the skinny rules

Holiday Survival Tips


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

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


  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.


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Summer Pesto Pizza

Skinny Rules Pesto! 

Skinny Rules Pesto! 

This delicious pesto takes perfect on top of pizza for a light and delicious dinner or even appetizer. This recipe is from The Skinny Rules (Publisher: Harlequin Non-Fiction, see page 108), it's a recipe from a cousin of mine, Kristine Schoembs. What I love about this recipe is that it is only 45 calories per serving, which is much less from traditional pesto that can be loaded with calories. While the calories in pesto mostly come from healthy fats from nuts and oil, it can be hard to save enough calories in a day for a rich pesto. 

Skinny Rules Pesto

Serves 8 (1 oz servings)


2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup veggie or chicken broth

1/4 cup grated Parmesean cheese

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 - 3 garlic cloves


Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend! Store pesto in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Nutrition facts (per flatbread pizza*): 50 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, <5 milligrams cholesterol, 100 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

Photo by luchezar/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by luchezar/iStock / Getty Images


Serves 1 


Whole grain flatbread of  choice (approximately 150 calories)

1/4 cup feta cheese

1 oz Skinny Rules pesto (See recipe above)

Toppings of your choice: sliced olives, mushrooms, zucchini, olives, arugula, basil leaves, etc. 


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Top the flatbread with pesto and spread evenly around. Then top with feta cheese and toppings of choice.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is warm and melted. Slice and serve.

Nutrition facts (per flatbread pizza*): 273 calories, 9 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 620 milligrams sodium, 39 grams carbs, 22 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 12 grams protein

*Nutrition facts based on a Millet & Flax Flatbread (150 calories) and sliced zucchini for a topping, note: the flatbread selected and the toppings will impact the nutrition fact data. 

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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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Recipe Round Up!

here's a Few delicious and nutritious recipes For You to Try!

Freekeh, Kale, and Peach Salad

From Alex Caspero MA, RD, click here for the recipe (shared with permission)

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar, Pesto, and Tomatoes

From CabotRD, click here to view the recipe (shared with permission)

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers 

A twist on my Skinny Chicken Fingers from The Skinny Rulescheck out the recipe below.

Serves 6


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders

1 cup pretzel crumbs*

4 egg whites (whip with a fork)

*Pulse the pretzels in a food processor or blender until crushed and crumbled


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place whipped egg whites in a dish and the pretzel crumbs in a separate dish.

3. Dip ti chicken fingers into the egg mixture and then into the pretzel crumbs.

4. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then flip each of the chicken fingers, and back for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. 

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