All Posts In Healthy Holidays

Thanksgiving By the Numbers

by in Healthy Holidays, Thanksgiving, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving is famous for belly-busting dinners and pant-splitting desserts. We’ll give you some tips so you can eat to your heart’s content and still save some calories.

Crunching the Numbers
We built two Thanksgiving plates, loaded with all the usual suspects. A few small tweaks can save more than 1,000 calories!

Meal #1: Belly Buster
6 ounces roasted turkey (white meat and dark meat with skin) = 360 calories
1 cup sausage stuffing = 380 calories
½ cup gravy = 70 calories
¼ cup cranberry sauce = 100 calories
1 cup green bean casserole = 175 calories
1 cup mashed potatoes = 250 calories
1 slice apple pie a la mode = 500 calories

Total Calories = 1,835

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Pumpkin-Apple Soup

by in Thanksgiving, November 17, 2012

The beauty of this autumn soup is its adaptability; you can easily use pears instead of apples if you prefer. This recipe makes enough to serve four people when served as an appetizer or a side dish. If you are serving a large group of people for Thanksgiving, you can scale up the recipe accordingly; try adding in a pinch of allspice for an extra kick. Making your own soup is a tasty and healthy way to blend your favorite fall fruits and veggies into your holiday meal. In this recipe, which uses fresh pumpkin, you can feel good about getting the extra dose of vitamin A and fiber in every bite. Serve this soup with gluten-free croutons or ladle it over a baked sweet potato. If you’re in the mood for some more seasonal accompaniments, sip on my Homemade Maca Apple Cider.

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9 Healthy Thanksgiving Appetizers

by in Thanksgiving, November 16, 2012

sausage appetizer
Light bites are your best bet before a big holiday meal. Use fresh, seasonal ingredients to make something small but fabulous for your guests to enjoy before turkey time.

Sausage Skewers
Turkey or chicken sausage makes tasty finger food – add some pantry staples and viola! An elegant app for only 35 calories per piece.
Recipe: Antipasto Sausage Skewers (pictured above)

Gooey Cheese
So easy and delicious – who doesn’t like warm cheese? Each ounce portion has 90 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 percent of your daily calcium needs. Serve with apples, whole-grain pretzels and lots of veggies for dipping.
Recipe: Baked Brie

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Thanksgiving Face-Off: Which is Healthier?

by in Thanksgiving, November 15, 2012

apple cider

Food Network Magazine staged a Thanksgiving face-off and asked a registered dietitian to name the better choices. Study up before the big meal: Here’s how some staples compare.

Apple Cider vs. Sparkling Cider
WINNER: Apple cider. Sparkling cider is usually sparkling apple juice, which doesn’t contain the same amount of fiber that unfiltered ciders do (the real stuff is a little cloudy). Plus, the spices that make cider so delicious, like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, give you an antioxidant boost.

dark meatDark Meat vs. White Meat
WINNER: It’s a draw. White meat contains half the fat of drumsticks and thighs and fewer calories, but dark meat has more iron and twice as much zinc. And a new study suggests that the taurine in dark meat might help prevent heart disease.

 

pie crustRolled Piecrust vs. Graham Cracker Piecrust
WINNER: Graham cracker piecrust. Recipes for rolled piecrusts typically call for a lot of butter and sometimes lard, so they are high in saturated fat. Graham cracker crusts are lower in fat and calories, and they contain some extra fiber.

 

 

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Kid-Friendly Gluten-Free Honey-Cherry Stuffing

by in Gluten-Free, Thanksgiving, November 14, 2012

What would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? If you’re looking for an allergen-friendly recipe or just a delicious new take on this holiday staple, you’ve found it here! I’ve created a sweet stuffing that is perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan so you can easily serve this to your entire Thanksgiving table without having to worry about food preferences. If nut-allergies are a problem, you can easily substitute in ground flax seeds for a similar crunch and nutty flavor.

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10 Healthiest Thanksgiving Sides

by in Healthy Recipes, Thanksgiving, November 13, 2012

roasted squash
These Thanksgiving sides all have fewer than 250 calories per serving and will get the attention and admiration of everyone at your table because they’re so unbelievably delicious. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Squash
Yummy slices of winter squash topped with maple syrup and a touch of lemon juice.

Recipe: Lemon Maple Squash (pictured above)

Stuffing
Traditional stuffing recipes can easily have 400-500 calories per servings. Sandra uses fresh mushrooms with herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and not your waistline.

Recipe: Sage and Mushroom Stuffing

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10 Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts

by in Thanksgiving, November 9, 2012

pumpkin cheesecake
Planning your turkey day menu? We’ve got something for every kind of sweet tooth, all filled with fall flavors.

Cheesecake
A lower-fat cheesecake that’s not low on flavor. If you’ve never tried this combination before, now’s the time.
Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Turnovers
Cut the calories on apple pie with this lightened pastry.
Recipe: Apple Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers

Caramels
A bite-sized treat, filled with pumpkin goodness.
Recipe: Pumpkin Caramels

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Don’t Be Tricked Into These Treats

by in Halloween, Healthy Holidays, October 30, 2012

halloween candy
It’s not just the ghouls and ghosts causing a scare on Halloween — how about the mountains of treats handed out to kids by friends and neighbors? Some treats are worse than others — these are the ones that I pick out of my kiddos’ candy stash when they’re not looking and toss them into the trash.

Taffy
Depending on the brand, taffy has about 160 calories and 27 grams of sugar for about 5 pieces. The fact that my kids need to try VERY hard to bite into one tells me they shouldn’t be eating it. Read the ingredient list and you’ll find corn syrup, palm oil, hydrogenated oil and artificial colors. In one bite, your kid can eat at least 4 ingredients that many experts tell you to avoid.

Candy-Filled Lollipops
Gum or chewy-candy filled lollipops may be exciting for kids but why on earth do they need a 2-in-1 treat? The only thing they’ll be getting more of is sugar!

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Guacamole Goblin Deviled Eggs

by in Halloween, October 27, 2012

Can you ever make enough deviled eggs? Not when you’re talking about this Guacamole Goblin Deviled Eggs recipe. It’s perfect to get you and your family in the Halloween spirit. This versatile recipe can be served year-round; however, the guacamole lends a fun and spooky green surprise this time of the year. This snack gets its protein from avocado and eggs along with a nice dose of fiber from the ground flax seeds. Nutrient-rich avocado adds a creamy touch and diced apple gives these bite-sized eggs a nice crunch. Try serving these deviled egg treats as an appetizer before the kids head out to trick-or-treat.

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Ask the Experts: Favorite Halloween Treats

by in Ask the Experts, Halloween, October 25, 2012

candy bar
As a registered dietitian, my philosophy is to embrace holidays like Halloween without going overboard. This means allowing my children to go trick-or-treating and indulge in SOME treats. I’m not the only nutrition expert with this philosophy—I spoke to top experts around the country who weighed in on their favorite Halloween treats.

Ding Dong at the Dietitian’s House
Nutrition consultant Alexandra Oppenheimer, MS, RD claims “It’s not all apples and raisins at my house; I do give out candy but purchase ones that have some redeeming qualities. When picking out my Halloween offerings, I choose chocolates with nuts like peanuts or almonds and skip the sugary caramel. I choose chocolates (and lean towards the darker varieties) because of the potential heart-health benefits and antioxidants. In addition, they also provide fiber, protein and calcium. For these reasons, I prefer passing out chocolates versus candies made completely out of sugar with little to no other nutrients. Although plain chocolates and those with nuts do contribute nutrients, it’s important to remember they are still a treat and should be eaten in moderation.”

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