holiday

Recipe! Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

As you are getting ready for the holiday season, while it’s fun to go to the tried and true traditional recipes, here is a recipe that would go great with a holiday meal! Or this garlic Parmesan spaghetti squash recipe would make a delicious side dish with dinner too!

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash - Image Source: iStock

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash - Image Source: iStock

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
2. With a knife, carefully score squash and poke holes lengthwise where you’re going to cut it in half. Microwave the squash for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Carefully cut the squash in a half. Scoop out the seeds.
3. Brush the inside of both halves of the squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the two halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the squash until tender, about 30 minutes. Allow several minutes to cool. Using a fork, scrape the insides to create spaghetti like texture. Set aside.
5. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots. Cook until soft and slightly browned, about 2 - 3 minutes.
6. Add the spaghetti squash and sauté for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and then stir in the Parmesan cheese. To finish, season with salt and pepper to taste.

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It's All About Balance - Tips for the Holiday Season

With Hallmark movies getting ready to air on TV and Halloween candy everywhere, here are some practical tips for balance with the influx of treats this holiday season.

PLAN IT

It is a given that there will be more sweets around this time of year, come up with a plan to enjoy them. For example - have a sweet treat on a specific night per week. Having a plan can help to take it off of the mind knowing that on the specific day it will be time for something sweet. Plus it can help you from having to say no so often!

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PICK AND CHOOSE

When thinking about excess, think about sugar in drinks too. For example a 20-fluid ounce bottle of regular soda has about 17 - 19 teaspoons of added sugar.

Instead of having a sugary drink with a meal - have a glass of water or milk instead to cut back on added sugar.

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DONATE IT

Send a gratitude package with some sweets to service menu through programs like Operation Gratitude, click here to learn more about the program OR Soldiers’ Angels, click here for more details.

Or look for other ways in your community to donate excess candy!

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FUN - YET HEALTHIER

Serve up trays of creatively arranged or designed fruit. Pictured here - Mandarin orange ‘pumpkins’, apple monster mouths, strawberry mummies, ghost pumpkins, or monster kiwi. Fruit kebabs are are great way too to creatively display and serve fruit.

Wishing you a healthy holiday season ahead! Stay tuned for more tips and ideas!

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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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Holiday Tips: The Drinks

Another holiday tricky spot that came up was around alcohol and keeping drinks in check! Here's a holiday drinks tip sheet for you!! 

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Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season! 

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Holiday Tips: Portion Control

Earlier this fall, I asked friends to share with me their holiday struggles! My present to all of you this holiday season are healthy holiday survival tips to help get you through the season without packing on the pounds.

I'll be tackling some of the holiday struggles my friends shared including: portion control, drinking, making time for exercise, snacking, the drinks, appetizers, and more!! Stay tuned to the blog for tips and tricks for your healthiest holiday season yet!

First up, let's tackle portion control:

The best tip I can give is to arrive to a party or meal, hungry but not starved! Skipping meals leading up to a party is kind-of like a set-up for failure. Instead have a filling breakfast like whole wheat toast with avocado, grab a light lunch – like some broth-based soup, and an afternoon snack like a handful of nuts or a whole grain granola bar. This way you’ll arrive to the party, hungry – but not starved!  

Hydrate! Sip water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Even mix it up with unsweetened teas, herbal teas, or naturally flavored seltzer water. Then, at parties and gatherings consider the calories that you’re drinking! Calories from drinks can pile up in a hurry (stay tuned for a holiday drink tips sheet... coming soon!). If you are throwing the party, have lower calorie and a mix of non-alcoholic drink options on hand like naturally flavored seltzer water!

Lastly, food and celebrations do bring us together – focus on enjoying the time with family and friends instead of focusing on the food! To help focus on time together, try these quick tips:

- Play a fun game to help shift the focus away from food and instead having time together!

- Get moving and take together, take a walk, hike, or play a game of football.

- Keep the food in one area and skip little bowls of snacks throughout the house to help everyone cut down on mindless snacking!

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy holiday season! Stay tuned for more tips!!

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