December 28, 2016
By: Mary White, MS, RD, LD
Tis the season of giving and, unfortunately for many people, gaining weight. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American gains about 1 pound of body weight during the holiday season. While 1 pound may not seem like much, overweight or obese individuals tend to gain more weight compared to normal or underweight adults. Also, people that tend to experience holiday weight gain are also less likely to lose the weight in the future.
Oftentimes back-to-back celebrations can be a source of anxiety that leads to mindless eating. During the holiday season, many people are bombarded with eating situations that include buffet-style parties and gatherings, easy access to finger foods, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and free-flowing alcohol. The opportunities for over-eating are likely to occur from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year's Day.
Below are a few favorite healthy recipes from DIFM dietitian bloggers. They are perfect for the post-holiday season (or any other time of the year!). Remember to make these recipes your own and experiment with different flavor combinations for an even tastier treat. Whether your nutrition goals are to maintain or lose weight, consume more fruits and vegetables, or begin eating breakfast, I hope these recipes inspire you to nourish body, mind, and soul in the New Year!
Regan over at Healthy Aperture makes this festive appetizer that is perfect for parties or family gatherings. While the brie may be a bit decadent, the strawberries provide fiber and antioxidants to round out the cheesy deliciousness. This recipe uses dried rosemary, but I substituted about 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme and it worked out great!
Kath at Kath Eats Real Food shows you how to make this super easy baked salmon. The hardest part is waiting for the fish to marinate! Serve with brown rice and steamed broccoli or a side salad for dinner.
EA Stewart over at the Spicy RD created her version of apple pie cake….in a mug! It’s taste just as amazing as it is perfectly portioned!
Abbie from Culinary Nutrition Cuisine makes this simple chicken salad with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of traditional mayonnaise. Chicken salad can be made quickly using rotisserie chicken for an easy weeknight dinner or kept in the fridge for lunches. Try adding dried cranberries or fresh chopped tarragon to brighten the salad without adding any additional fat.
This is a great on-the-go green smoothie recipe that can easily be adapted to fit one’s personal preferences. I like to swap the ¾ cup orange juice for unsweetened almond milk, which gives the smoothie a less sweet taste but creamier consistency. While not a Registered Dietitian, Tieghan Gerard posts a mixture of comfort food style and healthy dishes on her blog, Half Baked Harvest, which is inspired by seasonal flavors.
Note: This recipe calls for spirulina. Spirulina is a type of algae, which is a good plant-based source of iron, B vitamins, and protein. However, spirulina may be contaminated with toxins, heavy metals, or other pollutants. When choosing spirulina products or supplements, remember to research about the company’s quality assurance policies and testing practices.