A Healthy Holiday: The Secret to Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth Without Sacrificing Your Waistline

November 3, 2011

Fall is officially here, and the holiday season is just around the corner! It’s a festive time of year full of rich colors, delicious food, cool air, twinkling lights, holiday parties, and of course – baking. Yet with all the wonderful things that come with the holidays, it is also accompanied by extra weight gain for many individuals. Your waistline can really take a hit during this time of year, and who wants to start the New Year with an extra five pounds? We’ll venture to say – no one. But if you have a sweet tooth, we’re here to help.

We will help you keep your waistline trim and satisfy your sweet tooth with a number of and healthy tips.

Although we recommend a yeast-free eating plan year round, we know it’s not always ideal during the holidays. To avoid feeling remorseful when January 1 rolls around, try these tips to stay as close to a yeast-free eating plan as possible:

o Bring a healthy dish to your holiday parties like deviled eggs, a vegetable tray, shrimp cocktail or a deli tray.
o Make healthy sides to go along with your holiday meals like bean salad, sautéed spinach, fresh salad, mashed sweet potatoes or roasted eggplant.
o Research healthy treats that contain all-natural sweeteners such as Stevia. You can have that satisfying taste without the sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Many of us place ourselves under a lot of pressure to prepare the best holiday treats, but this doesn’t need to mean sacrificing your family’s health to do this. While you are making your menu list, please consider a few of before you break out the flour and sugar.

Did you know pumpkins are: rich in antioxidants and B vitamins; low in calories; and contain vitamin A, lutein and beta carotene, which are all great for your eyes? Give this Pumpkin Cheesecake a try. With eight grams of protein and only seven grams of carbohydrates per serving, you can even go back for a second helping!

• Butter (for greasing pan)
• ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
• 2 (8oz) packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
• ¾ cups
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups pure canned pumpkin
• ½ cup FAGE 2% yogurt (or ½ cup light sour cream)
• 4 eggs
• 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. ginger
• ½ tsp. nutmeg
• ¼ tsp. cloves
• ¼ tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Butter the bottom and sides of 9 ½ inch spring form cheesecake pan.
3. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with chopped pecans, distribute evenly.
4. Beat Sweet-n-Natural, vanilla extract, and cream cheese in a mixing bowl with electric mixer until fluffy.
5. Add pumpkin and yogurt, mixing thoroughly on medium speed.
6. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
7. Mix in spices and salt.
8. Pour batter over the nuts in the pan and bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes (test center: knife placed in center should come out clean).

Makes 12 servings. Per slice: 170 calories, 8g protein, 12g fat, 5g saturated fat, 7g carbohydrates, 2g sugar. Not only is this chocolate cake delicious but it’s extremely simple and completely yeast free.

• 1/4 C almond flour
• 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 t aluminum free baking powder
• 1/3 C Sweet-N-Natural
• 1/2 t vanilla
• 2 T melted butter or coconut oil
• 1 T hot water
• 1 egg

1. Mix melted butter (or coconut oil), hot water and Sweet-N-Natural
2. Stir and warm up in microwave until Sweet-N-Natural is dissolved as much as possible.
3. Stir in vanilla, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and egg.
4. Coat ramekins with coconut oil to prevent sticking.
5. Spoon mixture into ramekins.
6. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high for 1 minute or until toothpick comes out clean.

* For extra creamy goodness, top with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut or almond butter before serving! (Makes 2 small ramekins).



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