Tag Archives: holidays

12 Naughty Holiday Foods

holidays-holiday-foods-fullThe holidays mean parties and family gatherings. And it means a buffet of delicious holiday treats. Lots of holiday foods are healthy – filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. However, they can also be loaded up with calories.

Don’t assume that foods are healthy just because they are normally low in calories. Many dishes have been modified with additional ingredients, such as added sugar and fats, to create a fun and festive treat. That also means additional calories.

Here are 12 foods that are on the holiday naughty list and healthier options you can enjoy instead:

Turkey Skin
The skin of turkey and chicken is loaded with saturated fat. Dark meat also have more fat per bite than white meat. Serve yourself turkey or other white meat without the skin.

Stuffing
Stuffing is filled with butter and high-fat meats like sausage. A single scoop of stuffing may have 550 calories. Use low-sodium chicken broth instead of butter, and try low-fat chicken or fruit instead of fatty meats. Or, you can even make stuffing with wild rice instead.

Green Bean Casserole
While green beans are a vegetable rich in vitamins and fiber, the casserole doesn’t offer as many health benefits. The onion toppings, butter and cream that are used to create the dish can contain over 750 calories and over 4,000 milligrams of salt. Stick with plain green beans and skip the rest.

Buttery Mashed Potatoes
Homemade mashed potatoes often contain whole milk, butter and salt. Instead, mash the potatoes with low-fat milk or low sodium, fat-free chicken stock. Then, skip the butter and salt.

Swedish Meatballs
Meatballs may be high in protein, but each meatball can have as many as 400 calories with eggs, bread and cream added to make them. Beef broth can also add up to 50% of your daily recommended allowance of sodium. Choose lean meats without the added fattening ingredients.

Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries may be a super fruit, filled with antioxidants and fiber, however a serving of cranberry sauce contains around 200 calories and twice as much sugar as homemade pumpkin pie. Stick with the pumpkin pie!

Pecan Pie
Although pecans are packed with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, pecan pie is filled with sugar and calories. A slice of pecan pie can have more than 500 calories. Try nibbling on a bowl of mixed nuts or a small slice of pumpkin pie instead.

Carmel Popcorn
You may receive a gift of a large tin of carmel popcorn. While popcorn on its own is a healthy, whole-grain snack, adding sugary carmel only packs on calories. Try plain popcorn instead – it’s just as satisfying without the extra fat.

Cakes and Cookies
You may crave carbohydrates in the fall and winter. You want to avoid sweets, but you also know that carbs taste so good and make you feel good. Snack on whole-grain cereals and crackers to satisfy your carb cravings.

Eggnog
Mix together alcohol, heavy cream, eggs and sugar, and you’ve got a recipe with about 340 calories and 19 grams of fat. Make a low calorie eggnog with skim milk, egg substitutes and artificial sweeteners. Or skip the eggnog and have a cup of green tea.

Mixed Drinks
Cocktails can also be surprisingly high in calories. Mix up a wine spritzer by adding a splash of wine and sparkling water to pomegranate or cranberry juice. You cut calories and include fruit in your diet.

Chocolate
Milk chocolate is high in fat and low in nutrients. Go for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa, but still eat it in moderation. Even better, choose dark chocolate with heart-healthy nuts.

‘Tis the season for tasty foods. If you know which foods are naughty versus healthy, you can make good choices and enjoy yourself during the holidays!

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22 Best And Worst Foods For Fall

Pumpkin-Pie-ImageI love the holidays. Fall and winter bring many festivities – from Halloween and Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Years. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and making new memories. And then, of course, there’s the food.

I love to eat, especially when someone else cooks it and puts it on the table in front of me to enjoy. Unfortunately, I enjoy all of the tasty fall and winter treats that are bad for me. I have been known to raid my kids’ Halloween candy after they go to bed. I live for all the fattening Thanksgiving foods like stuffing and pumpkin pie.

So, I have made a resolution to TRY to eat healthier this holiday season. I did some research on the worst and best foods to eat during the fall and winter months.

First, here’s a list of the 7 most fattening foods for fall and winter:

Heart-warming drinks
Fall drinks, such as hot chocolate, eggnog, apple cider, flavored lattes, and hot toddies, are loaded with extra calories. While they are absolutely delicious, they contain anywhere from 200 to almost 400 empty calories. I have found green teas that offer great cold-weather flavors and provide antioxidants without the added calories.

