Michelle Poppen - Lighten the Holiday MealsPublished by on
Holidays are right around the corner and are typical times for overindulgence in foods, particularly those heavy in fats. Join Barry Roberts in this edition of "Getting Barry Healthy" as he talks with Michelle Poppen, Registered Dietitian of Sanford Worthington, highlighting tips to lighten those holiday favorites while still enjoying them!
Lighten-Up Those Holiday Favorites
- Gravy - Cook the turkey the day before, put the broth in the refrigerator, skim off the fat on top, and use the remaining broth for gravy.
- Mashed Potatoes - Boil potatoes and mix with mixer, add fat-free sour cream and fat-free half-and-half, salt and pepper (could also add chives or garlic)
- Green Bean Casserole - Use the 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, and caramelize your own onions for the top (put sliced onion in a pan with a little canola oil and brown)
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams- Marshmallow version, just use less marshmallows.You can cut back on butter and replace with apple or orange juice
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe:
- 4 cups hot mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 T butter/marg
- 3 T light maple syrup
- ¼ c egg substitute
- ½ c low-fat milk or fat-free half-and-half
- Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray
- Combine: 1/3 c chopped pecans 1/3 c flaked coconut 1/3 c brown sugar 1 T flour Combine in a bowl, add a T of melted butter/marg, sprinkle over the sweet potatoes and bake 1 hour at 325.
*Yams are softer and more orange colored. Sweet Potatoes are a lighter color and have more of a “potato” texture. Both are high in Vitamin A and fiber.
Greta Macaire, Registered Dietician with Sutter Health, also gives great tips for healthy holiday eating:
- Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.
- Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try 10- or 15-minute brisk walks twice a day.
- Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
- Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.
- Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
- If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie!
- Take the focus off food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try serving a holiday meal to the community, playing games or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.
- Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.
- Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Incorporate some of these simple-cooking tips in traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier.