The holiday season is a fun and festive time. It’s also a time when many people take a timeout from their daily routine to enjoy those tempting treats at family gatherings and office parties. This holiday season, end the year on a high and healthy note with the help of registered dietitian, Lyssie Lakatos.
“If you know desserts at holiday parties are a downfall for you, bring a dessert that uses nutrient-packed ingredients,” says Lakatos. “Show guests that nutritious can be tasty and don’t be afraid to test out unconventional ingredients like sweet potatoes, beans or zucchini.”
Here are a few tips from Lyssie on how to eat, drink and be healthful during the holidays:
* Pre-game with mini meals: One rule of thumb is never show up to a party famished. Have a protein packed snack like a light soup or Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked and Peeled eggs before arriving to prevent hunger pangs. Eggland’s Best eggs are a good source of protein and also contain more than double the omega-3s of ordinary eggs. Evidence has also shown that those who eat soup prior to a main course are less likely to overeat during the rest of the meal.
* Cheers to your health: Alcohol can lower your inhibition and increase your hunger at the dinner table. Pay attention to your portion sizes and know your limit. When it comes to wine, remember that one serving is only five ounces. Those being served by someone with a heavy hand can oftentimes end up drinking up to eight ounces or more per pour. If you want to make your drink last twice as long, add sparkling water and ice to your glass and use the “every other” tactic – alternating alcoholic beverages with calorie-free drinks.
* Think outside the cake mix box: If you’re in the mood to bake a pie, cake or brownies, try swapping out flour for ingredients like sweet potatoes or black beans, which are good sources of magnesium to help lower stress and are rich in fiber to help flush those holiday indulgences for a flatter-appearing tummy. Also, instead of baking with ordinary eggs, use a nutritionally superior egg like Eggland’s Best which have 10 times more vitamin E and 25 percent less saturated fat.
Sweet Potato Pie
* 2 Eggland’s Best eggs (use Eggland’s Best because they have four times more vitamin D, which is an important vitamin to have during the dark, winter months)
* 3 small sweet potatoes, roughly 3 ounces each
* 2 tablespoon butter, soft
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1/2 cup skim milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* Oil in a spray bottle or non-stick cooking spray
* 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
* Nonfat whipping cream (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Using a fork, stab each sweet potato several times in separate spots. Place in the microwave for about 6 minutes (depending on your microwave) or until very soft and a knife can easily go through them. Once fully cooked, allow potatoes to cool for roughly 5-7 minutes or until they are not too hot to handle. Using a potato peeler or knife, remove the skin from the potato and cut the potatoes into chunks. Place potato chunks into a medium bowl and add Eggland’s Best eggs, butter, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Using a fork or whisk, mix the ingredients together completely. Prepare pie crust according to directions on package. Spray the bottom and sides of the pie pan with non-stick cooking spray or oil and place pie crust in pan. Using a fork, prick bottom of the crust in 3 separate places to prevent bubbles from forming. Pour the sweet potato batter on piecrust evenly. Place in oven for about 20 minutes. Remove pie from oven and stick toothpick or knife in center. If it comes out clean, remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool. If batter still appears on toothpick or knife, place back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until toothpick or knife comes out clean. After the pie has cooled, slice it into 10 pieces. If you desire, add whipping cream. Enjoy!