by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN
Nobody gains weight from just that one Thanksgiving Day meal. We gain weight from the "holiday mentality" that continues on from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Yet, the busiest and most stressful time of year is precisely when we must be most vigilant about putting the brakes on our calorie intake and finding the time to fit in lots of calorie-burning, stress-releasing exercise. That said, here are a few healthy makeover tips for holiday meals: modify your favorite holiday recipes so they are healthier and lighter (without compromising taste) by reducing the fat, sugar, sodium and calories.
For example, if you prepare stuffing from a box, look for a lower sodium variety, omit adding butter or margarine, and do add in lots of healthy vegetables like mushrooms, onions, garlic, celery and peppers, sautéed in a small amount of olive oil. You can also add in a touch of super-healthy walnuts and cranberries. Traditional mashed potatoes can be transformed into a delicious, heart-healthy cholesterol-lowering side dish (for Dr. Janet's recipe, see below). Go for the turkey breast without the skin; don't go overboard with the gravy; and eat desserts and drink alcohol in moderation.
This holiday season, remember to take the time to give yourself the gift of health by making a conscious effort to eat better and get in your daily calorie and stress-burning exercise!
Mashed Potatoes with Chickpeas
What you need:
· Two pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
· One can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
· One cup light soy milk
· Half cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
· One-quarter cup Promise Take Control Light margarine
· One teaspoon salt
· Half teaspoon pepper
· Commercial gravy, optional
What you do:
q Place potatoes in large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and return potatoes to pan.
q Add chickpeas and mash using a potato masher. Add soy milk, chicken broth, margarine, and salt and pepper and stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes, until heated, stirring constantly. Serve warm. Top with commercial gravy if desired.
Per serving (One-sixth of recipe, 293 grams or approximately 1 cup): Calories: 255, Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 751 mg, Carbohydrate: 46 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 7 g