If you have the privilege, duty, or obligation (depending on how you view it) to cook for your family for the holidays, we would like to give you some tips on how to make healthy choices regarding what you decide to cook. When the holidays are spent at others’ homes, you have less input and are at their mercy. With the event taking place at your house, you get the opportunity to make good, healthy food choices for yourself and your family because now they are at your mercy!
Turkey is generally a part of Christmas dinner. The good news? Turkey is low in calories and fat. It is high in protein and other nutrients which benefit you. Turkey is usually served with cranberry sauce this time of year. That is another tradition that you can maintain. Cranberry sauce contains several nutrients. While making your own homemade cranberry sauce gives you more control over its ingredients, even the canned version is not going to hurt you.
Mashed potatoes are another holiday favorite. While potatoes aren’t necessarily bad for you, there are some things to remember. Potatoes are low in calories, but they are somewhat high in carbohydrates. The main thing that makes potatoes a less healthy choice is what we add to them. Mashed potatoes are usually made with milk or cream and butter. If you still want to enjoy mashed potatoes with your meal, use low-fat milk. You can even use olive oil instead of butter which provides healthier fat than butter. And, remember that portion control is your friend.
Other staples of holiday meals include stuffing and rolls of some variety whether they are crescent rolls, Hawaiian rolls, or regular dinner rolls. Stuffing is made of bread, so we have grouped these items together. It is no secret that bread has carbohydrates. You may be pleased to learn though that a single roll of any of the above varieties mentioned will only cost you about 80-90 calories and about 12-15 carbs. That’s probably not as bad as you expected. Remember that you don’t need to put a pound of butter on it though, and don’t eat five of them!
It is important to provide plenty of low-calorie, low-carbohydrate options at your holiday meal. This way everyone is full without having done too much damage to their waistlines. Have plenty of yummy vegetables available like green beans, peas, and broccoli. Having both a green salad and a fruit salad available are also great options.
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