Have Yourself a Healthy Holiday
By Renell Cronk, RDN, LD
Not only do we want you to have yourself a Happy holiday, but we also want to make sure to it’s healthy too. Follow our tips, tricks and recipes below to help fight the holiday temptations so you can have yourself a happy and healthy holiday!
Tips and Tricks
Always make time for exercise, no excuses.
Don’t skip meals.
Always eat before attending a holiday party.
Be the one to bring a healthy dish.
Let yourself fill — not pile — one small plate and don’t graze.
Go for the protein and veggie options first and allow yourself one indulgence.
Always ask yourself if it’s really worth it, if not, toss it.
Once you had your fill, pop in a mint.
If you overindulge on a meal make the next one light.
Never stand next to the food table.
Keep drinking to minimum and add ice.
Make sure to get your 8hrs of beauty rest
Choose crafting instead of baking.
Experiment with healthy holiday recipes like the ones below!
Apple Pie Splash
1 cup Light Apple Juice (if can find light use 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup juice)
1 Bottle White Wine or 4 cups light white grape juice (if can find light use 2 cups water, cups juice)
Cinnamon sticks for stirring
1 Apple, thinly sliced
Mix together all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Garnish wine glasses with cinnamon around the rim, cinnamon sticks and few apple slices then fill each glass.
Shrimp Deviled Eggs
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons Hellmann's mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Fage Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Old Bay seasoning
¼ pound cooked shrimp very finely chopped
3 scallions, finely minced, including tender green tops
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill - if you are not using fresh, do not use dried
Place eggs in a covered pan just large enough for a single layer. Add room temperature water to cover the eggs by about one inch. Place pot on high heat and when the water just begins to boil, cook for 1 minute.
Turn off the heat, cover the pot, remove from burner and set timer for 15 minutes.
Drain the eggs, fill the pot with cold water to cool the eggs before peeling.
Split eggs lengthwise and remove yolks to a medium bowl. Mash yolks with fork until fine textured and fluffy.
Blend with mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, ¼ teaspoon Old Bay, shrimp, scallions and dill.
Scoop filling into white halves.
Lightly sprinkle with additional Old Bay and garnish with fresh dill. Cover and chill until serving.
Holiday Cranberry Chicken
Adapted from this original recipe.
2.5 lbs. chicken breast
1 tsp Italian herbs
1/3 cup to ½ cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp coconut amino’s
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic (approx. 2 garlic cloves)
Clean your chicken then place in a roasting or baking dish. Set aside.
Next prepare your marinade. Blend all the ingredients listed in the Marinade in a food processor or blender until liquified and smooth. Pour this over the chicken breast, coating evenly.
Cover and place in fridge to marinade for 30 minutes or up to 24 hrs.
Once marinated, preheat oven to 375F.
Remove chicken from fridge. Add your extra ⅓ to ½ cup cranberries, thyme, and Italian herbs to the dish. Spread it out evenly on and around the chicken.
Bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove and flip over each breast. Then brush each chicken breast with the maple syrup/balsamic vinegar combo.
Add more seasoning (like dried herbs, salt, pepper) to the top if desired. If using fresh herbs, wait to add until after broil.
Broil for about 2-4 minutes or until skin is crispy and chicken is cooked evenly inside. After thoroughly cooked, remove from oven.
Spoon the sauce from the pan onto each chicken breast and a pinch of black pepper or cracked pepper.
Serve with the roasted cranberries on top and any extra fresh herbs desired.
Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
One jar Smucker’s Sugar Free Preserves, any flavor
One 12-ounce bag whole fresh Cranberries
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Truvia or Splenda (optional)
Empty preserves into a heavy saucepan and heat over medium low for 3 to 4 minutes until they soften and melt.
Add cranberries and cinnamon; stirring constantly while mixture comes to a boil; cook until berries begin to pop. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce is glossy and thick. Crush some of the berries against the side of the pot with your wooden spoon. Stir in Truvia or Splenda to taste and cook 5 more minutes before removing from heat to cool.
For a smooth sauce, place in blender and pass through a wire strainer using a rubber spatula.
Cover and chill before serving.
Protein Apple Crisp
Adapted from Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield
1 Cup Almond Flour
1 Cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1 scoop unflavored protein powder (I used relaunch)
3 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 cup Coconut Oil, melted
*2-4 Tablespoons raw unfiltered honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 Granny Smith Apples, cored and sliced (Leave skin)
1 lemon juiced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine Flour, Pecans, protein powder, 2 tsp cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, use a fork to combine coconut oil (melted), honey and vanilla. Mix into the flour/pecan mixture.
Scatter apple slices in a 9-inch baking dish or similar size dish, and combine with lemon juice. Stir in remaining cinnamon, and combine well.
Spread the flour/pecan, mixture over the apple, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes or until apples are soft and bubbly.
Remove Foil, and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until topping is golden brown.
*Add more or less honey depending on how sweet you want the Crisp
About the Author
Renell Cronk is a Registered Dietitian with PsyMed, Inc. She helps educate and prepare Nicholson Clinic patients before and after surgery with meal planning, recipe ideas, nutrition education and more. Nothing gives Renell a greater feeling of accomplishment and joy than helping individuals achieve their health, lifestyle and nutrition goals.