12 Days of Healthy Christmas
12 Days of Healthy Christmas Feasting
On the first day of Christmas my grocer gave to me
One Fresh Turkey…Buying a fresh turkey means you don’t need to thaw your bird in a cooler or under running cold water in the sink. Many foodborne illnesses arise from improper thawing of the bird on a kitchen counter. Once the skin of the bird hits room temperature it only takes 2 hours before those bacteria multiply to unhealthy numbers. Proper cooking will kill many of the bacteria but some critters produce a toxin that can’t be cooked off and will make you sick.
Two Rings of shrimp…This low fat appetizer is a crowd pleaser and is easy to prepare. Serve it with a cocktail sauce or lemon and dill for a fresh twist.
Three bottles of wine…Start with a sparkling wine and a few floating cranberries, then move to a viognier or pinot noir to complement a holiday feast special. Antioxidants and quercetin in wine make it heart healthy as long as you stick to one or two glasses. One bottle will pour five 5oz glasses of wine. Each glass has about 140 calories.
Four low fat eggnog lattes…Nothing says Christmas more than eggnog and freshly grated nutmeg. Choose low fat eggnog mixed with skim milk for your festive lattes this season and enjoy your coffee guilt free.
Five healthy dips…If you are in a hurry this holiday season there are many lower fat prepared dips to choose from right in your grocery store. Try Greek yogurt tatziki, red pepper hummus, jalepeno pepper jelly, guacamole and salsa.
Six salmon lox…Salmon is full of omega 3 fats and a healthy alternative to the cheese plate. Serve it with purple onion slivers, capers and low fat cream cheese on cucumber rounds and impress your guests.
Seven Sweet potatoes…roasted or pureed, sweet potatoes are a personal favorite. I love them baked with pecans on top and a touch of maple syrup.
Eight pomegranates…pomegranates are chock full of fibre, vitamin C and beta carotene. They are a delicious fruit that add colour to your festive salads and can be eaten alone as a snack.
Nine grain bread stuffing…this year get rid of the white bread stuffing and try something new. Use a whole grain loaf and add your onions, celery and herbs. For a low fat option try baking the stuffing in a pan outside the bird instead and use chicken stock for moisture rather than fat from the bird.
Ten Clementines…These little oranges are so sweet and delicious. Tempt your family with a bowl of them left on the counter. You’ll be amazed how quickly they disappear.
Eleven Brussels Sprouts…part of the brassica family, Brussels sprouts are among the top vegetables for folate, vitamin K, vitamin C and fibre. Toss them in olive oil and sea salt and roast them until slightly crispy.
Twelve Brazil Nuts…Cracking nuts at Christmas is a tradition for some. Brazil nuts are tough to crack but worth the effort. They are a source of protein, good fats, magnesium and fibre. 1oz will also provide more than 700% of your daily selenium. Selenium can help boost immune and thyroid function.