Eating during the holidays should be no different from the way you eat every day if you eat a moderate amount of foods that are high in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Before the holidays begin, create daily, healthy eating habits. Establishing daily habits early will help you make wise eating choices during the holidays. Follow these tips to start a healthy routine:
— Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Include whole grains, fruit, low-fat dairy and protein.
— Choose vegetables and fruits that have a variety of colors.
— Eat whole grains.
— Choose a variety of proteins like seafood, chicken, turkey and beans.
— Watch your portion sizes.
Parties are popular during the holidays and can cause unhealthy eating. Try not to arrive at the party hungry. Don’t skip meals during the day to “save” calories and carbs. Don’t rush to eat at the event; spend some time socializing first. When you do eat, use small plates, and fill them with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Also, when socializing, do not stand near a table with food; this will help you avoid unnecessary nibbling.
Remember, there are lots of sweets and desserts during the holidays, and these foods often contain carbs and fat with few other nutrients. Try substituting fruit as dessert. Fruit is sweet and has fewer calories than most desserts. If using fruit as a dessert, keep within one serving size for the particular fruit. When cooking, use vanilla or cinnamon to act as a sweetener. This flavoring will add sweetness without a lot of carbs. Also you can split a dessert with a friend or try bringing your own diabetes-friendly dish to the party.
For more information on eating healthy during the holidays, visit the American Diabetes Association website, http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/holiday-meal-planning.
LOW FAT CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
15 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 (14.5 ounce) can fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
1 ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
1 quart water
In a large pot, place chicken breasts and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Lower temperature and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and set aside. Add chicken broth to the water. Bring to a boil. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and ¾ cup of the broth mixture. Stir until the mixture is the consistency of biscuit dough, soft and not sticky. Cold water may need to be added. Drop the dough mixture into the boiling broth by the teaspoon. Gently stir the dumplings and broth. Shred the cooked chicken and return to the pot. Sprinkle black pepper and seasoning according to taste. Simmer an additional 3 to 5 minutes and serve. Yield: 5 (1 cup) servings.
Nutrition Facts: 210 calories; 2.5 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 1010 mg sodium; 24g total carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 1 g sugar; 23 g protein.
CRANBERRY APPLESAUCE SQUARES
1 package sugar-free cranberry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
½ cup cold water*
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
Prepare and 8” X 8” pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. In a heat resistant mixing bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water and applesauce. Mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hour. Yield: 4 (1/2 cup) servings.
*Combing ice and cold water will cause the gelatin to set faster.
Nutrition Facts: 50 calories; 0 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 0 mg sodium; 14 g total carbohydrate; 1 g dietary; 12 g sugar; 0 g protein
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