Typically I like to give only good holiday food tips for the December blog. However in my personal life I have noticed that during the holiday season the biggest battle in choosing the right foods is time management. We find ourselves shopping, attending holiday concerts, traveling to see family, decorating, preparing our homes for the season and the list goes on and on. So finding the time to plan meals and pack meals become difficult. However, managing time and planning meals can take some of the holiday stress away.
Here are some tips for meal planning:
- Leftovers: Gather some recipes that can make use of leftovers. Replace higher fat ingredient with low fat ingredients lower calorie.
- Get rid of stuff: Clean and organize the refrigerator NOW, before the holidays really get underway. Get rid of unhealthy items, and only bring healthy items in. You will want to make sure that you have enough room in the freezer for the foods you can prepare in advance and freeze and then have the refrigerator with room for the things that will need to be prepared closer to the time of the meal.
- Plan ahead to avoid temptations: Never go to a party hungry because you did not have the time to eat. Also,never eat on impulse. To combate this eat a healthy snack before you go to a holiday party. Also, on the day of an employee holiday party make sure you are eat a healthy snack mid morning to avoid excessive hunger at lunch, and make a healthy contribution to the work place pot lucks or your own lunch that day.
- Prioritize: Don’t be overwhelmed by too many activities. You don’t need to go to every party, volunteer for every bake sale, or over commit to anything. Try to eliminate activities that will tempt you to overeat. Stop and reflect on which traditions are really important to you and your loved ones and which ones you can simply eliminate. One tradition that should not be broken is your commitment to your Punch workouts and cardio.
- Shop online: Yes online shopping can help you avoid long lines, avoid parking wars, and saves a lot of money. However it also keeps you in the house and out of restaurants and away from convenience foods. Your house is already cleaned and stocked with healthy choice… right? With the time you save online you can get your workout in!
Try this quick and healthy holiday recipe:
1 small box (1 ounce) sugar-free instant white chocolate pudding
2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 to 4 drops red food coloring
2 cups fat-free whipped topping
5 crushed peppermint candies (optional), sugar-free
In a medium bowl, mix pudding with milk, peppermint extract and food coloring. Stir constantly with a wire whisk for 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
Add whipped topping and mix well. Spoon into five parfait glasses and serve as is or topped with crushed peppermint candies or a candy cane. Serves: 5.
Serving Size: about 3/4 cup
Carb Servings: 1
Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate
Nutrient Analysis: calories 102, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, cholesterol 2mg, sodium 313mg, total carbohydrate 19g, dietary fiber 0g, sugars 8g, protein 3g
Crystal N. Bouchard RD, LDN