Yummy pies
I am a big fan of pie. In fact, there are very few types of pie that I won’t eat. While pie often starts out with a healthy fruit, nut or vegetable filling, it may then become loaded down with heavy pie crusts, sweeteners and ice cream toppings. Try to skip the crust, cut a small piece, and opt for a light whipped topping.

Creamy, delicious soups
There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup to ward off the chill of long winter months. Yet, soups or stews that are loaded with cream, cheese or meat may also have too many calories. Add in a bread bowl, rice or noodles and you’ve loaded on even more calories. Broth and vegetable-based soups can fill you up with fewer calories.

Delectable stuffing
Stuffing can be filled with high-fat additions such as sausage and butter. Plus, stuffing is even better with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. You can make a low-fat stuffing with fruits, vegetables and stock – and go easy on the gravy.

Comforting mac and cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a staple for most kids and a blast from the past for adults. One cup of mac and cheese can contain 300 to 400 calories. To lower the calories, use low-fat cheese and low-fat milk.

Dreamy mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are another yummy, comfort food. Many recipes rely on butter, heavy cream and whole milk to bump up the flavor. Substitute low-fat options for healthier mashed potatoes.

Scrumptious pumpkin desserts
Pumpkin on its own is good for you. Make it into a pie, cake or other rich dessert and you negate the health benefits. Pumpkin muffins or custard can be a low-fat alternative.

Now, it’s time to put these wonderful, tasty and fattening foods out of your mind and focus on healthy, nutritious alternatives. With a little Internet research, you can find easy recipes to create good-for-you holiday dishes that everyone can enjoy.

Here are 12 healthy fall foods that are sure to be a hit with friends and family:

Turkey
Turkey is a good winter food. It’s lean and packed with protein. It’s also low in calories. In addition to being a traditional entree for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, you can also enjoy turkey in soups or as a hearty sandwich on whole-grain bread with veggies for toppings.

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes offer much more nutritional content than white potatoes. They are filled with fiber and protein and provide vitamins A, C and B6, as well as minerals such as potassium and manganese. Sweet potatoes also work in a variety of dishes from sides to desserts.

Squash
Winter squash has a fine texture and sweeter flavor. Squash is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. To maintain the nutritional value, it’s best to bake, grill or fry squash without adding butter or syrup. Try low-fat margarine, brown sugar, applesauce, or cinnamon and ginger as seasonings.

Pumpkin
As we mentioned under the fattening foods, pumpkin is good for you. This vegetable is a good source of fiber and is full of vitamins and nutrients, including iron, magnesium, potassium, niacin, and vitamins A and C. Pumpkin does contain natural sugar so keep recipes simple by not adding extra sugar.

Beets
Beets are high in fiber, potassium, iron and vitamin C. Beets are sweet and can be roasted as a side dish or added to salads for a splash of color.

Carrots
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, C and B6, and contain potassium, thiamin and fiber. Grated, sliced or diced carrots add a great garnish to dishes and provide many health benefits.

Broccoli
While broccoli gets a bad rap, it is a power vegetable containing vitamins A, C and B6 as well as being high in potassium, manganese and fiber.

Cabbage
Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable known for their health benefits, is loaded with nutrition. It’s full of vitamins, nutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cabbage can be added to a variety of dishes to give them a healthy boost.

Cauliflower
Cauliflower makes a great side dish or addition to other vegetable dishes. It can be steamed, grilled, roasted or mashed like potatoes. Cauliflower is a great source for vitamin C and may help prevent cancer and lower cholesterol.

Citrus fruits
Many varieties of citrus fruits are available during the winter months, including mandarin oranges, tangerines, blood oranges and clementines. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C and high in fiber.

Apples and pears
Apples and pears are high in fiber and a good source of vitamin C. They are good for you when eaten raw or baked into side dishes.

Cranberries
Fresh cranberries are available during the fall and winter months. Cranberries are low in calories and contain fiber and vitamin C. Add them to salads, muffins or as toppings for side dishes.

Figs and dates
Figs are high in sugar, but they contain fiber and add a great flavor to fall dishes. Dates are also sweet, provide fiber and potassium, and can be added to salads, fruit dishes and desserts.

