Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Tips & Treats You Don't Have to Burn off in January!

It is that time of the year where everywhere you go there is more to eat, and more to drink and we all just think..."I'll get rid of it in January". Well not only does that not sound like fun, it is also not healthy.

When you eat unhealthy and drink an excess of alcohol you are doing much more to your body than just adding calories. Here are some ways to prepare for the holiday parties, brunches, lunches and more!
  • Eat normally! Depending on what time your gathering is, try to have a moderate size meal with loads of vegetables before you go, so you are not famished when you get there. When you arrive at your holiday party with some food in your belly, you can enjoy a bit of the food provided and avoid over eating which happens easily when you let yourself go too long without food.

  • Plan! Keep healthy food in your home that will allow you to have regular food before you go out. If you are going shopping take a piece of fruit and nuts so you can keep shopping and avoid the food court in the malls.
  • Alcohol! Keep this to at least a moderate amount and avoid binge drinking. Having excess amounts all in one go can be more detrimental than having one drink each night.
  • Follow the 2 bite rule! After the first two bites you know what it taste like, so you can stop and enjoy a little bit of something else!
  • Stay hydrated! This helps with feeling hungry when you are likely needing water. 

If you are the host there are loads of healthy options that taste great and will impress your guests.

  1. Try a bean based dip instead of a cream based dip.  You can make or buy a bean dip and you can use black or white beans (or both). Use baked crisps instead of deep fried chips to dip with. Try the recipe below!
  2. Delicious alternative to traditional desserts high in sugar are Coconut Cocoa Date Balls. Still sweet with natural sugars! Recipe for coconut-cocoa-date-balls
  3. Vegetables dipped in homemade hummus or guacamole. Store bought is an option too if in a hurry! These are great alternatives to cream based, or high fat traditional vegetables dips. 
  4. For a great hot appetizer try baking your own yam fries or wedges and avoid deep fried foods. Make a curry and yogurt dip to use with them!
  5. For a great cold appetizer go for shrimp cocktail! 

Black Bean Dip

2 cups (500mL) cooked black beans; or 1 14oz (454mL) can black beans, drained, rinsed
Optional: Use equal parts Aduki beans instead of black beans
½ cup (125mL)                        sugar-free mild tomato salsa
2 Tbsp. (30mL)                        lime juice
2 Tbsp. (30mL)                        fresh cilantro
¼ tsp. (1mL)                           ground cumin
Sea salt to taste

* In a food processor, combine the black beans, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, and cumin. 
* Process until smooth. 
* Season with salt and transfer to a small bowl. 
* Garnish with cilantro, green onion or red peppers. 
* The dip can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Enjoy your new treats and happy holidays! 

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