There's still time for a bit of an intervention on the day before Thanksgiving, before you begin all of your preparations and start your cooking. If you’re already committed to a full menu plan, then consider some of the following suggestions for other party dinners, buffets and holiday celebrations. There will be plenty of them in the coming weeks.
First up, some cooking suggestions:
- Choose skinless white meats over darker meats with the skin.
- Use olive oil spray or other nut oils when possible
- Also keep nuts like chestnuts handy to offer as a small snack, or consider adding nuts to vegetable dishes and salads so you can reduce the saturated fats and oils, while still preserving flavor.
- Lose the salt and butter and turn to herbs like ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla or more savory herbs and ingredients like thyme, garlic, basil, rosemary, tarragon, mustard, turmeric and smoked red pepper.
- Use yogurts and evaporated skim milk to cream up recipes
- Cut mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower
- Use pureed fruit and all-fruit jellies to replace fats in certain recipes
Get creative and healthy with appetizers:
- Cut up vegetables and use hummus or salsas instead of traditional dips
- Offer baked whole grain pita chips and kale chips instead of processed chips
- Consider edamame instead of high fat appetizers
- Offer mini cups of soups as an appetizer
- Tomato juice with a celery stick can temper an appetite without too many calories - choose low sodium
- Fruit and a yogurt dip can start the meal too
Behaviors that will shave off calories:
- Use tall, skinny glasses for beverages
- Use smaller serving utensils and eating utensils
- Use a salad plate as your main plate
- Walk the line first – as in the buffet line, and make some mental decisions before just grabbing from each serving platter
- Eat slowly; talking between mouthfuls is a good habit
- Use salad greens or cooked vegetables as the plate base and then take spoonfuls of each special dish you choose
- Look for protein dishes that aren’t creamy like grilled shrimp, white meat turkey, baked chicken and pile on the undressed salads and fruit salad
- Drink a hot beverage like tea which will fill you up and slow you down
- Create wine spritzers or flavored water
- Wear a belt and don' t loosen it during the meal or party
- If you are hosting the meal, only place the salad bowl or fruit on the main table, “family style”
Choosing to adopt even some of these suggestions can help to reduce your calorie load and put you in charge of your calorie destiny during the challenging holiday season!! Share some of your recipe swap outs and holiday health tips with us too!!
Published On: November 21, 2012