12 Healthy Tips For The 12 Days Of Christmas – 3

12 Healthy Tips For The 12 Days Of Christmas – 3 Featured Image

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

Don’t forget about the veggies!

Before you eat dinner, scan the appetizers for a vegetable tray. It is also a good idea to skip the dip. Choosing vegetables will provide you with nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, antioxidants, and fiber. If you are in charge of cooking the Holiday meal, you should provide your guests with vegetables that are cooked in a way that keeps their nutrient value. The best way to do this is to steam or roast your vegetables. Steaming and roasting are easy and don’t require a lot of steps. If a vegetable recipe calls for cream, try using light cream instead of heavy cream. If a vegetable recipe calls for butter, try using half of the amount that is suggested on the recipe. And lastly, don’t overload vegetables with salt. Put in a little for seasoning, and allow everyone to season their food with more salt if they really want to. Here are a few vegetable recipes that you will enjoy!
Green bean casserole:
Serves 10    Prep Time: 15 minutes, Bake Time: 35 minutes

  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 2 bags of frozen green beans, thawed
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 small onion, sautéed in olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • Slice the onion into thin slices. Place into the heated pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee the onion until golden brown.
  • In a bowl, combine soup, milk, soy sauce and pepper. Gently stir in beans. Spoon half of the mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the onions. Spoon remaining bean mixture over the top.
  • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes longer. Yield: 10 servings.

Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and Yams
Serves 10   Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

  • 8 cloves of roasted garlic (the jar will give instructions as to how many teaspoons is equivalent to 1 clove)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 pounds yams, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish.
2.      Boil potatoes and yams in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup liquid.
3.      Place potatoes and yams in a large bowl with milk, butter, rosemary, garlic, and reserved olive oil. Mash to desired consistency, adding any extra liquid as needed. Mix in 1/4 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
4.      Bake until heated through and golden on top, about 45 minutes.

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

To keep portion sizes on my mind!

When you smell the foods you are cooking and see the spread of delicious Holiday favorites, it is easy to overload your plate with all that goodness. But overloading your plate can often lead to not so good feelings after you eat it all. In order to avoid this, take one piece of meat, and one small scoop of the side dishes. This will give you a taste of everything without food overload. You should aim towards filling ¼ of your plate with meat, ¼ of your plate with a starchy side dish such as potatoes, and ½ of your plate with vegetables. Eat your meal slowly, putting your fork down and resting for a minute every now and again. Dinner is a time to converse with all of the family you are sharing the Holiday with. By talking to those you are sitting with, you will eat slower. If you decide later that you are still hungry, go back and pick one or two of your favorite items and take a small amount.

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

You can have dessert, but don’t over do it!

What would a holiday party be without the dessert table? However, this table can be a very difficult area for people who are on a diet or trying to maintain a healthy weight. However, don’t let food control you over the holidays. The holiday is time to enjoy and celebrate life, and dessert can definitely be a part of that. When dinner is ending and it comes time for dessert allow yourself to have one or two small portions of dessert, but do not make your dessert plate as full as your dinner plate. Choose one piece of the pie you have been eyeing up, or one of your favorite holiday cookies. Dessert is meant to be savored and enjoyed. So choose your favorite and enjoy it, just don’t go back for seconds or thirds, because keep in a mind a single piece of pecan pie can have over 500 calories. Therefore people counting calories may want to choose a lighter dessert option like a slice of pumpkin pie (205 calories) or 2 small sugar cookies (130 calories). Here is a delicious recipe that has fewer calories but lots of flavor.
Recipe: Crustless Pumpkin Pie
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs (Use an egg substitute to cut more fat and cholesterol)
2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup evaporated milk (use fat free milk to eliminate more fat)
1-1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
In a bowl, combine the sugar and flour. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in the pumpkin, milk, vanilla and cinnamon if desired; mix until well blended. Pour into a greased 9-in. pie plate. Place pie plate in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; add 1/2 in. of hot water to pan. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 211 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 87 mg cholesterol, 49 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein.