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Holiday food landmines and how to avoid them


Image: Libertykitty/Flickr.com

The holidays are an amazing time for many things–good food, good company and some of that wonderful holiday paid time off, for those of us lucky enough to get it. However, it is typically not a particularly great time for your pocketbook or your waistline. I can’t help you with the first one, but I can offer some tips for the latter.

Do you know your enemy?

First, know your enemies so you can avoid them.

Don’t go to a party or big traditional dinner without eating a healthy snack beforehand. You know that stomach rumbling, slightly shaky, I’m hungry so I’ll eat anything feeling? That’s when will power is at zero and you find yourself wondering what happened to the rest of that nine million calorie cheese ball as you move on to full servings of the main course. Try to eat something low in calories and protein rich, like some low fat string cheese and whole grain crackers or nonfat greek yogurt and a piece of fruit an hour or so before you head out. Also, having a snack beforehand will help those pre-dinner cocktails find a nice landing pad instead of going straight to your head.

Speaking of cocktails…

Another hidden calorie bomb? Holiday beverages.

There is no girl in the world that that loves a real deal white Russian more than myself, but those puppies clock in between 400 and 500 calories, or the equivalent of about two cups of mashed potatoes.

Substituting the half and half for 2% milk can save some calories without sacrificing too much taste, if you must.

Sadly, eggnog is another calorie heavy hitter with 300 to 400 calories per serving, or the equivalent of a large serving of roasted turkey.

Mulled wine, cranberry spritzers and any mixed drink made with soda water, are much lower in calories than their mixed with sugary syrup or heavy cream counterparts.

Just desserts

As for dessert, moderation is key. If you played those appetizer and beverage cards right, you should be able to spare a small slice of the pumpkin and the apple pie, just apply the whipped cream sparingly.

Even if you totally blew it and over indulged, tomorrow’s another day. Take a walk around your neighborhood or rake some leaves and you can burn off at least some of that white Russian and pumpkin pie.

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