12 Healthy Tips For The 12 Days Of Christmas – 4

On the tenth day of Christmas, my dietitian said to me…

Don’t eat the skin on the Turkey.

American holiday dinners almost always involve some form of meat. Two of the most popular meats for holidays are ham and turkey. Out of these two choices turkey is probably the better choice. Not only is turkey an excellent source of protein, but also compared to other meats it has the least amount of fat per serving, if you eat it without the skin. For example, four ounces of turkey breast without skin is only 152 calories and has little to no fat. A drumstick with skin on the other hand has about 236 calories with close to 12 grams of fat. If you are going to have ham at your holiday dinner just try to limit your portion to about four ounces, which is about as big as a deck of cards. Ham has more sodium and fat than turkey, but as long as you stick to the proper serving size you’ll be fine. Here is a healthy recipe to try on your holiday meat:

Recipe: Brown Rice and Apple Stuffed Turkey Breast

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Progresso ® Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped green apple

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 turkey (10 to 12 pounds)

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the broth, 1/3 cup apple juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and raisins. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until rice is tender.

Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, cook celery and onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add apple; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Combine the rice mixture, apple mixture, poultry seasoning, pepper and remaining apple juice and salt.

Just before baking, loosely stuff turkey. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together. Place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 2-3/4 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 180° for the turkey and 165° for the stuffing. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.)

Cover turkey and let stand for 20 minutes. Remove stuffing and carve turkey, discarding skin. If desired, thicken pan drippings for gravy.

Yield: 6 servings with leftovers.

Editor’s Note: Stuffing may be prepared as directed and baked separately in a 1-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and bake a 325° for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my dietitian said to me…

How to walk away from the table!

The first few bites of any food provide you with the most pleasure. Savor those bites to the fullest and don’t go overboard. If you find it hard to know when to stop, here are some good ways to fight the urge to eat more than you should:

  • Don’t sit right next to the appetizers, candy dishes, or cookie trays. This will tempt you to reach over for more food than you should be eating. Move around the house and find places where you can socialize.
  • During the hors d’oeuvres and dinner, keep your mouth busy by talking with everyone who has gathered for dinner.
  • Chew on a piece of gum or a mint to prevent you from picking at the foods available. Eat a few hors d’oeuvres and then chew gum between that and dinner. After dinner, chew on another piece of gum before you dive into the desserts.
  • The taste of toothpaste dulls the taste buds, so if you want to stop eating, find a way to brush your teeth.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my dietitian said to me…

To enjoy the Holiday season!

The Holidays are all about getting together with the people you love most, being thankful for all that we have, and celebrating life. Focusing on food should not be the main concern. While all of these tips are meant to help you, they should not hinder you from enjoying the season to the fullest. Keep these tips in mind, but don’t let trying to eat healthy and exercise consume you. Enjoy the people you are with, enjoy eating the foods you love, enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday, and enjoy the love and friendship that abounds during this time of year!