Holiday Cheer Without the Guilt

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Holiday cookies, candies and treats are often an essential (and delicious) tradition of the season. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, don’t feel like you need to be deprived of all of the yummy foods. Fitting holiday eating into a wholesome eating plan is easy.

Simply eat smaller portions, replace high calorie foods with low-fat options or slightly alter your recipes. For example, use two egg whites in place of one egg, use dried fruits instead of nuts, use 3 Tbsp. of cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp. of oil in place of baking chocolate and use evaporated skim milk in place of cream or whipping cream.

You can also snack on foods that are high in soluble fiber, such as fruits, veggies, barley, oats and legumes. They actually slow down the digestion of food, making you feel fuller for longer. Choose a juicy apple or crisp carrots (be sure to leave some for the reindeer!) rather than grabbing a handful of holiday nuts.

As always, remember to exercise. Not only will it burn off those high-calorie meals, it also will help to reduce holiday stress. Speaking of holiday stress, here are a few simple tips to keep the joy in the season:

• Stay out of holiday debt—know your spending limit.

• Make a shopping list, and check it twice—keeping organized will help you stay focused.

• Go easy on alcohol—too many egg nog’s will only add to your stress.

• If you’re traveling, give yourself plenty of time to get there.

• Most importantly, take a moment to appreciate the simple things.

Keep the festivities in your home this season healthy and full of holiday cheer!

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