Holiday meals are times of delight for those of us who enjoy family, friends and great food, but they can also be challenging while watching our weight. With a simple game plan for eating healthfully at gatherings, we can partake in all our favorite fare and still keep our figures in shape.
Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett reminds us that less is more at holiday events. Take smaller portions than you normally would at home because you often have more choices of things to eat and drink than at regular meals. You’ll have more than enough and won’t overdo any particular dish.
If you are bringing food to a party or hosting an event, here are some tips to make your holiday offerings more healthy while being tasty as always.
Go for the White Meat
A 3-ounce serving of skinless white turkey meat contains 25 grams of protein, barely 3 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat, according to Harvard Health Publications of Harvard Medical School. It’s the dark meat and skin that carry lots more fat so opt for the lighter choice.
Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Making cranberry sauce from scratch is easy, takes only about 15 minutes and ensures you the freshest, preservative-free sauce made without refined sugar. Wash and boil a bag of cranberries, stirring constantly once they begin to pop, until you have a jelly-like consistency. Add your own natural sweetener: try honey or agave or for a deeper flavor, natural dark maple syrup.
Be sure to load up your plate with green veggies. Your body will be happy with the balance. Holiday favorites include green beans, peas or green salad. If you are invited to bring a dish to a party, volunteer to bring a vegetable. Your health-conscious friends will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Add sautéed vegetables such as onion, celery and mushrooms to your stuffing or fresh fruit such as apples, cranberries or raisins to make stuffing healthier and heartier.
With so many sweets to sample during the holidays, try taking bite sizes. Cut pie slices in half; split cupcakes with a co-worker; take one cookie instead of four. Eat your smaller portions slowly and savor them more. You’ll satisfy your cravings and have fewer calories to work off tomorrow.
When you drink wine, beer or other alcohol, be sure to drink water, too, to help you remain hydrated. Every body is different but one glass of water for each glass of wine is a nice benchmark.
Follow these healthful holiday eating tips and you’ll be able to celebrate longer and still feel like working – or shopping – the entire holiday season.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. She has advanced the business opportunities of women and men in the fitness industry by growing the program into an international franchise business that today, hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries.
The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, cardio box and Latin style movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. Additional Jazzercise programs include Junior Jazzercise, Jazzercise Lite and Personal Touch. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.