Tag: bread

Holidays…family, friends, and FOOD!

Holidays…family, friends, and FOOD!

This is the weight-gaining, cookie-eating, mouth-stuffing time of the year!  It’s the time of the year when people eat cookies, cupcakes, chips, dips, and other sugary and salty foods.  It’s the time of the year when diets seem to be filled with more junk food than fruits and veggies.  It’s the time of the year when there are parties, potlucks, and events.   And, it’s the time of the year when health educators and counselors know what to expect come January when New Year’s resolutions come around!

I am getting ready to cook my “gluten free” Thanksgiving this weekend so that I can actually enjoy it!  Otherwise the day of Thanksgiving I get stuck with meat and potatoes without all the other lovely sides that fill the Thanksgiving table (but are often filled with gluten)!

As a way to cut back on fat and to reduce the calories in my gluten free dishes I will be making roasted brussels sprouts and corn with a couple of slices of bacon rather than a corn casserole or corn pudding which are filled with heavy cream, cream soups, and other fattening additives.  This is a great way to reduce fat and calories while still having great flavor.  The bacon will provide flavor along with chili powder, but since the two bacon slices will be divided among 6 people the amount consumed is very little.

My homemade mashed potatoes will feature part cauliflower.  That may sound awful to some, but I promise you won’t taste the cauliflower and it will save a ton of calories!  I will also use potatoes, but I will combine them with cauliflower to reduce the calories and add some veggies.  I will use reduced sodium, reduced fat cream cheese or greek yogurt to add creaminess to the potatoes.

I will not have bread since I will be making cornbread stuffing.  I made cornbread with reduced fat milk and will make the stuffing using reduced sodium chicken broth.   To save calories, it is great to consider how many “bready” sides or carbohydrate sides you will serve with your Thanksgiving dinner.  Consider having stuffing or bread, pie or cake, with more sides filled with veggies or fruits (i.e. brussel sprouts, corn, green beans, cranberries, mixed fruit, sweet potatoes – healthier than regular potatoes).

If your family does a green bean casserole each year consider roasted green beans, grilled green beans (these are delicious!), or pan seared green beans to cut back on the creamy soups, butter, and fried onions that are all high in calories.

Remember to fill your plates with more veggies than “bready” items and when you go back for seconds fill up on the veggie sides rather than more stuffing, bread, pie, and other high calorie dishes.  Oh, and take a quick walk before or after dinner so your food doesn’t sit in your stomach all day or all night.  You will thank yourself later when your food has a chance to digest rather than sit and make you feel miserable all night! 🙂

Happy eating, enjoy spending time with your friends and family, and have fun making new memories that you will remember forever!




A {healthy} routine…what foods do YOU feed your family?

A {healthy} routine…what foods do YOU feed your family?

Whether your family consists of kids, you’re a newly married couple, or you are a baby boomer near or in retirement, a great way to keep up with your health is by using those around you to keep you in check.  It doesn’t mean that they hold you accountable for what you put in your mouth, but it might mean that the reason you serve healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables with meals is to be a mentor to inspire and provide an example to the people in your life (kids, sisters/brothers, cousins, spouse, etc).  It means YOU care enough to help show those around you that through healthy eating and regular exercise you decrease your chances for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Consider making health a daily family event or routine.  For example, make dinner an occasion where you make a protein, carb, and vegetable side.  You can help your kids learn about their food choices by placing foods in categories that are easy to understand such as “Go”, “Slow”, and “Whoa” which is used in school heath curriculum.  For example, fruits and vegetables in their raw form are usually “Go” foods (eat most often, almost always) while canned fruits in light syrup or frozen vegetables would fall under “Slow” foods (eat less often, sometimes) because a lot of the nutritional value in these foods lessens once they are altered.  Examples of “Whoa” foods (eat least often, once in awhile) might include donuts, cake, cookies, chips, and other foods that are high in sugar and sodium.  Help teach those around you how to categorize their foods.  Make this a fun activity for kids (or adults) by cutting out foods they love and asking them to place each picture under the correct category.  This helps them learn while providing a great chart to hang on the refrigerator as a reminder.  We all need a reminder every now and then and what better place than on the front of the refrigerator so you are constantly reminded every time you open it?! 😉 Once you understand the idea of categorizing individual foods such as breads, cheese, meats, pasta, etc. into “Go”, “Slow”, and “Whoa” you can take it a step further by combining food groups (as we often see when we make meals).  For example, a bagel pizza or English muffin pizza made with low fat cheese or vegetable lasagna/pasta made with a red sauce would be considered “Go” meals while macaroni and cheese or pizza would fall into the “Slow” meals group and deep dish sausage pizza or fried chicken with gravy would fall into the “Slow” meals group.

Remember that your attitude toward food, nutrition, exercise, and fitness impacts your children, your spouse, and those around you so make sure you are the positive influence that helps them stay healthy!  For example, take a 30 minute walk in the evenings with your spouse or take a family bike ride.  Think of fun activities that allow you to make memories and are fun so that your children, spouse, and family have a positive experience as it relates to exercise.  Making a positive association with exercise and healthy foods is very important, if not vital.  This helps you, your children, your spouse, and family recognize the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise while also making them feel like it is easy, fun, and stress-free.  After all, remember that health starts with family and friends because children, friends, and family often echo the behavior of people they are surrounded by.  Be the difference in your family and group of friends to show those around you how to make health a priority through regular exercise and healthy eating.


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