Eat This, Not That for the Holidays

By Amy Melichar Messman – Stressed about what to eat during the holidays?  You aren’t alone.  I was recently reading my December issue of “Redbook” magazine and came across an insert from Food Network’s very own Lisa Lillien.  She highlights some worst and best choices when it comes to food choices at holiday gatherings.  Here are some of her great suggestions and things to think about when making food decisions.


Worst: Chocolate truffles might be small, but each one packs about 90 calories and 8 grams of fat.

Best: Miniature candy canes have only 15 calories each.  They are fun and take a while to finish.


Worst: Thanks to the buttery pastry shell, heavy cream, and serious cheese, one tiny quiche is fattening; pop four in your mouth and you’ve consumed an entire meal’s worth of calories (about 600) before the main course.

Best: Go for the shrimp cocktail.  You can enjoy eight pieces with cocktail sauce for just 150 calories and 2 grams of fat.


Worst: Warm alcoholic beverages are very tempting when it’s freezing outside, but beware of the hot buttered rum.  One mug contains a whopping 400 calories.  It’s like chugging a glass of melted butter!

Best: Have a vodka soda for 100 calories.  Start with a shot of vodka (or gin); add club soda (skip the tonic- it’s loaded with sugar) and a squeeze of lime.  Cheers!!

Mall Food

Worst: If you’re taking a snack break from the hustle and bustle of shopping the sales, resist the coffee shop muffins.  Some of them top 600 calories.  Shopping during dinner time?  Steer clear of the Chinese stir-fry line.  Chicken Lo Mein or Beef and Broccoli is usually floating in an oily, sugary glaze.

Best: Your best bet is a grilled chicken salad with low-cal dressing, hold the croutons.  Keep on shopping!  You can burn 300 calories in a couple of hours walking around the mall.

Well…try one or two of her suggestions and you will inevitably save yourself some calories.   No matter what kind of gathering you are at during whatever holiday throughout the year, remember that moderation is the key.  Don’t deprive yourself of your favorites.   Just be mindful of what you are consuming and how much you are consuming and you will do great.  As Lisa puts it, you won’t have to ask Santa if you can borrow his suit!

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