Healthier Holidays

Between Christmas and New Years we tend to go to so many parties, get so many sweets, and generally have many opportunities to not be healthy. So here are a few tips to help you stay healthier this week.

  • Have healthy snacks: make sure you have some healthy foods on hand so you can snack on grapes, whole grain crackers, and carrots instead of just candy and sweets.
  • At meals and parties include all of the food groups: have whole grain crackers for an appetizer, include fruit for a dessert option, fill up half your plate with fruits and vegetables, use lean protein.
  • Healthier baking options: you can use applesauce or mashed bananas in place of oil or butter in many recipes. You can replace some of the sugar or salt with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Try Healthier desserts: make something that highlights fruit for a dessert, such as baked apples instead of an apple pie or fried bananas instead of a banana split
  • Include exercise: this can be included with your celebrations, bundle up and play in the snow or have a dance party
  • Turn to water: For most of your drinks use water, if you need some flavor in your water add a lemon or lime slice, or even a little bit of 100% fruit juice.
  • Focus on people, not food: at parties don’t mingle around the food table, instead visit away from the food table so that you don’t mindlessly eat
  • Don’t stress: you are going to enjoy a few (or even a more than a few) unhealthy treats this week, but don’t let it stress you out and don’t let it prevent you from continuing to try being healthy. You are allowed to enjoy some unhealthy treats, so enjoy them!

For a sweet treat, that is a little healthier, try out this baked apple recipe, courtesy of Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children:

Ingredients

1 apple (medium, skinned and cored, not cut into pieces)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1⁄2 tablespoon nutmeg

1⁄2 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons raisins

1 tablespoon butter alternative spread (0 trans-fat, or butter)

1 tble walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place apple on plate with opening facing up (cored apples should have bottom intact).
  2. Stir sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a separate cup, and sprinkle into and onto apple.
  3. Sprinkle raisins and walnuts (if desired) on and around apple.
  4. Drop butter alternative spread onto apple and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper.
  5. Microwave on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Let sit outside of microwave for at least 30 seconds before eating. It will be HOT.

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