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Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Holiday Recipes

Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Holiday Recipes

Ahhhhhh, the holidays are here, the sweet wonderful holidays. And we all know what that means… get togethers and sweet treats! I love this time of the year, but I know a lot of people dread it. Work parties, family gatherings, drinks with friends all can be a challenge on our belts. I try to tell my clients that this is what we train for. The holiday season is our Superbowl. My motto is we workout so we can enjoy our life, and part of enjoying life is being social and a big part of being social is eating and drinking with your family and friends. So enjoy it! But what if you haven’t been working out all year? How can you survive the holidays without gaining the average 7 pounds that most Americans gain over the holidays? It’s easy! Just follow my 3 holiday eating rules.

First, don’t feel obligated to finish something you’ve put on your plate. Take the first bite, if you love it, enjoy it! If you don’t, toss it. It has to be truly worth it for me to take in those calories. But we have to eat! So along comes the second rule. Scan the buffet table for healthy foods like raw vegetables and fruit salads or foods not covered in sauce or gravy. Nothing like that at the parties you go to? Then follow my third rule, bring it! Not only will you know what to eat, but you’ll be helping your friends out too. You’ll be a holiday hero! So what else can you bring and what can you drink? Here are 3 healthy party foods that can be on every holiday buffet table!

Holiday Mimosas

Mix blood orange juice, pomegranate juice and champagne. Low in calories and pomegranate juice is good for you! Don’t like champagne? Then put your drink or wine in a champagne flute and fill it up to the top. This little trick makes you feel like you’re having a lot more because your glass is full, compared to a half full wine glass.

Deviled Eggs

Hard boil eggs, slice in half and toss the yokes. Place halved eggs on a platter and top with your favorite hummus flavor. Sprinkle with paprika.

Margarita Chicken Bites

Ingredients: chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and toothpicks.  

Grill chicken breasts. Cut tops off cherry tomatoes. Cut chicken and mozzarella into bite sizes. Place cherry tomatoes on a platter and top with chicken, mozzarella, and small piece of fresh basil. Secure each bite with a toothpick through the top. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over bites and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Healthier Gingerbread Men – is it possible? Yes! 

Ingredients:  2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp, ginger, 1 cup brown sugar, ¼ cup eggbeater, ½ cup dark molasses, 3 tablespoons light margarine, 2 tablespoons orange juice.                              

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with Pam. Sift dry ingredients. Cream margarine and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and molasses and orange juice. Blend in sifted dry ingredients. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutter. Place 2” apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets while hot. 

Nutrition per cookie: Calories:48, cholesterol 0 mg, fiber:1g, fat: .4g.

Have sweet, wonderful, guilt free holidays and Live WELL.

About Hebrew SeniorLife Outpatient Health Clinic
The health clinics within Outpatient Services at Hebrew SeniorLife offer high-quality, specialized care for Boston-area seniors. We offer a wide range of medical services including treatment for conditions such as hearing loss, memory disorders, osteoporosis, difficulty with speech and language, chronic illness, rehabilitation and wound care. When you visit Outpatient Services, you'll be treated by experts who understand the unique health needs of older adults, working to improve each patient’s health and quality of life.

Dawn Damiano's picture

About the Blogger

Hebrew SeniorLife LiveWELL Program Manager

Dawn Damiano is Hebrew SeniorLife’s Employee Wellness Program Manager. Since 1993, Dawn has worked with many housing and Roslindale residents in recreational and fitness programs. She has led a number of employee fitness classes in Roslindale and started the very first Employee Wellness Committee. As the HSL LiveWELL program manager, Dawn brings vision, passion, and commitment to help all HSL employees discover innovative ways to develop and maintain wellness-related habits—even at work. Under Dawn’s guidance, hundreds of HSL employees have participated in programs to help them lose weight...

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