It’s easy to make traditional holiday dishes and comfort foods during the cold fall and winter months. However, you can break from tradition and switch out those fattening foods with healthier alternatives. Hop on the Internet and search for recipes you can make with the nutritious fruits and vegetables listed above.

Do you have healthy dishes you enjoy fixing during the holidays? Please feel free to pass on your favorite recipes.

22 best and worst foods for fall and winter

Pumpkin spice latte fattening fall foodsI love the holidays. Fall and winter bring many festivities – from Halloween and Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Years. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and making new memories. And then, of course, there’s the food.

I love to eat, especially when someone else cooks it and puts it in front of me to enjoy. Unfortunately, I enjoy all of the tasty fall and winter treats that are bad for me. I have been known to raid my kids’ Halloween candy after they go to bed. I live for all the fattening Thanksgiving foods like stuffing and pumpkin pie.

So, I have made a resolution to TRY to eat healthier this holiday season. I did some research on the worst and best foods to eat during the fall and winter months.

First, here’s a list of the 7 most fattening foods for fall and winter:

Heart-warming drinks
Fall drinks, such as hot chocolate, eggnog, apple cider, flavored lattes, and hot toddies, are loaded with extra calories. While they are absolutely delicious, they contain anywhere from 200 to almost 400 empty calories. I have found green teas that offer great cold-weather flavors and provide antioxidants without the added calories.

Yummy pies
I am a big fan of pie. In fact, there are very few types of pie that I won’t eat. While pie often starts out with a healthy fruit, nut or vegetable filling, it may then become loaded down with heavy pie crusts, sweeteners and ice cream toppings. Try to skip the crust, cut a small piece, and opt for a light whipped topping.

Creamy, delicious soups
There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup to ward off the chill of long winter months. Yet, soups or stews that are loaded with cream, cheese or meat may also have too many calories. Add in a bread bowl, rice or noodles and you’ve loaded on even more calories. Broth and vegetable-based soups can fill you up with fewer calories.

Delectable stuffing
Stuffing can be filled with high-fat additions such as sausage and butter. Plus, stuffing is even better with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. You can make a low-fat stuffing with fruits, vegetables and stock – and go easy on the gravy.

Comforting mac and cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a staple for most kids and a blast from the past for adults. One cup of mac and cheese can contain 300 to 400 calories. To lower the calories, use low-fat cheese and low-fat milk.

Dreamy mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are another yummy, comfort food. Many recipes rely on butter, heavy cream and whole milk to bump up the flavor. Substitute low-fat options for healthier mashed potatoes.

Scrumptious pumpkin desserts
Pumpkin on its own is good for you. Make it into a pie, cake or other rich dessert and you negate the health benefits. Pumpkin muffins or custard can be a low-fat alternative.

Now, it’s time to put these wonderful, tasty and fattening foods out of your mind and focus on healthy, nutritious alternatives. With a little Internet research, you can find easy recipes to create good-for-you holiday dishes that everyone can enjoy.

Here are 12 healthy fall and winter foods that are sure to be a hit with friends and family:

Turkey
Turkey is a good winter food. It’s lean and packed with protein. It’s also low in calories. In addition to being a traditional entree for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, you can also enjoy turkey in soups or as a hearty sandwich on whole-grain bread with veggies for toppings.

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes offer much more nutritional content than white potatoes. They are filled with fiber and protein and provide vitamins A, C and B6, as well as minerals such as potassium and manganese. Sweet potatoes also work in a variety of dishes from sides to desserts.

Squash
Winter squash has a fine texture and sweeter flavor. Squash is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. To maintain the nutritional value, it’s best to bake, grill or fry squash without adding butter or syrup. Try low-fat margarine, brown sugar, applesauce, or cinnamon and ginger as seasonings.

Pumpkin
As we mentioned under the fattening foods, pumpkin is good for you. This vegetable is a good source of fiber and is full of vitamins and nutrients, including iron, magnesium, potassium, niacin, and vitamins A and C. Pumpkin does contain natural sugar so keep recipes simple by not adding extra sugar.

Beets
Beets are high in fiber, potassium, iron and vitamin C. Beets are sweet and can be roasted as a side dish or added to salads for a splash of color.

