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HAVE A HEALTHY HOLIDAY

LIGHTEN UP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!

The holidays are a time to get together with friends and family, to enjoy the good company, the good food, and some much-needed time off from work and school. Yet so many people end up getting into a panic about all of the tasty dishes and treats that await. Is there a way to partake in the yummy delights during the holidays without packing on some serious pounds? YES!

Below you will find some holiday recipes that are bursting with flavor, but are also packed with nutrients. These recipes won't have you feeling deprived, or uncomfortably stuffed! Try out one or all of these dishes and bring something nutritious and delicious to your holiday get-together!

1. CAULIFLOWER RISOTTO

cauliflower florets, 1 head
celery, 3 stalks
olive oil, 1 T
garlic (minced), 1 t
onion (chopped), 1
white wine, 1/4 c
craisins (or raisins), 1/4 c
coconut milk, 1 (14-oz) can
nutritional yeast, 1/4 c
sea salt, 1/2 t
black pepper, 1/4 t
lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
Italian parsley (minced), 2 T

Boil a large pot of water; add cauliflower and cook 4 minutes. Drain and cool.

Pulse cooled cauliflower in food processor; reserve. Shred celery; reserve.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook 5 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook 2 minutes. Add wine; cook 4 minutes to reduce. Add celery and craisins; mix well.

Add coconut milk; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients; mix; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Calories: 112, Fat: 9 g, Sat Fat: 3 g, Poly Fat: 6 g, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 3g

2. CHARD AND BEAN-STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

acorn squash (halved, seeded), 2
tomato paste, 1 T
swiss chard, 1 large bunch
extra-virgin olive oil, 1 t (plus 2 T)
salt, 1/2 t
white beans (rinsed), 1 (15-oz) can
kalamata olives (chopped), 1/4 c
black pepper, 1/2 t
onion (chopped), 1/2 c
dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, 1/3 c
garlic (minced), 2 cloves
Parmesan cheese (grated), 1/3 c
water, 2 T

Cut the bottom of the acorn squash to make it rest flat. Sprinkle the halves with the teaspoon of oil and dashes of salt and pepper. Place on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 12 minutes so squash comes apart with a fork.

While microwaving, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add water, tomato paste, salt, and pepper, and chard; cook 5 minutes. Add beans and olives; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon oil, and Parmesan. Fill each squash half with a mixture of the breadcrumbs and the veggies and beans. Place squash halves in baking dish; bake 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Calories: 340, Fat: 13 g, Sat Fat: 2 g, Poly Fat: 10 g, Carbohydrates: 50 g, Fiber: 12g, Protein: 10g

3. ASIAN-SPICED TURKEY MEATBALLS

nonstick cooking spray
red onion (diced), 1/4 c
ground turkey, 1/2 lb
egg white (lightly whisked), 1
dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, 3 T
sesame oil, 3/4 t
soy sauce, 1/2 t
black pepper, to taste
garlic powder, 1/4 t
hoisin sauce, 1/4 t
sriracha, 1/4 t
juice from 1/2 orange
cilantro (optional), to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F. Coat two baking sheets with nonstick spray. Boil a pot of water; add onion. Cook 1 minute; drain; reserve.

In a mixing bowl, combine egg, onion, turkey, breadcrumbs, sesame oil, soy sauce, black pepper and garlic powder.

Use a tablespoon to form small meatballs; place on baking dishes. In separate bowl, whisk sriracha and hoisin sauce; spoon a bit over each meatball. Bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven; garnish with orange juice and cilantro; serve.

Calories: 110, Fat: 4 g, Sat Fat: 0 g, Poly Fat: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 8g

4. RAW VEGAN FUDGE

coconut oil (melted), 1 c
raw cacao powder, 1/4 c
almond butter, 1/4 c
maple syrup, 1/4 c
vanilla extract, 1 T

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Pour into a square baking dish; freeze about one hour.

Slice into pieces and serve.

Calories: 90, Fat: 5 g, Sat Fat: 3 g, Poly Fat: 2 g, Carbohydrate: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3g

Follow Alphie for some fun holiday pictures! @SirAlphie

HOLIDAY EATING TIPS!

When it comes to Christmas, there are some things I like to keep in mind so that I can have fun and take it easy without derailing all of my hard fitness work! These are some tips I suggest:

-Eat a good breakfast. You may want to starve yourself until Christmas dinner, but starting off with a good, healthy breakfast will help you avoid overeating later.

-Eat your favorite dishes first. Love the cinnamon buns? Fine, eat one! Remember that you don't have to eat two of everything. Choose your absolute favorites, savor them, and you'll be less likely to overindulge.

-Make your plate colorful. This goes for all year round! The more color, the more nutrition!

-Shift your focus. Don't over think it; turn your attention instead to the camaraderie and fun of the holidays, not the forbidden food you can't eat. Eat, drink, be merry, and remember that this is a special occasion. It's not the end of the world if you overeat, but do focus on nourishing your body and your soul.

-Hydrate! I can't stress this enough. Drink water throughout the day, and maybe start your morning off with my Nutrition Shake! Staying hydrated will help you avoid mistaking hunger for thirst, and thus overeating.

Happy holidays everyone! Let's have a great 2017!