November 15, 2012

Healthy Holiday Ideas


As you know, Thanksgiving is literally only a week away! If you are like me, that means the next few days are going to be pretty crazy trying to get everything ready to go. This is especially true if you are hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner of your own. After Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are close behind. For me, the holidays involve a lot more than receiving gifts, shopping for holiday suits and dresses, attending religious services, etc… they are also about spending time with loved ones enjoy good food!
Over the last few years, I’ve been a little lax at the holidays and have let myself fully enjoy most of the holiday food that was present at each and every gathering. Well, this year, it’s different. I just had a baby in August and since then I have been eating healthier and working out on a regular basis (four or five times a week). I’m also hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner myself on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day. Then, a couple of weeks later I’m hosting a large holiday party for the guys (and their wives) that my husband works with…so, I do have a little more control over the foods that will be there. Therefore, I’m making it a goal to have several healthy food items present at each gathering so I don’t completely ruin my “diet.”

Managing my weight isn’t the only reason why I want to have healthy foods present at my holiday gatherings. As I mentioned above, I’ve been working out and eating healthier since my youngest was born (about 15 weeks ago), meaning I’m making this a lifestyle. Not just for me, but my family. Since I do most of the cooking in the house, my healthier lifestyle rubbed off on my husband and 5-year old. Therefore, I want to teach my kids that it is possible to have healthy food that’s still good during the holidays. Below are a few things that I plan on incorporating at the holiday gatherings I’m hosting this year.

1.      Homemade Butternut Squash Pie – Instead of making the traditional Sweet Potato Pie that’s loaded with tons of carbs, sugar, fat and cholesterol, I’m going to try a healthier recipe for ButternutSquash Pie. I found this recipe on twitter, believe it or not, and after reading through it – not only does is sound delicious, but it also sounds pretty simple to make!

 
2.      Green Bean Casserole – Green Bean Casserole is without-a-doubt one of my favorite holiday dishes, but it’s way too fattening and frankly, unhealthy – no matter how you look at it. So, this year, my green bean casserole is getting a makeover. I’m going to use this recipe as it cuts out about 12 grams of saturated fat and is 160 calories lighter than the traditional version.
 

3.      Pumpkin Pie – Another classic holiday food is Pumpkin Pie. I love this dessert, but again, it needs to be changed up a bit. So, I’m opting to spend a little more time in the kitchen to make a healthier version, which I hear is amazing. Here is the recipe for a healthypumpkin pie you’ll love!
 

4.      Wine – No, I’m not going to make my own wine, but we all know that most holiday gatherings have some wine available. This year, I’m going to purchase a couple bottles of the SkinnygirlCocktails available for those of us who enjoy our wine, but not the calories.

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