Sunday, November 6, 2011

A healthier holiday season- Challenge for November 9-16

It's so easy to get swept up in an endless holiday season of poor eating choices. One can begin the week of Halloween with Peanut M&M's, mini-snickers and tootsie pops and roll right into weeks of Thanksgiving specialties including everything from stuffing to rich pies and home made breads. That can drop us right into an early Christmas holiday with cookies, candies, pies etc. etc. etc. If we try we can even stretch it through New Years and maybe even try to drag it on to Valentines day. A few holiday tips we can use to help us keep touch with reality during holidays:

1. Take some time to consider- How many days long is this holiday? While it may not seem like Halloween without a few Brach's pumpkins we really don't need to eat them (as well as any leftover Halloween candy) over several days. And while your favorite Thanksgiving treat might be Aunt Mabel's pumpkin roll you might be able to satisfy yourself with one slowly savored slice- rather than noshing on it for a week after the holiday. As we have tried to do throughout this competition- plan your sugar days and include those most scrumptious and special treats but don't let those traditional holiday goodies multiply into many days and thousands of calories.

2. Plan now how to include those things that can bring such peace if you make a spot for them in your busier holiday schedules: daily exercise, a clear glass of chilled water, fresh fruit and vegetables etc. etc.

3. While you will want to include the very best of your traditional holiday dishes spend some time thinking about whether any of those dishes can be modified to be a bit healthier or whether you can supplement your usual fair with a few healthy add ons.

And so what is our challenge for next week?

Make a plan for a healthier thanksgiving by either planning at least one healthy recipe that you will add to your holiday fare or by reworking and revamping a recipe you traditionally serve into a healthier format. Share the recipe or details or your new or revamped dish with the group through e-mail or on this blog. By completing this you will earn the entire 35 bonus points for the week!

And by the way I am planning to make the turkey pictured above. We are traveling to North Carolina for Thanksgiving and I know that if I buy all of the veggies to make this veggie platter I will be able to use them to supplement all of the dishes that will be served while we are traveling. It always helps me so much to fill up on raw fruits and veggies so that my hunger doesn't push me to overeat the more calorie laden dishes. I just like to be very full!


  1. One of the things that sinks me faster than anything is making goodies all month. Even though I am making them for other people, I can't help eating them myself. I think this year I am going to go with some healthier gift options. Either fruit or a non-food option.

    Christmas morning I always like to have something a little fancier, like a quiche. Most recipes have heavy whipping cream or other fatty ingredients in them. This quiche is pretty healthy besides some cheese, which you can use sparingly.

    Janeen's Sealed With a Quiche

    1 tsp olive oil
    1/2 c minced onions
    2 cloves of garlic
    1 1/2 c. cooked brown rice (**See tip below)
    5 T grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    7 eggs
    1 c broccoli florets (or substitute asparagus, cut to 3/4 inch pieces)
    1/2 c chopped roasted red peppers (you can do it yourself with your broiler or grill or use bottled, if you do it yourself - peel off all the charred skin)
    1/2 c packed shredded light Swiss cheese (2 oz)
    1/4 tsp basil or dried dill
    1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
    1 plum tomato

    Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8-inch round cake pan or caserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

    Heat olive oil in a small skillet over med heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a med bowl. Add cooked rice, 3 T Parm cheese, and 1 egg. Mix well. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan and press down with the back of a spoon to make crust.

    Top crust with broccoli, peppers and shredded cheese in that order. In another med bowl, whisk together eggs, basil and pepper. Pour over vegetables and cheese. Top with tomato slices and sprinkle with remaining Parm cheese.

    Bake quiche for 45 minutes or until it's puffed up and golden, and eggs are set. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

  2. P.S. That post was by Bridget :)

  3. I hope this is ok. I plan on copying Sandee's Turkey Veggie Tray and taking to our potluck that has been lacking in the fresh veggie department these last few years.