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It seems like we are surrounded by food this time of year. Starting with leftover Halloween candy, followed by Thanksgiving dinner, and continuing with holiday and New Year’s celebrations. One thing all these celebrations have in common is food, and lots of it! Add to that a busy schedule and colder weather, both of which may make it difficult to get your usual activity.

Here are some tips to keep in mind this holiday season:

  1. Don’t skip meals
    This can lead to overeating if you get overly hungry. In addition, you may allow yourself to eat past the point of comfort to make up for the meal, or meals, you missed. Try to stay on your regular healthy eating schedule.
  2. No food is off limits
    Enjoy your favorite foods. Watch portion sizes of higher calorie options. Slow down and focus on the taste, smell, and texture of the foods you eat, and remember it takes about 20 minutes for your brain and stomach to communicate that you are full.
  3. Be smart at the buffet
    Fill half your plate with vegetables; they’re low calorie and help with appetite control. Choose a small plate of the foods you like best then move away from the food table.
  4. Avoid or limit alcohol
    Alcohol stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, or willpower. Make a wine spritzer by mixing club soda with a glass of wine to cut the calories in half. Use sugar-free mixers to cut calories in cocktails. Try having water or unsweetened flavored seltzer in between alcoholic drinks to curb your alcohol intake.
  5. Keep moving
    The holidays are a busy and sometimes hectic time. Getting activity can help reduce stress, improve sleep, regulate appetite, improve mood, and burn calories.

Here are some ways to modify recipes that you can try this holiday season.

Cut Calories & Saturated Fats

1/2 oil or butter 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce or mashed banana
1 cup of sour cream 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 cup of mayonnaise 1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup of whole milk 1 cup of skim milk
Regular Cream Cheese Neufchatel Cream Cheese
Heavy Cream Half and Half or 2% milk
1 whole egg 2 egg whites


Boost You Fiber

1 cup of all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour
White bread Whole wheat bread
White rice Brown Rice
White pasta Whole Wheat Pasta



This recipe is delicious and makes an easy side dish to take along to holiday celebrations.

Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad

Adapted from

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes



  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts ends trimmed
  • 1 large red apple chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried (reduced sugar preferred) cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  1. First, make the maple mustard dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, mustard, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Next, shave the brussels sprouts. Use a food processor with the slicing attachment and pulse until the brussels sprouts are thinly sliced. Some stores sell them pre-shredded with other ready-made lettuce and salads. You can also use a mandoline or sharp knife if you don’t have a food processor.
  3. Place the shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Add the chopped apple, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Per Serving: Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 93mg