Carrots
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, C and B6, and contain potassium, thiamin and fiber. Grated, sliced or diced carrots add a great garnish to dishes and provide many health benefits.

Broccoli
While broccoli gets a bad rap, it is a power vegetable containing vitamins A, C and B6 as well as being high in potassium, manganese and fiber.

Cabbage
Cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable known for their health benefits, is loaded with nutrition. It’s full of vitamins, nutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cabbage can be added to a variety of dishes to give them a healthy boost.

Cauliflower
Cauliflower makes a great side dish or addition to other vegetable dishes. It can be steamed, grilled, roasted or mashed like potatoes. Cauliflower is a great source for vitamin C and may help prevent cancer and lower cholesterol.

Citrus fruits
Many varieties of citrus fruits are available during the winter months, including mandarin oranges, tangerines, blood oranges and clementines. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C and high in fiber.

Apples and pears
Apples and pears are high in fiber and a good source of vitamin C. They are good for you when eaten raw or baked into side dishes.

Cranberries
Fresh cranberries are available during the fall and winter months. Cranberries are low in calories and contain fiber and vitamin C. Add them to salads, muffins or as toppings for side dishes.

Figs and dates
Figs are high in sugar, but they contain fiber and add a great flavor to fall dishes. Dates are also sweet, provide fiber and potassium, and can be added to salads, fruit dishes and desserts.

It’s easy to make traditional holiday dishes and comfort foods during the cold fall and winter months. However, you can break from tradition and switch out those fattening foods with healthier alternatives. Hop on the Internet and search for recipes you can make with the nutritious fruits and vegetables listed above.

Do you have healthy dishes you enjoy fixing during the holidays? Please feel free to pass on your favorite recipes.

How to say NO to holiday stress

holiday stressAs I sit here glaring at the lights on my Christmas tree, I can’t help but think they  shouldn’t be irritating me this much. I have replaced the top string of lights twice this year. Guess what, it’s not working – AGAIN!

I need to wrap presents, clean my house, get my brother’s gift in the mail, bake cookies for school, and address my Christmas cards. Oh wait, first I need to buy Christmas cards.

The holidays are one of the most magical times of the year. It’s a time to gather with friends and family. Memories are made. Traditions are created. We count our blessings and rejoice in the reason for the season.

The holidays can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. We feel obligated to say “yes” to every request and every invitation.

Say “no” to the stress and “yes” to a happy, healthy holiday season:

Keep your healthy routine
It’s easy to drop our healthy eating habits and exercise routines when we become overwhelmed with holiday tasks and commitments. Make it a point to continue eating right. You can indulge in tasty treats while at events and gatherings, but keep up your good habits at home. Find time to exercise. Not only will it help you relieve holiday stress, you will feel good about staying on track.

Shop online
I do almost all of my holiday shopping online after my kids go to bed. You can find good deals and free shipping on most of the items you want. You avoid the stress of malls, crowds and traffic. And it’s so exciting when a delivery shows up at your door!

Give thoughtful gifts
Part of the holiday stress is spending beyond your means or financial budget. Think of gifts you can give that may be less expensive but have more meaning for the recipient. Or, suggest a gift exchange for family members or a group of coworkers. It is the spirit of the season that truly matters, not the material things.

Stay home
If you feel like you are running from one commitment to another, choose a few parties and say no. Spend time at home instead doing something fun as a family. Start a new tradition of having sappy holiday movie night or board game night. You may not remember all of the holiday parties, but you will remember the memories you make as a family.

Get some sleep
When you get enough sleep, your body can rest and be ready for the next day. You will be less sleep deprived and more ready to cope with whatever holiday crises come your way. You will just feel better.

Do something nice
Give your neighbor a hand putting up his lights. Offer to help a stressed-out friend with her holiday cooking or cleaning. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, collect toys for a toy drive, or take homemade goodies to the nursing home. Your generous spirit can brighten the holidays for others in need.

I am constantly reminding myself that these moments are fleeting. My kids will probably tell their kids about the year I couldn’t get the Christmas tree lights to work. They have found it quite humorous. It will make a great story… some day.

It’s the little moments, the memories, and the spirit of the season that make the holidays special. So, say “no” to some of your commitments this year and say “yes” to a relaxing, memorable holiday season.