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5 Healthy Holiday Swaps

Filed Under: Nutrition,Recipes at 2:15 pm | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Family celebrationTis the season for…weight gain? It’s no secret that this time of year brings out the most delicious food with the most dreadful nutritional content. If you’re trying to stave off the seemingly inevitable consumption of excessive calories, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re eating. Bump up the nutrition and lower the calories this season with these 5 healthy swaps that will still make you look forward to your holiday meals!

1. Swap Candied Yams For Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Instead of having a serving (or two) of candied yams, offer to bring a healthier alternative. Roasted sweet potatoes with a little salt, pepper and olive oil is only around 100 calories per serving and you’ll also get the healthy vitamins and nutrients from the potatoes. Want to add a little sweetness? Sprinkle some cinnamon on them!

2. Swap The Casserole For Fresh Green Beans. The casserole may be delicious, but it has a high amount of fat and calories. Skip the cream of mushroom soup and French-fried onions and have fresh green beans instead. Roast them with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and you won’t even think about what you’re missing. Yes, they’re that good.

3. Swap Eggnog For Apple Cider. Just one glass of eggnog can have up to 250 calories and a lot of saturated fat. By having apple cider, you will have instantly saved 100 or more calories and all the fat. Eggnog is definitely a seasonal favorite, so if you’re going to indulge, think moderation!

4. Swap Chocolate Chip Cookies For Meringues. Opt for a lighter sweet treat after a big meal with meringues. They don’t have to be boring. Try this recipe (my personal favorite) – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat 2 large room temperature egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and beat until fluffy. Add 2/3 cup of granulated sugar gradually (about 3 tablespoons at a time). Then add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract when half of the sugar has been added. Continue beating and adding remaining sugar until it is all dissolved. Fold in 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and then put a teaspoonful of meringue onto baking sheets, leaving 1-inch of space between. Place baking sheets in the preheated oven and turn the oven off. Leave the cookies undisturbed overnight!

5. Swap Alcohol For Spritzers. Did you know a full glass of wine can add on an extra 120 calories to your meal? Cut that number almost in half by replacing 2 oz of a 5 oz pour with club soda. You’ll still be festive, but with a lot less calories!

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