One of my favorite things about the holidays is the amazing food. Every year when the Fall season approaches and the weather starts to get cooler, I look forward to the delicious holiday meals. For me, it’s Thanksgiving and Christmas; for you, it could be those and/or other holidays.
Not only is there a lot of food, but there is also usually a lot of sweets, and not just on these holidays, but also from Halloween, and the occasional hot chocolate or homemade pie which tend to be consumed around the holidays. It’s ok to indulge in a few holiday sweets and comfort food throughout the season, but it’s very important that we are mindful of what and how much we are eating. To help us be mindful of what we eat during the holidays, here are a few tips to remember!
- Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full.
- Practice small portion sizes. This can be as easy as a smaller scoop of stuffing or a smaller slice of pie. If you are still hungry, then go back for a little more.
- It's okay to overindulge a little on Thanksgiving or Christmas, just remember to return to normal portion sizes the other days of the months.
- Try healthier alternatives of your usual holiday foods, such as the “Mock” Garlic Mashed Potatoes made from cauliflower! (with 5 stars and 398 reviews foodnetwork.com, I'd say it's more than worth a try!)
And one final tip for a healthier holiday season…
Be active! Play a game of catch or tag before dinner, go for an after dinner walk, or park your car further from the store so you have to walk a little more. Turn the TV off, and set up a game of musical chairs or a scavenger hunt. Anything you do to increase your own and your family’s physical activity will improve your health and theirs, and that’s a winning situation for everyone.
Small changes make a big difference with our health, and once these small changes become habits, living a healthy lifestyle is easier than you might think!
Mock” Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or buillon (may substitute ½ teaspoon salt)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
- Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool, and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
- In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chicken base (or salt), and pepper until almost smooth. (I think this could also work with any high powered blender, like a Vitamix, Ninja blender or even a Magic Bullet or Nutribullet.)
- Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.