(Family Features) The holidays bring lights, cheer, TV specials and treats – plenty of them. While it is tempting to eat all that gets placed in front of you, it isn’t worth the extra pounds you may gain during the holidays.
Here are some tips to balance healthy living with enjoying the holiday spirit:
Get in a festive mood with wintry activities. Bring the holidays to life by planning some fun seasonal activities with loved ones, such as ice skating, sledding, going to a tree farm to pick your tree, or decorating for the holidays. You will create some great memories with your favorite people, which is what the season is all about.
Share the joy. Sharing is encouraged when it comes to holiday deliveries loaded with carb-filled goodies. Instead of keeping temptations around your house, share them with your neighbors or coworkers along with a holiday card to spread the cheer.
Don’t drink your carbs. If you’re not careful with loaded winter beverages, you could derail your healthy eating efforts. Instead of hot chocolate, opt for peppermint tea or add peppermint extract to your coffee for some holiday flavor. This also applies to alcohol consumption – red wine or spirits with low-glycemic mixers are best.
Bake yummy low-carb goodies. This is a good approach both for sweets around the house and for attending a party. Your friends and family will love your thoughtful contribution and you get to enjoy a healthier holiday treat.
For example, bake a classic like the Holiday Cookies below from www.Atkins.com, where you can find many low-carb versions of your favorite holiday treats.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Makes: 24 servings
1 cup sifted soy flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 tablespoons granular sugar substitute (Sucralose)
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In food processor, pulse soy flour, baking soda, sugar substitute, cream cheese and butter for 30 seconds, until texture resembles coarse meal.
In small bowl, mix together sour cream, egg and vanilla extract. Add sour cream mixture to soy mix mixture and pulse until just-combined, about 15 seconds. Chill in freezer 10 minutes or until firm.
Roll dough out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to 1/8 thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out dough in desired shapes. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet and bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
Nutritional information per serving:Net carbs: 1.4 g; Fiber: 0.3 g; Protein: 1.8 g; Fat: 3.7 g; Calories: 46.