12 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

12 days of Fitness copy

During the holidays it can be difficult to manage holiday eating and weight gain. I am thrilled to share these 12 healthy eating tips from Dr. Caroline Cederquist, M.D. to healthy holiday eating this holiday season, without missing out on any of your favorite staples. Here are 12 helpful tips:

  1. Drink Water. Drinking lots of water not only flushes toxins from your system but it also fills you up. Often times the body misinterprets thirst for hunger. Carrying a bottle of water with you not only will help reduce the urge to eat but it will also fill you up faster.
  2. Holiday Drinks. Alcohol has a lot of calories, as do eggnog, punch, and soft drinks, therefore try to limit these. If you are a soda drinker try to incorporate seltzer and maybe mix it with a little bit of juice. If you must have egg nog try to limit yourself to one and if making it yourself try using non-fat milk.
  3. If you’re hosting a holiday party, provide healthy snacks. Serve salsa with wholegrain, trans-fat-free chips or pita wedges. Offer guacamole with fresh vegetables.
  4. Eat smaller portions of food. This is especially important at a buffet, where you may want to try everything. Choose the items you want to try the most, and eat a small portion of each. Hors d’oeuvres
  5. Holiday hors-d’oeuvres. You don’t have to pass up the cheese tray just be smart about your choices. In addition to portion control, harder cheeses tend to be lower in fat than softer cheeses and opt for a whole-wheat or multi-grain cracker instead of one made with refined grain.
  6. Slow it down. You’ll enjoy your meals better if you eat slowly. Also eat less, because your stomach and brain will have time to realize it is “full.”
  7. Fill your diet with fruits and vegetables. The bulk of your meal should consist of fruits and vegetables.
  8. Holidays and the fast food trap. The holiday season can keep you on the go with little time to prepare meals. Fast food may be handy, but often is high in fat and calories. Prepare and freeze quick, healthy meals ahead of time to stay out of the fast-food trap.
  9. Holiday Staples and Stuffing. Cook stuffing outside of the turkey it’ll have fewer calories and will be healthier than the traditionally prepared stuffing. Also, when preparing the stuffing try to incorporate more vegetables and less bread.
  10. Don’t deprive yourself. Depriving one’s self of certain foods often leads to binge eating so if you want something eat it, just eat smaller portions and make the healthiest choice.
  11. Holiday deserts and your sweet tooth. If you are someone who loves their holiday pies you are not out of luck, just make smarter choices. Apple pie is probably better than other holiday favorites because it contains fruit and not as much sugar and calories as other rich desserts. Pumpkin pie is also a healthier choice than cookies and cakes. Fruit salad makes a delicious desert too.
  12. Holiday treats and the healthier option. If part of your holiday tradition involves baking cookies, make them with vegetable oil in place of solid fats or shortening. Add some whole grains or wheat germ, raisins, and nuts. Also, make the cookies mini-size. Use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon for drop cookies and cut bar cookies into bite-size pieces. You can offer more varieties and you won’t have to bake nearly as many.

Thanks to bistroMD for sharing!

Espresso Tiramisu

Espresso Tiramisu

Since yesterday was National Espresso Day I thought I would share this recipe for Expresso Tiramisu perfect for anytime of the year. This recipe was actually crated by Cooking Channel Stars and mixology duo, Alie Ward & Georgia Hardstark, but I made it last week and it’s amazing! This recipe starts with NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Espresso Intenso pods which makes this recipe even simpler. Enjoy for the holidays this week, Christmas or when ever you are having a tiramisu craving!

Mandel Bread for Rosh Hashanah and A little Personal

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts tonight. Mandel Bread is staple dessert on our holiday table. It reminds me of a biscotti-style cookie, and is fantastic for dessert or breakfast served with coffee. My sister, Julie and my sister-in-law Debby, make the most incredible Mandel Bread I have ever tried. This is one of my favorite Mandel Bread recipes from my friend, Andy’s mom, Judy Rotenstreich. I am so thrilled to be serving Mandel Bread this year at my dad’s house with 21 other people after moving less than a week ago.

To get a little personal, I moved last Monday with my 3 kids into my dads house in Birmingham. Since my mom passed away recently, this was the perfect option for him and for me. It has been wonderful this week eating breakfast and dinner with my father as well as taking a work break and making him a morning smoothie. He has been very depressed the past few months (after the death of my mother), and he already seems like a different person. He said two days ago, “The highlight of the day was when Leigh (my daughter) came to tell me goodnight.” I cried.

My friend, Sara, told me the other day, “To find blessings during tough times”, and she is so correct.

-It is a blessing for kids to get the chance to live with their grandparents.

-It is a blessing to help to your parents when they are elderly.

-It is a blessing when your kids say that they slept great.

-It is a blessing to hear my kids laugh during tough times.

-It is a blessing to see your kids relaxed.

-It is a blessing that I still have my father, but that I can feel my mothers presence.

-It is a blessing to have all of your support.

So whether you celebrate the Jewish new year or not, here’s to fresh and new beginnings and a sweet new year!


Easter or Summer Entertaining Idea: My Favorite Cupcakes


Lots of you have been writing to me asking for awesome Easter dessert ideas so how about these Easter Cupcakes? This recipe comes from “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” cookbook, and it is fabulous. If you’re short on time, I have also included a “cupcake express” recipe to save you time. Either way, I just simply sprinkled mine with spring sprinkles, a perfect look for this time of year.