Thursday, October 29, 2009

Healthier Holiday Gatherings

(NAPSI)-The holidays don't have to be all about overindulging.

"A little planning can go a long way in helping you stay healthy and enjoy the holidays without regret," says Tammi Hancock, a registered dietitian. "An occasional small treat will help keep you from feeling deprived, but try to keep it to one per day."

Here are a few other tips and tricks to enjoying healthy and happy holidays:

• Don't Go Hungry: It's tough not to dive into the buffet or hit the appetizers hard if you're famished when you arrive at a holiday get-together. Try eating a filling and healthy snack such as apples with peanut butter before the event to help you avoid temptation and make healthier choices. Skip the buffet if you can; or try using a smaller plate so you don't feel tempted to pile it on or end up feeling deprived.

• Gifts From the Heart: Everyone enjoys a holiday cookie exchange or a homemade gift basket of goodies. This year, really wow them with cookies or gifts that are as healthy as they are tasty. It's easy to do with a few simple substitutions. Replace regular butter in your favorite holiday cookies and treats with lighter spreads such as Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick; it has the same flavor and cooking qualities without all the saturated fat and cholesterol.

• Better Potluck: Instead of bringing a decadent treat or another trans fat-laden dip, lighten up; your friends and family will appreciate the taste and nutrition. Try switching to one of Smart Balance's new sour cream varieties to make great-tasting versions of your favorite dips. Along with great taste, you'll be adding vitamins D and E as well as calcium to the mix.

White Onion Dip

Serves 6; 2-tablespoon servings

2 cups Smart Balance Sour Cream and Omega-3s & Vitamins D and E

4 tablespoons of any Smart Balance milk variety

1 cup very finely chopped white onion

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and serve with fresh veggies.

Chef's Tip: Save time before a party-prepare up to 2 hours in advance and refrigerate.

Per serving: 51 calories, 1 gram protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fat, 2.3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams monounsaturated fat, 0 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 22 mg omega-3 fatty acids, 2 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 13 mg cholesterol, 215 mg sodium, 0 grams fiber.

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