food

Holiday Survival Tips

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As the holiday season is upon us and your schedule gets extra busy! Here are some tips to help you through the holiday whirlwind.

Holiday Preparation Burns Calories

Holiday Preparation Burns Calories

Schedule time and sneak in time to stay active throughout the holidays! Although, also embrace the other ways that you will burn calories during the holiday season preparing for gatherings. For example, one hour of wrapping presents burns about 90 calories, one hour of cleaning burns about 150+ calories, one hour of cooking burns about 240 calories.

Calorie counts based on 150-pound person. Click here for a calorie calculator.

Stock up on healthier snacks!

Stock up on healthier snacks!

Sure there will be extra snacks and treats around throughout the holidays. Also stock up on healthier staples like: almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, etc. They are perfect to put out at holiday gatherings or grab to take with you to keep your energy up while running errands.

Other quick and easy ideas to have on hand: clementines, bananas, fruit and nut bars (opt for lower sugar varieties), popcorn, whole grain fig bars

It’s all about balance!

It’s all about balance!

Holiday celebrations often come along with drinks! Balance out alcohol by mixing in a glass of water or club soda between drinks. It will help to keep your overall intake in check, hydrate you, and leave you feeling better the next day.

Plus remember the calorie count that comes along with drinks to help balance out your intake! For example: long island iced tea (8 ounces) 780 calories, eggnog with rum (8 ounces) 370 calories, gin and tonic (7 ounces) 200 calories, light beer (12 ounces) 95 - 135 calories, red or white wine (5 ounces) 120 calories,

If you are throwing a party, serve up a fun non-alcohol “mocktail” like a Sparkling Holiday Mule! See the recipe below.

Sparkling Holiday Mule Mocktail

Sparkling Holiday Mule Mocktail

Sparkling Holiday Mule Mocktail

Ingredients:
Ice
Poland Springs Ginger Lime Mule Seltzer
Fresh Lime Slices
Whole Cranberries (for garnish)
Sprig of rosemary (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Muddle a lime slice in a copper mug (or other serving glass).

  2. Add ice and fill with ginger lime mule seltzer.

  3. Garnish with whole cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.

Cheers!

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Oh Yum! Bean & Veggie Dip

Bean & Veggie Dip

Bean & Veggie Dip

This dip is simple to put together and it is perfect in SO many ways! I love it as a dip with tortilla chips, it tastes great with chicken or fish as a topping, or even just as a side dish by itself. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (11 ounce) can super sweet corn, drained
1 sweet onion, diced
1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced red bell pepper

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Note: for best results, refrigerate overnight before serving! 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 170 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 200 milligrams sodium, 26 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 6 grams protein

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Wild Blueberry Chia Jam

I had been seeing a lot of posts about making chia jam and I had to give it a try.  I am so glad that I did! Chia jam is really easy to make and a delicious lower sugar way to enjoy jam. I picked frozen Wild blueberries although you could use a mix of all different types of berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.). 

A tablespoon of jam typically has three times as much sugar as this jam (about 12 grams), each tablespoon of this jam has only 4 grams of sugar. Plus you get some fiber from the chia seeds!

Wild Blueberry Chia Jam

Ingredients:

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup water

5 cups frozen Wild blueberries

1/3 cup honey

Directions:

1. In a small bowl mix the chia seeds and water. Set aside.

2. In a medium sauce pan combine the frozen Wild blueberries and honey. Heat the berries and honey until the berries are thawed and softened, let the mixture come to a gentle boil. Then lightly mash the berries with a fork or a potato masher.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the soaked chia seeds. Let the mixture cools and then transfer the mixture or a storage jar or container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to thicken.  

Nutrition facts per tablespoon: 20 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 5 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 4 grams sugar, 0 grams protein

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Balance

Balance Is the Key to Success In All Things

When it comes to your health, the quote "Balance is the key to success in all things." comes to mind. This is especially true when it comes to nutrition! Let's look at two examples: water and food. Water A large percentage of our body is and should be water and most all things in our body need water to work. Too little water results in dehydration and too much water can result in issues like, hyponatremia as a result of flushing sodium from the body, which can be dangerous and even deadly.

The same holds true for food and food is literally fuel for the body providing calories (aka energy). Too few calories can be damaging to our health and too many calories adds excess weight which overtime can lead to obesity, heart disease, etc... When it comes to food the idea of balance holds true even when we breakdown nutrition into nutrient groups: carbohydrates, protein, and fats - each nutrient plays integral roles within the body and too little of any particular nutrient overtime can negatively impact our health.

For example - protein helps build muscles, nerves, etc... without it overtime muscle mass would decrease and our body won't work the way it should. My tip of the week is when it comes to food and water is think about balance.... Investing the time to plan your meals and balance your food intake will help your overall health and well-being. If you need help striking that balance, work with a registered dietitian, you can find one near you at www.EatRight.org.  

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