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December Health Tips

Eat Smart During the Holiday

Whether it be the excitement of gathering with family and friends, or the anticipation of your favorite holiday dish, we may be tempted to eat more than usual during the holidays. For those who are interested in limited their caloric load, here are some tips on how you can monitor the amount you eat during the festivities.- Eat smaller portions by using a smaller plate for your meal.- Put your fork down in between bites of food and chew slowly.

- Skip the butter for bread or whipped cream for dessert.

- Limit "taste-testing" before the meal. - If you feel hungry after your first plate, eat vegetables instead of high caloric foods. - Take a walk, or do something active, with your family and friends, after your holiday meal Healthier baking

If you, or someone you know, is a fan of baking…listen up! The holidays are a time of year when lots of baking in happening in many homes.

Here are some tips to make those yummy treats a bit healthier:

1. Reduce the fat by adding applesauce in place of the fat (butter, oil). Applesauce can replace most of the fat in a recipe, but add 1-3 teaspoons of oil for flavor and smoothness. Other fruit, like mashed banana (best for sweet breads/muffins/cakes/cookies) and pureed prunes (but for chocolate desserts) can be used as well.

2. If you want to use a sugar substitute for baking, choose sucralose (Splenda); it does not lose it’s sweetness during the baking process which makes it great choice for baking

3. When using flour in a recipe, use half whole wheat flour and half all purpose for added nutrients

4. If you make a cheesecake, use part-skim ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese (or half of each) to cut the amount of fat and calories. (1 cup of cream cheese has 794 calories and 79 grams of fat! The ricotta cheese, on the other hand, has 339 calories and only 19 grams of fat…what a difference!)

Did you know that it is National Pear Month?

I did not, so it is news to me too!

What is your favorite type of pear? Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Starkrimson, Anjou (I have not even heard of some of these!). Pears are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C, considering their size. They are great to eat by themselves, or added to a salad, added to your oatmeal, baked with your holiday meat, or used in a dessert (pie, upside down cake). Pears are very versatile, so pick some up at your grocer and get creative!

Here is a list of different pear recipes from USA Pear


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