It’s that time of year again where there’s a dinner or party invitation every other day! While this is no time to go on a diet, making simple swaps as you enjoy all the festivities will help you stay healthy too.
1. SWAP salted nuts for raw, unsalted nuts or some olives stuffed with feta cheese
Cut down on your salt intake and swap those salty nuts with raw, unsalted nuts as they are packed with protein, fiber and heart healthy fats.
In the mood for something saltier? Go for pitted green olives stuffed with low-fat feta cheese. Be careful of your portions though as mindless munching can add lots of unwanted calories.
2. SWAP the crisps for veggie sticks or for some whole-grain crackers
Although crisps might be hard to resist, they aren’t always good for us as they are processed, rich in saturated fats and calories. Make whole-grain crackers interesting party snacks by topping them with smoked salmon and avocado, or low-fat goat cheese. Also simple substitutions like cucumber or carrot sticks will not only help your waistline but give your body some nutrients and fibers instead of empty calories.
3. SWAP French onion, thousand island, and cheese dips for low-fat yogurt, hummus or vegetable dips
Why waste your calories on dips? Slim down your dips by replacing these rich, creamy, and cheesy sauces with low-fat yogurt or home-made hummus. Hummus and yogurt dips are just as tasty and contain more protein and less fat.
4. SWAP turkey leg for skinless turkey breast
Turkey is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B, and selenium; a powerful antioxidant. It is also low in fat, if eaten correctly! Remove the skin as most of the fat is located there and go for light meat such as turkey breast, instead of the dark meat like the leg or thigh.
5. SWAP roast or mashed potatoes for baked sweet potatoes
A versatile vegetable with many benefits, sweet potato can make a great addition to your meal! Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, and have a lower glycemic index than regular white potatoes which will help you feel fuller for longer as it help maintains steady blood sugar levels. It also contains vitamin C, potassium as well as vitamin B6, which is good for heart healthy
6. SWAP the traditional gravy for low-fat gravy
Turkey isn’t complete without gravy! Go for healthier gravy recipes that contain less fat and fewer calories than traditional versions. Use the turkey stock from the roasting pan once you’ve skimmed the fat by using a fat-separating pitcher and avoid adding butter. Control your portion by limiting yourself to a tablespoon of gravy because gravy calories can add up fats.
7. SWAP candy canes for healthy ginger bread cookies
Although candy canes look good on the Christmas tree and in the stockings, decorated ginger bread cookies will look just as good! Candy canes are nothing but empty calories and will only leave you and the kids with an energy slump and more sugar cravings. Swap them for freshly baked ginger bread cookies made at home.
8. SWAP sugary drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with water or sparkling water
Don’t drink all your calories by replacing water with fluids such as juices, sodas, black tea, coffee or alcoholic beverages. Make water your first choice. Serve homemade infused waters made with lemon, fresh mint, orange wedges or mixed berries & pomegranate and make drinking water more flavorful and exciting