the best thing about these buns is that you can’t get them year-round; so the ritual of eating them warm from the oven with a cup of tea is much anticipated. Here I’ve swapped out refined white flour and sugar for whole-grain flour and coconut sugar. Although this recipe turns out buns that are heartier than the fluffy white ones you’ll usually see this time of year, it delivers satisfying fruited and spiced buns with a rich, nutty background of whole-wheat flavor. Once the buns are baking, boil the kettle and get the butter ready, as nothing beats eating them as soon as they emerge from the oven. Read more

War of the Chocolates

by in Healthy Holidays, Valentine's Day, February 12, 2015

Chocolate is the aphrodisiac of choice on Valentine’s Day. But not all varieties of this confection are created equal. Here’s a rundown of the most-lovable options for you and your waistline.

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50 Shades of Cacao: Your New Valentine

by in Healthy Holidays, Valentine's Day, February 9, 2015

At first glance, cocoa powder and raw cacao powder might look the same, but get a bit closer and they’re anything but. Once you get to know antioxidant-powerhouse cacao powder, you realize it’s the real deal: Made from cold-pressed raw cacao beans, it is thought that the vitamins and minerals stay intact. Meanwhile, cocoa powder is produced from raw cacao beans that have been roasted at high temperatures and then ground, reducing all those naturally occurring health benefits. This Valentine’s Day, make your sweetie swoon when you serve up these decadent cacao-packed recipes for everything from gooey truffles to spicy hot chocolate.

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A Toast to 2015 with Holiday Cocktails Good Enough to Eat

by in Healthy Holidays, December 31, 2014

It’s New Year’s Eve — and we can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year than gathering friends and serving holiday cocktails that embrace the traditional flavors of the season. Heat things up by adding hints of warm cinnamon and spicy ginger along with your basic stash of spirits and mixers like bourbon, vodka, gin and bitters. Muddle in some fresh cranberries or twist in fragrant orange peel and you have yourself a refreshingly fruity holiday drink. We’re even blending up creamy, nut-based versions of eggnog and Irish cream to make this season even richer. Cheers and Happy New Year!

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Want to Burn Off Those Christmas Calories? Try Sledding!

by in Healthy Holidays, December 23, 2014

Don’t let your belly shake like a bowl full of jelly this Christmas. Use our guide to indulge and burn it off. Whether you ice skate, sled or just start dancing around, be sure to busta move!

Crunching the Numbers

Everyone burns calories a little differently. The values below are averages based on a 155-pound person.


6 stuffed mushrooms = 400 calories = 45 minutes ice hockey

6 cheese puffs = 365 calories = 30 minutes cross-country skiing
Main Courses

6 ounces prime rib = 529 calories = 1 hour, 15 minutes shoveling snow

6 ounces baked ham = 250 calories = 30 minutes chopping wood



1 cup au gratin potatoes = 323 calories = 2 hours yoga

1 cup homemade mac and cheese = 450 calories = 40 minutes running at 6 mph



12 fluid ounces eggnog = 515 calories = 3 hours of housecleaning

12 fluid ounces peppermint latte = 475 calories = 1 hour snowshoeing

Sweet Treats

5 sugar cookies = 425 calories = 1 hour snowboarding

1 cinnamon bun (frosted) = 380 calories = 45 minutes sledding
1 slice fruitcake = 200 calories = 30 minutes ice skating

Damage Control
Don’t let your holiday spirit turn “bah, humbug.” Use these tips to help make the most of your holiday favorites.

  • Don’t skip the fruit and veggies – save calories by incorporating both into all holiday meals.
  • Allow yourself a few small “cheats” here and there, then stick to calorie-free beverages.
  • Treat sweets like treats – enjoy sometimes, not always!

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

Cookie Monster: Our Favorite Healthy Holiday Cookies

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, December 20, 2014

Holiday cookies are everywhere this time of year, and no doubt you want to have a few — or an entire tin. The good news is that cookies don’t have to be all bad. Instead, you can add health-focused ingredients, like antioxidant powerhouses matcha green tea and cocoa powder, fiber-rich chestnut and almond flour, and inflammation tamers like ginger and cinnamon.

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For Hanukkah, A Healthy, Delicious Family Feast

by in Healthy Holidays, December 18, 2014

The holiday of lights typically becomes a fried-food extravaganza. But this doesn’t have to happen in your house! Create a lighter (and just as delicious) menu with these holiday recipes.

The traditional Hanukkah dishes here are latkes and jelly-filled doughnuts; for the rest of the menu you have carte blanche. I like to serve a simple, balanced meal that includes creative versions of staple Hanukkah dishes. To keep things festive, our Hanukkah meal gets kicked off with mulled wine from Ina Garten. Cheers!

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Cheers! Here’s to Healthier Cocktails for the Holidays

by in Healthy Holidays, December 16, 2014

It’s holiday time, and chances are, cocktails are flowing. If you’re not careful, one festive drink can tip the scales at over 400 calories. If you choose to kick back over several, you’ll be gulping more than half your recommended calories for the day (not to mention the bad hangover)! There are ways to slim down your favorite holiday cocktails – here are simple tricks to do so.

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For Hanukkah, Latkes Lightened (Yes, It’s Possible!)

by in Healthy Holidays, December 15, 2014

Happy Hanukkah
Latkes, the crispy fried potato pancakes served on Hanukkah (usually with sour cream or applesauce) are not exactly easy on the waistline. Eating them for the eight days of the holiday might not be the best idea. Instead, get creative with your and cook them in a healthier way. Here are three latke recipes to enjoy.

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Countdown to New Year’s: No-Resolutions Resolution Week 5

by in Healthy Holidays, December 15, 2014

Grocery Shopping
We’re in the home stretch of our No-Resolutions Resolution plan. Have you followed our tips for smart snacking? Found a way to keep your exercise goals in check? Keep up the good work! This week, we’re tackling the grocery store. What to pick up and what to leave on the shelf!

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