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Smart Holiday Swaps

My name is Debra Heverling, and I am a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist. It is my goal to help people enjoy the holidays while keeping moderation in mind. Holidays are a time for traditions and favorite foods. We can enjoy these favorites by being mindful of our choices. In order for our health and waistlines to survive the holidays intact, we need to plan ahead and make conscious choices. Indulging on items with a few more calories means you must be more active to balance it out. Plan to increase physical activity during the holidays – strive for at least 30 minutes a day and remember 10-minute intervals do add up!

Smart Holiday Swaps
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables (or substitute for extra veggies)
• Select desserts which use whole fruit but beware of added sugars and fat
• Contribute a fresh fruit salad to holiday gatherings

Smart Holiday Swaps
• Make half your plate fruits and veggies
• Vary with holiday colors
• Swap for lower fat and calorie ingredients in recipes
• Roast veggies with minimal olive oil and use salt-free seasonings

Smart Holiday Swaps
• Use brown or wild rice in place of white rice
• Make stuffing with whole grain bread cubes
• Instead of pie, make a fruit crumble with whole oat topping

Smart Holiday Swaps
• Turkey breast (white meat) without the skin is the leanest choice
• Limit yourself to a 3-4 ounce portion (smart phone size)
• Make gravy low in fat (cool drippings then remove hardened fat) or choose fat-free prepared

Smart Holiday Swaps
• Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream in dips
• Make banana nog (blend banana with low-fat milk) in place of traditional egg nog
• Substitute non-fat evaporated milk for heavy cream in recipes

Avoid skipping meals before a dinner or party. This leads to overeating and excess calories being stored as fat.

Do not arrive at a party hungry. Eat a healthy snack plate of fruits and veggies before you leave your house.

Fill your plate and relocate. Avoid standing by food tables to prevent grazing.

Review food items and decide which are “must-haves.” Balance portion size by following MyPlate recommendations.


Debra Heverling