December 2009

Food, glorious food

It’s the holidays, but, with careful preparation, you don’t have to add extra pounds.

Here’s a quick word association game: what’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “holiday”? Is it shopping, the in-laws, or…is it food? Food is a central part of most celebrations, and it’s even moreso during the holidays. Parties, goody days at work, family gatherings and other food events continue for weeks. The result is that all this extra food, combined with less time to exercise, can produce the typical holiday weight gain. For most
people, the extra pounds are not lost after the holidays, and one or two pounds gained at a time add up over the years. Want to have your cake and eat it too? Here are a few easy
recipe alterations:

Cream soup Lowfat cream soup
Regular cheese Nonfat (not in cooked foods) or lowfat cheese
Sour cream Nonfat (if it’s in a cold recipe) or lowfat sour cream
Cream cheese Lowfat (Neufchatel) cream cheese
Chopped nuts Toasted chopped nuts (half the amount)
Sausage Light turkey sausage or turkey bacon
(half the amount if possible)


Calories always count, so arm yourself with the facts and don’t forget about liquid calories.

8 oz. eggnog
(342 calories)
8 oz. hot apple cider (120 cal) or skim cappuccino
(40 cal)
1 slice pecan pie
(450 cal)
1 slice pumpkin pie (230 cal) or ½ slice pecan pie
(225 cal)
1 stuffed mushroom
(70 cal)
1 large steamed shrimp with 1 tsp. cocktail sauce
(13 cal)
8 oz. prime rib
(930 cal)
1 cornish hen, no skin (300 cal) or 4 oz. prime rib
(465 cal)
½ cup homemade
candied sweet potatoes
(225 cal)
½ cup homemade mashed sweet potatoes (180 cal) or
½ cup homemade mashed white potatoes (110 cal)


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Tons of Internet sites are available for nutrition information. The following may be useful for calorie-counters:

This is a comprehensive and quick site for looking up calories burned in all kinds of activities and exercises: