Hosting a Holiday Gathering

Hosting a holiday gathering this year? Consider the these ideas to keep your health and well-being intact:

  • Start or focus on traditions that don’t involve food such as playing games, taking a walk together, making holiday wreaths, decorating gingerbread houses, setting up karaoke equipment and entertaining each other, or serving a holiday meal at a shelter.
  • Set a menu, find healthy recipes and then ask others to pick one of the recipes to prepare and bring–the entire meal will be as healthy as possible.
  • Be sure to have plenty of low-calorie holiday beverages for your friends and family to enjoy.
  • Prepare favorite dishes by using ingredients/methods that result in dishes that are lower in fat, sugar and calories. These little changes make a big difference.
    • Use a gravy separator to skim the fat off drippings before making gravy. This simple step saves a whopping 56 gm of fat and 504 calories per cup. Another method is to freeze drippings for 15 minutes and skim fat off the top. You can also make gravy with fat-free turkey broth in place of the drippings.
    • Take the skin off of the turkey after cooking and enjoy the white meat.
    • Use skim milk and/or low-fat chicken broth in place of whole milk and butter in mashed potatoes.
    • Make stuffing in a pan rather than stuffing the bird, using low-fat, low-sodium broth.
    • Make dips with nonfat sour cream or nonfat plain Geek yogurt in place of regular sour to save 35-40 calories an ounce.
    • Instead of serving candied yams (215 calories per half-cup serving), use oven-roasted sweet potatoes. Brushed with a little olive oil, they have about 75 calories per serving. Another alternative is to use Splenda, stevia or sugar-free maple syrup in place of brown sugar.
    • Make cranberry relish with a sugar sub for a low-calorie (25 calories for 1/3 cup) treat.
    • In place of regular cream of mushroom soup, use low-fat or fat-free soup for green bean casserole. Top the casserole with crushed almonds in place of fried onions. Better yet, in place of the casserole, steam fresh green beans and sprinkle them with slivered almonds before serving.
    • Make faux eggnog—blend together until smooth 4 bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, and 1/4 teaspoon rum extract. Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Download: On Track with Barix Newsletter–The Holiday Season New & Improved 


About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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