holiday-pic‘Tis the season to overindulge!  Let’s break the cycle this year.  Enjoying the holidays doesn’t mean all rules go out the window for the month of December.  One day of indulgence is fine, just not a whole month.  Here are some tips to help you avoid the common holiday weight gain:

  1. Keep holiday candy and cookies in a cupboard or pantry.  Out of site, out of mind (hopefully).  Leaving goodies on the counter makes it tempting to eat a little every time you walk by, before you know it the bowl is empty.
  2. Focus on protein foods.  Protein will help you feel full and satisfied longer.
  3. Don’t save up your calories by skipping meals.  This never works.  Eat a high protein, lower carb breakfast and lunch before the holiday party.  This will help you from overindulging.
  4. Share.  Give away or share holiday treats given to you.  Also, give away leftovers to family and friends or freeze them for a  later time.
  5. Bring a high protein, healthy appetizer to the party.  This way you know you have at least one healthy alternative to all the high calorie, high carb foods.  Here are some appetizer ideas to bring to the party:
    • Deviled Eggsdeviled-eggs
    • Shrimp Cocktail
    • Mini Meatballs with Marinara
    • Hummus with vegetables
    • Prosciutto wrapped asparagus or cantaloupe
    • Dips made with plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise
    • Crispy Chickpeas (recipe below)

crispy-chickpeasCrispy Chickpeas

Rinse and drain 2 cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans). Spread on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.  Dry well, remove towels and let sit out for about an hour to thoroughly dry.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat evenly with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and seasonings of choice (ex: garlic powder, cayenne pepper,  paprika, curry powder, rosemary). Bake for 30 minutes, stirring  occasionally.  Turn oven off and leave chickpeas in oven for an hour to get crispy.  Store in airtight container for 3-4 days.  4 servings.      236 calories, 9g protein, 20g carbs, 8g fiber.

Wishing a happy and healthy holiday season to all!

 

Pumpkin is delicious and healthy. I know the most popular uses for pumpkin is in pumpkin pie or carved into interesting faces, but this delicious and nutritious fall food can be used for so much more.

If you are trying to watch your waistline or just get a little healthier foods in your diet, pumpkin should be at the top of the list.  Pumpkin is full of vitamins, like vitamin A, C and E, it is loaded with antioxidants, as well as a good source of fiber.  Don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds either!  Clean and bake them for a healthy snack that gives you protein, fiber, iron, zinc and mono-unsaturated fats (the healthy fats).

Try this hearty soup recipe adapted from ibreathimhungry.com. It’s low carb, gluten and dairy-free. It’s a healthy-kind of comfort food!

Happy Fall!

Turkey Sausage, Kale and Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups chopped pumpkin or butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 cups chopped kale (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water

Instructions:

  1.  Cook sausage in a medium sized saucepan.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Pour the broth and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil – reduce heat.
  2. Add the kale and pumpkin and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 20 minutes
  3. Serve hot, garnished with grated parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 118    Carbohydrates: 7g     Protein: 11g  Fiber: 1g  Sodium: 558mg

 

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