The holiday season can be a stressful time of year. One thing that can cause us this stress is food. It seems we start eating and don’t stop until January! If this sounds familiar, Williamson Medical Center dietician Lisa Mathews, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E, has some ideas for you. She and her colleagues have put together the following information to help you enjoy healthier holidays this year, but still savor the food.
Of course, we should mention that it is essential that people stay active during the holidays. Mathews advises to not go more than two days without exercise or activity and that exercise or activity should last at least 30 minutes.
Now, on to the food. The typical holiday dinner can include some unhealthy ingredients. Take a look at this chart to see some “better for you” alternatives for healthier holidays this year. One substitute that may surprise you is using applesauce or pureed prunes in place of butter. Those have very little fat, which will help you save on calories! Take a look at the other substitutions:
Access this chart as a printable PDF by clicking here.
Mathews’ team also assembled a document showing the calorie difference of a “typical” holiday meal versus one using these healthier options. You may be surprised by the results. You can find a PDF of the numbers by clicking here.
With dinner out of the way, let’s get to dessert! This can be the scariest part for people trying to eat leaner. Here is a recipe for a “heart healthy” cookie:
Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
(makes 30 cookies)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or bittersweet chocolate chips)
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°.
Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
- Serving size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 94
- Fat: 3.2g
- Carbohydrates: 15.7g
- Fiber: 1.3g
- Cholesterol: 10mg
- Sodium: 88mg
You can access a printable PDF of this recipe by clicking here.
We hope you find this information helpful! From all of us at Williamson Medical Center, we hope you enjoy happy and healthier holidays this year!Share this Article