Fend off Spring Holiday weight gain with these easy eating tricks.
Winter holidays aren’t the only ones that have the power to wreck your healthy lifestyle. Spring brings family celebrations that seem to concentrate on big meals. This year, don’t deprive yourself or spend the next day beating yourself up. I wrote a downloadable “Holiday Guide to Health”; to help you find the right balance for celebrating while keeping yourself on track. But first some quick tips for your next holiday meal.
You can participate in all of the Passover Seder traditions, it just takes some planning to make sure you have plenty of options.
- Watch out for the Matza!
A Matza sandwich is 3 pieces of bread, WHOO slow it down and choose other options or eliminate it all together. Cauliflower “bread” is a perfect alternative.
- Pay attention to protein.
For the meals that would normally include carbs, eat protein in their place. For example, substitute your normal carb breakfast for an egg white omelet or low-fat Greek yogurt.
- Prepare healthy sides.
When you’re planning the meal, be sure to add lots of vegetable and quinoa dishes instead of ones filled with eggs and noodles. Yes, I’m talking about Kugel!
- Sneak more Charoset.
A mixture of apples, cinnamon, wine, and nuts has healthy fats and antioxidants.
Charoset – Serves: 6
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes, any variety
- 2 cups walnuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 tablespoon orange juice
- ¾ cups dried fruit, cranberries, raisins
In a food processor, combine apples, walnuts, cinnamon, wine, juice and fruit. Pulse briefly until desired texture is achieved
CANDY CANDY CANDY!
Yes, it’s hard not to eat all that candy, but to help you resist the urge to sneak just a little bite, follow these tips.
- DO NOT EAT CANDY.
OK, don’t skip it all together, but don’t eat the largest chocolate bunny either. Plus think about filling your kids baskets with gifts rather than candy. I love the dollar stores or the small items aisles at pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens.
- Balance your calories.
When you indulge make sure to remember it’s all about balance. If you know dinner is going to be a pants-splitter, start the day with a lighter breakfast and a salad for lunch. Even cutting out your morning latte will make a big difference.
- Change up tradition.
I know blasphemy, but hear me out. Do you have ham every Easter but want to eat healthier this year? Cook up fresh pork roast or lamp chops. You will be cutting the sodium and the fat in half, now that’s something to celebrate!
- Make treats at home.
Instead of buying something full of sugar and fat from the store, why not make something simple at home. Baking together is a great activity; it’s a teachable moment for the kids and can be intimate for the adults. Nothing sexier than the hubby with flour on his face making something yummy.
- 1 1/2 cups flour, I use GF flour for my kids
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 packed cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup organic applesauce
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin tin with baking spray if not using muffin liners. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl including carrots, set aside. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients into dry, don’t forget to mix well. Fill the muffin cups 1/3 full with mixture and place in the oven. Bake 20 minutes and then allow muffins to cool before removing from the tin.
- ½ cup organic cream cheese
- ½ cup organic yogurt , I use Greek plain yogurt for the extra tang
- 1/3 powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients together until completely smooth and frost muffins right before serving. Frosting will stay in a covered container for up to 5 days. But there is no way you will have leftovers!
For more tips and how to handle any holiday situation download the “Holiday Guide to Health”.