Happy Holidays Healthy Guidelines

December is finally here, and with it comes the holidays! An average person’s calorie intake per day is usually 2,000 - 2,500 calories. Not counting the other meals eaten throughout the day, ONE holiday meal can average at 3,000 calories! With this healthy eating guideline for the holidays you can make smarter nutrition decisions and have pie without having to feel guilty! After all everything in moderation, that’s what I always say! Here are a few tips to avoid that “Why did I eat all that?!” feeling after your holiday meal.


1.     Do Not Skip Out on Meals – These holidays keep everyone busy and if you are not cooking than you are traveling, wrapping gifts, or mingling with guests. Either way everyone is saving their appetite for that delicious holiday dinner. Skipping meals throughout the day will only lead to splurging of large portions, high calorie and high fat appetizers. To stay clear of that route keep your pre-holiday meal light and nutritious, for example:

·       Greek Yogurt & Fruit

·       ½ Sandwich w/ ½ Apple

·       Whole Grain Toast w/ Peanut Butter


2.     Portion Sizes – Most people make the common mistake of serving for two during this holiday season and eating large portions. A ladle of gravy and a teaspoon of butter topped on a half cup serving of mashed potatoes have at least three times the amount of calories than a teaspoon of butter topped on a half of a baked sweet potato! To avoid filling up on foods with empty calories:

·       Use a smaller plate (encourages portion sizes & serving less)

·       1st fill your plate with vegetables

·       Eat slowly and wait 10 minutes to see if you are still hungry to get seconds


3.     Fiber – American adults and children consume less than half of the recommended dietary fiber intake. Fiber has numerous health benefits including lowering the risk of diabetes, stroke, obesity, heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases, and hypertension. Consuming more fiber-rich foods will satisfy your hunger without raising your calorie intake. Some examples of fiber-rich foods include:

·       Wheat Dinner Rolls

·       Whole Grain Pasta

·       Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, squash, & beets)

·       Legumes (pinto, French, black, lima, garbanzo, soy, & kidney beans)


4.     Dessert – The well-known American favorite, pumpkin pie is a great dessert choice for its low calorie and low fat content compared to pecan or apple pie. Do not let sweets be your weakness during this holiday season. It is okay to enjoy desserts, just remember, “moderation is key.” Plan ahead and keep your main course full of fibrous foods so that you can enjoy a slice of pie knowing you ate a nutrient-dense meal.

Desserts from Lowest to Highest in Calories:

·       2 Cookies

·       1 Cupcake w/ Frosting

·       1 slice of Cake w/ Frosting

·       1 Slice of Pumpkin Pie w/ Cool Whip

·       1 slice of Apple Pie

·       1 slice of Pecan Pie




Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes


1 head of cauliflower

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons light sour cream

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt freshly ground black pepper snipped chives

1) Separate the cauliflower into florets and chop the core finely.

2) Bring about 1 cup of water to a simmer in a pot, then add the cauliflower. Cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes or until very tender.

3) Drain and discard all of the water (the drier the cauliflower is, the better) and add the milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and mash with a masher until it looks like "mashed potatoes." Top with chives